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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 23, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa No Watergate dimension to Kissinger’s imperfections By Norman Cousins TT SEKMS virtually certain that the senate foreign relations committee Ki'e Henry Kissinger the “clearance" he says he needs in order to continue as secretary of state But even this vote of confidence will not dispose of the essential issue. That issue is whether it is possible for a man to make mistakes in office and '■dill he of great value to his country. In short, do we allow any margin for error iii men who are elected or appoint cd to high office? Obviously, that question can only be answered in the particular and not in the abstract A lot depend:; ./ii the kind of mistakes or wrongdoing we are talking about I here is a big distinction to be made between mendacity and murder, between neglect and conspiracy, between a lapse of judgment and stark irresponsibility. Also, the extent of harm involved is critically important. One of the first questions considered by a court has to do with the degree of harm that may have been done. A man who has been assaulted and who has nothing more serious than a bloody nose may have a good case against an assailant, but he would have an even better case if he had been knocked down or had suffered a broken jaw. Views Ideas Insights Judgments Comments Opinion Page 2 How serious are the misdeeds of which Henry Kissinger has been accused? He is not accused of complicity in the Watergate horrors or in the subsequent coverup. He is accused of having ordered a tap to be put on the telephones of some of his subordinates at a time when the White House was trying to track down leaks to the press He is also accused of having lied about the matter to a senate committee Tough hurdle Norman Cousins First of all, no law would have been broken if Kissinger had in fact ordered a wiretap The authority for such an order is within the province of the White House. There is a moral issue here, of course, and it must not be minimized. The invasion of privacy, even for the purpose of tracing leaks, is a serious business But no law was broken if, in fait, Kissinger ordered the phone of his subordinates to be tapped. A senate committee might have a difficult time in censuring or condemning a cabinet officer or the President’s righthand man on this account The matter of false testimony, however, is far more relevant and serious, lf the senate committee believes that Henry Kissinger was less than candid in his testimony, it might issue a statement criticizing or even censuring him on that score, but there are gradations e\en in censure. The last thing in the world that the senate would want to do, on the assump Hon it does not believe Henry Kissinger is guilty of serious misconduct, is to be disproportionate in its lodgment, or to raise questions that would prejudice Kissinger’s ability to conduct his office Should the fact that Henry Kissinger has performed superbly in office be a factor in the evaluation of the senate committee? I believe it should It would lie absurd, I submit, to dismiss or ignore the fact that this man has done more to save human life than any statesman in modern times Largely because of him, the chances for peace in the world are probably better than they have been in a decade And his period of greatest usefulness may bi* lust ahead of us Magnanimity No man is indispensable, but it is foolish to deprive ourselves of someone who, through the force of his intelligence and his perceptions, has demonstrated the kind of leadership in world affairs that might spare the human race of a holocaust. Imperfections come with the human condition The kinds of imperfections now involved in the charges against Kissinger are not outlandish. They do not have a Watergate dimension The American people can afford to fie magnanimous We would only be hurting ourselves if we were not Lo* Angeles Times Syndicate Dilemma of the floating flags Where does a country end? By Jenkin Lloyd Jones THE LARGEST meeting on international law ever held got under way a few days ago in Caracas, and if it doesn’t come up with some major areas of agreement we’re in for trouble, sure as shooting — and “shooting" is the word. The conference has been called to find nut where a nation’s sovereignty ends — three miles offshore0 Twelve miles0 Two hundred miles0 What has happened is that suddenly man s technology has outrun international law, and the scramble for fisheries, offshore drilling and sea-bottom mining is on us before we have come to any consensus as to who owns what. The entire bottom of the North Sea has been divided up among the abutting nations, and the lease map looks like that of east Texas So important are these as yet sketchily explored oil resources that the British think they have 12 billion barrels in sight — 2 billion more than are estimated for Alaska's North Slope. It is not an exaggeration to say that whether the average Briton stays with breakfast kippers or goes back to oatmeal is dependent on national exploitation of what, only yesterday, was regarded as the “high seas The United States holds that true na t ton a I sovereignty extends only three miles out from headland-to-headland, with a 12-mile limit for fishing In the year IMM! three miles was the maximum range of a naval gun But this headland-to headland business needs a lot of defining If we considered Key West one and the south tip of Padre island another we could gobble up most of the Gulf of Mexico In the meantime, a number of South American countries have declared 2IM-mile limits You’d think that Chile and Peru wouldn’t much care since the Andes dip straight down to Mu deep-sea bottom and there is practically no shallow offshore water But the Humboldt current provides some of the richest fishing in the world, and this has given rise to the “tuna wars ’ between Chilean and Peruvian gunboats, on one hand, and mostly American tuna boats on the other. The Russians and the Japanese stand with the Americans in favoring narrow bands of sovereignty We re having plenty of trouble with both as their fishing fleets keep fudging across the 12-mile line off New England and Alaska You'd think Uncle Sam would do pretty well with a 2<M mile limit Between the Canadians and ourselves we d nail down the best fisheries in the western Atlantic According to the Economist of London there is supposed to be from 2(1 to 4(1 billion buri els of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and maybe another III to 20 billion off our East Coast, most of which lies within 2INI miles of the American shore But only the advanced countries have the capability of exploring for oil al great depths, and if the 200-miie limit became standard every underdeveloped nation with oil to seaward would be able to claim these riches on their own terms Many with no oil might find other bonanzas as deep mining by gigantic vacuum cleaners becomes practical. Thus it is in the interest of the advanced nations to keep as much high seas as possible. If every sea-bordering nation could extend its limits 2<M miles, about .'It) percent of the world s oceans would become national property. The first hurdle to be met at Caracas is how to apportion votes. It would seem ridiculous to give Niger and Nepal, with no seacoast, the same vote as Canada, for example. The United States is plugging Insights ! I A state too extensive in itself, or by virtue of its dependencies, ultimately falls into decay. Simon Bolivar for a two-thirds vote, in any case, but it can be easily swamped Moreover, the conference can be churned by disputes between underdeveloped countries that face the sea and those that don't. The first would undoubtedly favor wide territorial limits, while the landlocked states are hoping to turn into a law a vague I'. N. Assembly resolution of 1970 that declared that the international sea bed “is the common heritage of all mankind." There are plenty of reasons why the Caracas conference should be a bust, as all previous conferences on the subject have proved to be. But now we have a sense of urgency. We have, in short, discovered a new world beneath the ocean and claiming it is not a simple matter of rowing in from the caravel and planting a flag. This is the puzzling hour of the floating flags General Features Corporation Isn t it the truth? By Carl Riblet, |r The deterioration in acceptance of divine worship today is seen not in the doctrine or idea of religion, but in the churchmen who bend with the times Alstead of preaching that the oldttme religion is best because it follows the Golden Rule instead of the golden calf ‘ Religion is not an intelligence test, but a faith. " E VV Howe IntprOcpon Pips* Svndn ate Way with words Singer-dancer labels By Theodore M. Bernstein A COUPLE of months ago when a reader asked what a male ballet dancer is called the reply was made here that he is called a danseur or. if he is the leading male member of the company, tin* premiei danseur. Now that we know that, writes Jim Blauert of Riverside, ( alif , “can you tell Us what a male singer who is the equivalent of a prima donna is called?" Yes The word is prim omo, but ap parently only one dictionary ever heard of it That is not too strange because the word is scarcely ever used, even by opera folk Officialese The title of a study made for the department of health, education and welfare is, “Evaluation and Parameterization of Stability and Safety Performance Characteristic of Two and Three Wheeled Vehicular Toys for Rid mg". That piece of gobbledygook was presented as a horrible example in an article by a marine corps professor of English, Argus J Tresidder, iii the magazine Military Review The professor gave a simple translation of that farout officialese as follows Theodore M. Bernstein i i. Richmans "Why children fall off bicycles But the authors of that $23JHM study would not have felt as if they were earning their money if they had written that simply Word oddities The word gobbledygook was invented around 1941) by a United States representative, Maury Maverick; about that there is no disagreement But whereas most die tionaries connect the word with the sound made by a turkey, Professor Tresidder has a different idea The gobble part, he thinks, comes from an old French word for mouth and the gook is related to goo and muck. “In short," he says, gobbledygook is sticky muck issu mg from the mouth." Somehow your host likes turkey better, especially white meat. 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