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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - May 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Cfckr Editorial Page Assault on Dean's credibility foundering Monday, 20. 1974 Right approach: impeachmenf WHEN PRESIDENT Nixon gave an exclusive audience last week to Columnist James Kilpatrick, there had to be a pur- pose. Inescapably, the bijj one seemed to be to certify beyond all doubt that he is not KOIIIK to resign under any conceivable circum- stances. There was nothing new, of course, in that assertion. The President has been saying all along that he has no intention to resign, even if the house im- peaches him. But he also said ini- tially he would release no tapes requested by the house judiciary committee and by the special prosecutor, only to reverse him- self by releasing some of the tapes and the transcripts of others. Un- derstandably, some room for doubt remained when he repeat- edly insisted he would serve out his full term. The interview with Kilpatrick, obviously one of his favorite writers, further authenticated the decision not to resign, come what may. The President's assertions also emphasized that he does not in- tend to step aside temporarily, as permitted under the 25th Amend- ment, with the understanding ho would resume the office if im- peachment ran its course and he were exonerated. Even before Kilpatrick told the world what the President had told him, Sen. Mike Mansfield of Montana, leader of the Democra- tic senate majority, had called on his house and senate colleagues to cease making public demands that Mr. Nixon resign. What Kil- patrick reported should serve to bolster the senator's urgent, com- mon-sense plea. In making that plea, Senator Mansfield's reasoning was unas- sailable. Resignation by the President, under pressure from' the public, media and politicians, would sustain divisive rancor for years without having settled the issue of the President's role in the Watergate scandal. There is also reason to believe that Senator Curtis of Nebraska rightly gauged the motivation of Republican congressmen who have demanded that the President resign. The house of representa- tives has a constitutional duty, Curtis stressed. That duty is to consider the evidence and then to decide whether or not it calls for impeachment. He charged that congressmen demanding lion are doing so to duck the pos- sibility of winding up on an' elec- tion-year spot of their own brought on by having to vote on impeach- ment. What Senators Mansfield and Curtis commendably suggest, then, is, that the process of im- peachment run its course. Before that can happen, as Senator Mansfield pointed out, it will be necessary for tiie house judiciary committee to assemble ALL available evidence. That includes the Watergate tapes in full, unedited not just the transcripts of what the President himself regards as all the evidence that the committee needs. As noted here before, the President's thesis is unacceptable that he alone should be the judge of what evidence the committee may receive. Under the Constitu- tion, the committee is entitled to all relevant evidence., in. seeking out the truth. Neither is it possible to go along with those who feel that impeach- ment by the house and trial by the senate would wreck the nation. The impeachment process was included as a part of the Constitu- tion only after the- most careful consideration by the founding fathers. Failure to employ it in the present circumstances would defy the Constitution. Senator Mansfield's judgment is sound: Let the system work. New line on old trouble FOR THE FIRST time in more than half a century of Cedar Rapids' struggle with the Fourth street problem of train-blocked vehicular crossings, federal "highway" funds can be applied toward a solution. This became apparent through information aired recently before the state highway commission: Besides the standard street im- provements covered heretofore by federal money to cities, other transportation-linked improve- ments such as bus and railroad systems now qualify for action through the use of these funds. Obviously, that creates a new, unprecedented opportunity. While projects benefiting motor traffic in the normal way still rate sub- stantial shares of this aid, a kind of undertaking stymied in the past because of cost and lack of funds now rates a first-time chance at long-needed movement too. In Fourth street's case, if something comes of it, the benefits would go to traffic on both streets and rails. The Cedar Rapids area's pro- posed allocation through the next three years reportedly is almost million. A modest part of that could help finance at least the thorough professional study that must underlie any forthcoming plan for real action against the Fourth street bottleneck. The opening presented now in turn shows exceptional promise for tangible results if the planning pays off as it should. Nixon huddles recall setup in 'The Sting' By Bruce Biossat WASHINGTON No one seems in have paid attention n> (he curious and perhaps vital backdrop against which President Nixon in late February. 1973. began a scries of cunccntraied con- tacts wiih his controversial young coun- sel, .iolui Dean. By Dean's public testimony, unchallenged on this point by the While House, thai series of talks began at the President's own initiative, after a long period of months (embracing most of the immediate post-Watergate breakin (lavs) in which Dean and Mr. Nixon rarely saw each other. The President's edited transcripts of Watergate tapes include, obviously, one uf those "rare" prior meetings on Sept. 15. 1972. the day the original Wa- tergate defendants were indicted. But suddenly, from late February to mid-April of that year, Dean was drawn into 21 head-on conversations with the President (sometimes alone, sometimes with and also had 1-1 telephone talks with him. The released transcripts cover just nine of these, roughly one quarter, starting Feb. 2S and ending April Ifi. Two questions of high significance arise from the fact of this heavy flurry of Xixun-Dean contact in early 1973. First, what was Dean as the President's counsel doing in all those crucial post-Watergate days when the two were not meeting, and did Mr. Nixon know of Dean's activities? Second, why did it suddenly become important to the President to talk to Dean 35 times in about a month and a half? What Dean was doing from the June 17 Watergate burglary weekend until his transcribed Sept. 15 meeting with the President is spread on the 1973 senate Watergate hearing record, with some parts corroborated by other witnesses and some challenged. He says thai starting with Monday, June 19, 1972. he took part in the Water- gate ceverup sitting m that day on at least two key meet ings. The second meeting was in former Attorney General John Mitchell's apartment involving such others as Kred l.aRue, Jeb Ntagrudvr auct Ifobert Marxian. From then on, by Dean's own public words, he began moving to restrict of- ficial FBI-justice department inquiries into the real scope of Watergate. He sal in on FIJI interviews with eight White ilnuse staff people, go! copies of SO tinent FBI reports from then acting Director L. Patrick Gray, says he in- duced Assistant Attorney General Henry Peterson to limit the inquiry to the burglary episode and to have justice prosecutors interrogate five White House aides Charles I'ulson, Kgil Krogh. David Young, Dwight Chapiu and Gordon Slrachan, in a separate room out of a grand jury's earshot. Dean says he also served as busy go- between, keeping track of what various people were doing about the coverup. and reporting regularly to top Nixon men II. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. They have denied this, but my sources say Dean did just that and presumably they relayed the running story to the President himself. Indeed, the whole lone of the first Dean-Nixon conversation Sept. 15 sug- gests their common knowledge of a broad effort to limit the official inquiry. The President describes the situation as a "can of worms" says "the people who worked this way are awfully em- and compliments Dean on putting his finger on leaks "that have sprung up here and there." They could not have understood each other at that point, without joint awareness, transmitted by someone, of Dean's doings. My sources argue Mr. Nixon began in- tensively in February, 1973, to talk to Dean not just to learn things but to draw him into a "setup" posture where, if necessary, he could be asked to take a fail to help insulate the President himself from direct involvement. He was asked bluntly, on April 16, to quit. Say my sources: If you want to under- stand what Mr. Nixon was doing in those 35 talks, go see the movie, "The Newspaper Enterprise Assn. survey: No contest By Louis Harris rtajnv VCK DESIMTK IIKAVY attacks on .lolm Dean's credibility by tin- While House and statements by jurors in the Mitcliell-Slaiis case that they wen- skep- tical about testimony by tin- former White House counsel at thai trial, a plurality of the American people percent) believe that ".Inlin Dean has been more truthful ahout the Watergate coverup than President Nixon." Significantly, a percent majority said it "believes Dean's chaws that President Nixon knew about the Water- 'Easy, Dick maybe it's a skywriter' Gentleman was eluded years ago To escape lady, simply abandon graces By Russell Baker IT SPKAKS eloquently of Ino general public squalor into which the Id-public is settling that there is scarcely a man left in the country who would nut feel demeaned, humiliated or insulted if someone called him ft gentleman. In- deed, the word is so rarely used these days that its sound has archaic overtones conjuring up memories of high-button shoes, horse collars and embroidered samplers over tin: velveteen settee. In politics il would be far mnrr damaging to call a man a gentleman than to rail him a thief, a rogue. ;i pimp, a boor, a loudmouth, an imbecile, an unprincipled lout ur an unmitigated swine, for in this catalog we the heroic figures of the late Cen- tury, whereas in the gentleman we delect a suspicious alien, somewhat like the notorious outside agitator whom we dis- trust simply because he is not one of us. This is not lo say that an occasional genlleman does not slip past us now :md then and turn up in political office. There was one in the house of representatives briefly in the late 11150s. I forbear to identify him by name since I hear he is miming once again for office and have n-; wish to destroy him by exposure. When he was in (lie house It did not take long for his fellow citizens, lo smell him out and replace him with someone more apt for mail fraud, pillaging the treasury and suborning juries, but I believe he has since changed his ways, taken to gratifying the public taste for oleaginous hypocrisy and, so. gained a reputation as a formidable political philosopher. II is misleading, however, to dwell on the absence of gentlemen in the nation's capital. Nowadays, New York has even fewer than Washington, where I can count seven for certain. Admittedly, three of them arc in retirement and a fourth is a scholar, and hence easily able In indulge an eccentric taste. In New York, however, il is hard to count beyond four gentlemen without resorting to statues and transient sea Russell Baker captains. 1 will not get into the matter of Southern California or the new South beyond saying that they are in the van- guard of the present trend. Is it not curious that while men have been escaping the onerous social claims made upon them by the gentlemen, women have had so little success at es- caping the burden put upon them by ladyhood? Try as they will to convert "lady" into an insult, the feminists have had scant success, and this, I believe, is because they have failed to absorb the lesson of the American male's escape from the gentleman. The feminists appear to believe that a woman can quit being n lady by per- forming acts of loud public negation, by announcing her resignation, as it were. To treat a woman "like a the feminists maintain, is to oppress her, the theory being that the lady is a constrain- ing social concept, a kind of cage for womanhood, created lo stop women from flying. And yet, although pronouncements are issued against ladyhood and women an- nounce their resignations, the thing per- sists. The facile explanation is that too many reactionary sisters enjoy oppres- sion continue cultivating the abomination. In view of the case with which men put the gentleman behind (hem, this strikes me us doubtful. The gentleman, of course, was a social concept that oppressed men. As long as you were expected at least to try to be a gentleman, you could not come to the ta- ble in shirtsleeves, much less in your undershirt. Nor could you commit family, social or public betrayals and continue to be regarded as a well-adjust- ed and representative man of the era. Unnatural constraints on male freedoms were extensive. One was for- bidden barbarous discourse, coarse explanations of contempt or gross lies and, in general, everything Unit was rude and nncivilixed. In shucking off what now seem like oppressive constraints, men did not bother issuing pronouncements, publishing tracts or rebuking women as chauvinist beasts for calling them gentlemen. They simply and quietly stopped being gentlemen. The genlleman was a creation of men lo establish minimal standards of decency in rela- tions among men. When men quit being interested, the gentleman's lime had passed. Women can abandon Hie archaic lady in the same manner. By simply and quilling. Perhaps I hen we could gel them interested in becoming gentlemen, and the Itcpiihlic might olovulo Itself n bit. linn Viut limm Si'rvku Harris gate covernp." Dean was scheduled to be a key witness before the house judiciary committee in it? hearing lo determine whether to impeach President Nixon. A pivotal question will be just how credible a witness tho former While House coun- sel will be. The outcome of the Mitchell-Slans trial, in which the two former Nixon cabinet members were found innocent, did shake the credibility of Dean in the eyes of 26 percent of the public. However, twice that many, 52 percent, said the episode left them unshaken in their es- timate of Dean's veracity. Both Senators Sam Ervin and Howard Baker of the U.S. senate Watergate committee have noted that Dean's tes- timony before their committee last summer by and large was substantiated by the transcripts of the edited tapes recently released by President Nixon. On May 7 and 8, a nationwide cross- seclion of adulls was asked by the Harris Survey. "Who do you think has been more truthful about the Watergate cover-up President Nixon or John Nixon Dean May, 1974 April March July, 1973 32 28 29 38 45 49 46 37 23 23 25 25 People's forum Anti-ERA To the Editor: The women's lib movement is trying to arrange passage of the equal rights amendment. The amendment needs a 38-state ratification and already has ob- tained 30. If this amendment becomes part of the Constitution it would: 1. Make every wife legally responsible to provide half her family's financial support. 2. Wipe out laws which protect women against sex crimes. 3. Subject women to the draft and combat duty. 4. Eliminate protection from dangerous jobs in industry. 5. Remove women's right to privacy (no men and women restrooms even in As one Christian woman, I am against the ERA. A small minority of women are trying to infringe on me. 1 am content and satisfied with the responsibility God has placed on me, that of taking care of my husband, our expected child and my home. I resent being undermined by wo- men who do not even know God's will For their lives and insist on turning us all into men. Mrs. Charles Lillis 211i F avenue NE Reaching inmates To the Editor: Friendship is a word that has great meaning to all. Friendship is priceless but only when practiced in sincerity and truth. In prison society, it is not unusual to sec a resident being helped by another resident or by a staff officer. People Helping People is attempting to uncover the needed help that can come from members of the free society. While the gap between Ibe President's and Dean's respective credibility has narrowed since April, Hiere is IMtlc doubt that more Americans are prepared to believe Dean's word than Mr. Nixon's on the These results are in marked contrast to the prevailing public view last July, right after Dean's original testimony, when by a narrow 38-37 per- cent margin, people tended to believe the Nixon version of the facts. Dean became an overt target Mr. Nixon, both in the President's April 29 speech on Watergate and in a 50-page brief accompanying the transmission of I 300 pages of edited tape transcripts to (lie house judiciary committee. The thrust of the White House attack on Dean was that he, rather than Mr. Nixon, would be proven to be "guilty of improper and illegal acts" in connection with the Watergate break-in and coverup. The cross-section was asked: me if you believe President Nixon or not when he soyi the transcripts ol the edited tapes will prove that former White House counsel John Dean, and not President Nixon, was guilty of improper and illegal rottii public Believe Nixon Do not Not sure 28 46 26 White House hopes that the Mitchell- Stans trial would mark a turning point in public opinion away from John Dean and toward Richard Nixon simply have not materialized. What does remain is the basic credibility of John Dean's charges of involvement by President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up: "Former While House counsel John Dean tes- tified that President Nixon knew about the Wa- tergate coverup. Do you believe or not Dean's charges against President May, 1974 April March July, 1973 Believe Dean 52 55 52 50 Do not 30 28 28 30 Not sure 18 17 20 20 There is little doubt that before the house judiciary committee and possibly before the entire U.S. senate, White House lawyers are going to have to dent John Dean's credibility more than has occurred up to now, or the former coun- sel's testimony can be expected to be damaging to President Nixon's case in proving he is innocent of a Watergate coverup. Chicogo Tribune Mew York News Syndicate Our organization wants to build a bridge of hope, trust and fellowship across the confining walls to the free society. In so doing, we hope to establish an understanding of rapport between the two societies. In the past, an inmate was considered useless, without character, cruel, ruth- less-----This is branded into his identity andjiangs onto him for most of his life, causing difficulty in most areas of social- ization. Anyone is capable of helping regard- less of sex, occupation, social status or whatever. One can do more than a pro- fessional supervisor can by being a friend to an inmate returned to society, leading him in the ways of becoming a productive member of the community. We are searching for concerned people who can offer a released man friendship, guidance, advice and a listening heart. On a one-to-one basis people will come to the institution and get to know an inmate as a person. We are searching for employers who are willing to forget the myth that ox-in- mates are not to be trusted, and who will give the man a chance to prove himself. The employer will also act as a friend. There is a misconception and vague- ness as to what prison life is really like. People Helping People will attempt to make a fair presentation in order to answer questions about prison problems and their causes. This has only been a sketch of our hoped-for accomplishments. For those interested, we will send full information if they will write to: Mr. Lowell Brandt, Box B, Anamosa, Iowa 52205. To anyone who cares from People Helping People, a salute of hope, trust and fellowship. Wayne Knutson Anamosn Insights LETTERS The Gazette's editorial page wol- comos readers' opinions, subject fo these n.uidelines; Length limit: letter par writer 30 days. All may bo condomod and odilud without changing meanlnq. None published anonymously. Writer's toiophono number (not printed) thould follow namo, oddroii and loadable handwritten ilgnaturo to help nulhontlcoto, Contents daal moru with ittuot and ovonti llitn. porionalltloi. No poolry. Do what wo can, tummor will hovo Its flfos. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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