Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - May 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Assault on Dean’s credibility foundering
Monday, May 20, 1974
Right approach: impeachment
W| HEN PRESIDENT Nixon gave an exclusive audience last week to Columnist James Kilpatrick, there had to be a purpose. Inescapably, the big one seemed to be to certify beyond all doubt that he is not going to resign under any conceivable circumstances.
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 impeaches him. But he also said initially he would release no tapes requested by tin* house judiciary committee and by the special prosecutor, only to reverse himself by releasing some of the tapes and the transcripts of others. Understandably, some room for doubt remained when he repeatedly insisted he would serve out his full term.
The interview with Kilpatrick, obviously one of his favorite writers, further authenticates! the decision not to resign, come what may.
The President's assertions also emphasized that he does not intend to step aside temporarily, as permitted under the 25th Amendment, with the understanding he would resume the* office if impeachment 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 Democratic senate majority, had calk'd on his house and senate colleagues to cease making public demands that Mr. Nixon resign. What Kilpatrick reported should serve to bolster the senator’s urgent, com-mon-sense plea.
In making that plea, Senator Mansfield’s reasoning was unassailable. Resignation by the President, under pressure from the public, media and politicians, would sustain divisive rancor for sears without having settled the
issue of the President’s role in the Watergate scandal.
There is also reason to believe that Senator ('urtis of Nebraska rightly gauged the motivation of Republican congressmen who have demanded that tin' President resign. The house of representatives has a constitutional duty, Curtis stressed That duty is to consider tilt4 evidence and then to decide whether or not it calls for impeachment. He charged that congressmen demanding resignation are doing so to duck the possibility of winding up on an elec-tion-year spot of their own brought on by having to vote on impeachment.
What Senators Mansfield and Curtis commendably suggest, then, is that the process of impeachment run its course. Before that can happen, as Senator Mansfield pointed out, it will be necessary for the 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 Constitution, 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 impeachment by the house and trial by the senate would wreck the nation. The impeachment process was included as a part of the Constitution only after the most careful consideration by the founding fathers. Failure to employ it in the present circumstance's would defy the* Constitution.
Senator Mansfield’s judgment is sound: Let the system work.
New line on old trouble
than half a century of Cedar Rapids’ struggle with the Fourth street problem of train-blocked vehicular crossings, federal “highway” funds can be4 applied toward a solution.
This became apparent through information aired recently before the state highway commission: Besides tin* standard street improvements covered heretofore by federal money to cities, other transportal ion-1 in ked im pro v e-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 wav 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 proposed allocation through the next three years reportedly is almost $2 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 tin4 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 — Nu one scents to have paid attention to the curious and perhaps vital backdrop against which President Nixon in late February. 1973, began a series of concentrated contacts with his controversial young counsel, John Dean
By Dean’s public testimony, unchallenged on this point by the White House, that series of talks began at the President’s own initiative, after a long period of months (embracing most of the immediate post-Watergate breakin days) in which Dean and Mr Nixon rarely saw each other
The President s edited transcripts of Watergate tapes include, obviously, one of those “rare” prior meetings — on Sept 15, 1972, the day the original Watergate 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 others), and also had 14 telephone talks with him The released transcripts cover just nine of these, roughly one quarter, starting Feb. 28 and ending April IB
Two questions of high significance arist- from tile fact of this heavy flurry of N’lxon-Dean contact iii 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 iii 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
says that starting with Monday. 19, 1972, he took part in the Water
gate coverup sitting in that day on at least two key meetings The second meeting was iii former Attorney General John Mite hell s apartment involving such others as Fred LaRue, Jeb Magruder and Robert Martian
From then on. by Dean s own public words, he began moving to restrict official FBI-justice department inquiries into the real scope of Watergate. He sat in on FBI interviews with eight White House staff people, got copies of HO pertinent FBI reports from then acting Director L. Patrick Gray, says he induced Assistant Attorney General Henry Peterson to limit the inquiry to the burglary episode and to have justice prosecutors interrogate five W hite House aides — Charles Colson, Fgil Krogh, David Young. Dwight Chapin and Gordon Strachan, in a separate room out of a grand jury’s earshot
Dean says he also served as busy gobetween, keeping track of what various people were doing about the coverup, and reporting regularly to top Nixon men H. K. 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 tone of the first Deun-.Nixon conversation Sept. 15 suggests 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 embarrassed,” and compliments Dean on putting his linger 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 Doan's doings.
My sources argue Mr Nixon began intensively in f ebruary, 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 fall to help insulate the President himself from direct involvement. He was asked bluntly, on April IB. to quit
Say my sources: If you want to understand what Mr. Nixon was doing in those 35 talks, go see the movie. “The Sting”.
Newspaper Enterprise Assn
‘Easy, Dick . . . maybe it’s just a skywriter’
Gentleman was eluded years ago
To escape lady, simply abandon graces
By Russell Baker
I'I SPEAKS eloquently of the general public squalor into which the Republic I-, settling that there is scarcely <i man left in the country who would not feel demeaned humiliated or insulted if someone (aller! bim a gentleman In deed the word is so rarely used these days that its sound has an hate overtones eonjuring up memories of high-button shoes horse (((liars arid embroidered samplers over the velveteen settee.
In politics today if would In- far more damaging to < all a man a gentleman than to (all him a Iiin*i a rogue a pimp a boor, a loudmouth an imbecile an unprincipled lout or an unmitigated swine, for in this catalog we recognize the heroic figures of the late 2lMh Cen tory, whereas in the gentleman we detect a suspicious alien somewhat like the notorious outside agitator whom we dis trust simply because he is not one of us
This is not to say that an occasional gentleman does not slip past us now and then and turn up in political office. There was one iii Ihe house of representatives briefly in the late 1950s I forbear to identify bim by name since I hear he is running once again for office arid have n , wish to destroy bim by exposure
When he was in the house it did not
take long for his fellow citizens to smell him out and replace him with someone more apt for mail fraud, pillaging the treasury and suborning juries, but I believe be has since changed his ways. taken to gratifying the public taste for oleaginous hypocrisy and. so. gained a reputation as a formidable political philosopher
It is misleading, however, to dwell on the absence of gentlemen in the nation s capital Nowadays, New \ ork has even fewer than Washington, where I can count seven for certain \dmittedly. three id them are in retirement arid a fourth is a scholar and hence easily able to indulge an eccentric taste,
Iii Now \ ork however, it is hard to count beyond four gentlemen without resorting to statues and transient sea
captains. I will not get into the matter of Southern California or the new South beyond saying that they are in the vanguard 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 bad so little success at escaping 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 ol the American male s escape from the gentleman
rite feminists appear to believe that .1 woman can qui! being <1 lady by performing acts of loud public negation, by announc ing lier resignation, as it were lo treat a woman “like a lady tile feminists maintain is to oppress her the theory being that the lady is a constraining social concept, a kind of cage for womanhood, created to stop women from flying.
And yet, although pronouncements unissued against ladyhood arid women announce tlu-ir resignations, the thing persists The fac ile e xplanation is that too many reactionary sisters enjoy oppression ariel, hence, continue cultivating the ahoiiidiatom In vie w of the ease- with whic h men put the gentleman behind them, this strikes me as doubtful
The gentleman, of course, was a social concept that oppresses! men As long as you were expected at least to try to be a gentleman, you could not conic- to the table in shirtsleevc*s, muc h less iii your undershirt Nor could you commit family, soc ial or public4 betrayals and continue1 to Ire regarded as a well-adjusted arid representative man of the era
i nnatural constraints on male freedoms were extensive. One- was forbidden barbarous discourse, coarse explanations of contempt or ignorance, gross lies and, iii general, everything that was rude* and uncivilized
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 gentleman was a creation of men to establish minimal standards of decency in relations among men When men (put being interested, the gentleman's time had passed
Women can abandon tin- archaic lady in the* same* manner By simply and quietly quitting Perhaps then we* could get them interested iii becoming gentlemen, and the Republic might elevate ilsell a tnt
Hum VOO I -me , Ser viceWhom-do-you-believe?’ survey: No contest
By Louis Harris
Tee Horn* Survev
DESPITE HEAVY attacks on John Dean’s credibility by the White House and statements by jurors iii the Mitchell-Stans case that they were skeptical about testimony by the* former White House counsel at that trial, a plurality of the American people (45-33 percent) believe that "John Dean has lieen more truthful about the Watergate coverup than President Nixon
Significantly, a 52-30 porte d majority said it “believes Dean s charges that President Nixon knew about the Water-
gate* coverup.” Dean was scheduled to be a key witness before the house judiciary committee in its hearing to determine whether to impeach President Nixon A pivotal question will he just how credible a witness tho former White House* counsel will be.
The outcome* of the Mitchell-Stans trial, in which the* two former Nixon cabinet members were found innocent. did shake the credibility of Dean in the4 eyes of 2B percent of the4 public. However, twice that many, 52 percent, said the episode left them unshaken iii their estimate of Dean’s veracity ,
Both Senators Sam Ervin and Howard Baker of the I S. senate Watergate committee have noted that Dean s testimony 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 H, a nationwide crosssection of 1.555 adults was asked by the Harris Survey.
Who do you think has been more truthful
about the Watergate cover up Ninon or John Dean?"
People 's forumAnti-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 obtained 30, If this amendment becomes part of the Constitution it would:
I 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 jot)s iii industry
5. Remove women’s right to privacy (no men and women restrooms even in schools).
As one Christian woman, I am against tin* ERA. A small minority of women arc4 trying to infringe on me. I am content and satisfied with the responsibility God has placed on me, that of taking tare of my husband, our expected child and my home. I resent being undermined by women who do not even know God s will for their lives and insist on turning us all into men.
Mrs Charles Lillis 2111 F avenue NE
To the Editor
Friendship is a word that has great meaning to all Friendship is priceless but only when practiced in sincerity and truth Iii prison society, it is not unusual to see 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.
The Gazette s editorial page welcomes readers' opinions, subject to these guidelines,-
Length limit 40QTwofds One letter per writer every 30 days All may be condensed and edited without changing meaning.
None published anonymously
Writer t teiepnone number (not printed) should follow name, addicts and teadoble handwritten signature to help authenticate Contents deal more with issues and events tho..
personalities No poetry,
While the gap between the Presidents and Dean’s respective credibility has narrowed since April, then4 is IHtle doubt that more Americans are prepared to believe Dean’s word than Mr Nixon’s on the cover up story. Those results arc iii marked contrast to the prevailing public view last July. right after Dean’s original testimony, when by a narrow 38-37 percent margin, people tended to believe Hit4 Nixon version of the facts
Dean became an overt target of Mr Nixon, both in the President’s April 29 speech on Watergate and in a 50-page brief accompanying the transmission of I OMI pages of edited tap*4 transcripts to the house judiciary committee The lh rust of tho V\ lute House attack on Dean was that he. rather than Mr. Nixon, would he proven to be “guilty of improper aud illegal acts” in connection with the Watergate break in and coverup The cross-section was asked
Tell me if you believe President Nixon or not when he says the transcripts of the edited tapes will prove that former White House counsel John Dean, ond not President Nixon, was guilty of
improper and illegal acts'3
Believe Nixon Do not Not sure
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 tin4 basic credibility of John Dean’s charges of involvement by President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up
Former White House counsel John Dean tes fitted that President Nixon knew about the Wa tergate coverup Do you believe or not Dean s charges against President Nixon3
May, 1974 April March July, 1973
There is little doubt that before the house judiciary committee and possibly before tin4 entire I 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 counsel’s testimony can bt4 expected to tx4 damaging to President Nixon’s case iii prov mg he is innocent of a Watergate coverup.
OOO TI lf)
New 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 tin* two societies.
Iii the past, an inmate was considered useless, without character, cruel, ruthless . . This is branded into his identity and hangs onto him for most of his life, causing difficulty in most areas of socialization.
Anyone is capable of helping regardless of sex, occupation, social status or whatever One can do more than a professional 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 searc hing for concerned people who can offer a released man friendship, guidance4, advice4 and a listening heart On a one-to-one basis people w ill come4 to Hic* institution and get to know an inmate as a person.
We arc* searching for employers who arc* willing to forged the* myth that ex-in-matcs are not to be trusted, and who will give the man a chance to prove* himself. The employer will also ac t as a friend.
There is a misconception and vagueness 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
I bis hie-, only boon a sketch of our hoped for accomplishments. For those interested, we* will send full information if they will write* to Mr Fowedl Brandt. Box Ii, Anamosa. Iowa 52295. To anyone who ( ares from People Helping People, a salute ol hope, trust and fellowship
G Knutson Anamosa
I II ai fill tx
Do what we can, summer will have its flies
Ralph Waldo Enters on