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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - July 2, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 - THE UTHBR1DGE HERALD ~ Fricfay, July 2, 1971 Carl Roivan The security threat The issue in the Pentagon Papers case seems to have boiled down to whether or not the security of the United States is put in jeopardy by their publication. In deciding that it isn't, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed with the judgment of the editors of the newspapers who had proceeded to publish. The question of whether or not the public has a right to know everything that newspaper publishers can get their hands on will continue to be a matter of debate. From the beginning of the action against the newspapers it looked as though the Nixon administration had made a mistake in forcing the cessation of publication of the Pentagon Papers. Some action against the person or persons guilty of stealing the study - and perhaps against the receivers of the same - would seem far more justifiable. Enough had already been published prior to the injunction, to permit the public to know the tenor of the whole report. Moft of the damage seemed to have been done at the stage where publishing ceased. All that was accomplished was to create the suspicion that there might be worse things to come. It might be said that most of what is found in the Pentagon Papers was already known or suspected. The contention that the U.S. was forced into military action against North Vietnam because of unprovoked attacks on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in the summer.of 1964 was exposed as false in 1967, for instance. In a sense, then, the Pentagon Papers only confirm what was previously known or suspected. The cooling off of enthusiasm for the Vietnam war is at least partly due to the doubts created by what had surfaced now and then regarding the escalating of the U.S. participation in it. As a consequence of the Pentagon Papers, public support for President Nixon's plan for withdrawal may evaporate. That may be what Mr. Nixon and his advisors feared and what prompted them to act to stop publication. U.S. security is not threatened by the publication of the Pentagon Papers. It is doubtful if many people have ever been really convinced, that a threat to U.S. security lay behind the involvement in Vietnam. A very real threat to the security of the United States has existed for some time now in the intense feeling of opposition to the government for not getting out of the war. Dealing with this threat is of paramount importance. Apparently what prompted the leak of the war study and its publication is a feeling that the situation calls for a facing of the truth -r by everyone and most of all by those in authority. It remains to be seen whether it will result in soul-searching or fault-finding. Meanwhile there is still a war in Vietnam in which U.S. forces are participating. The Russian tragedy The.whole world mourns with the Russian people who had been buoyed by the remarkable achievement of their heroic cosmonauts. Tragedy rathen than Joy, an entire nation geared to celebration, suddenly and awfully, plunged into mourning. One can only hope that the Americans, who have also witnessed the tragedy that comes from high hopes crushed, and the Russians, in the aftermath of this recent horror, will be drawn closer to one another in shared misery. Close enough, one would like to suggest, that American and Soviet co-operation in space research will be come a fact of the future. They have much to learn from one another. Another lirst for Canada! All overseas mail will go from this country by air! In some cases airmail postage rates may be slightly less than they were previously, although air letters which are widely used because of their convenience will, now cost fifteen cents instead of the former ten. But those who want to send Christmas cards for instance won't be able to take advantage of the cheaper but slower surface rates. Documents of various kinds, letters with enclosures and a myriad Canada first! of other forms of correspondence in which speed of delivery is not necessarily an advantage, will have to go at full air mail rates. There won't be any other way to send them. Mail carriers, including the airlines, are paid by the government at a per ton mile rate. Therefore the airlines are going to be happy with the postmaster general's new arrangement. But it's another first for Canada that a lot of Canadians could do without. It's going to cost them money. ERIC NICOL TK) the telephone company trying to in-crease my phone bill: the wallet you are calling is not in service. It was taken out last month by a technician from the finance company. On my income tax return I list telephone expense as a religious donation. My belief in the existence of our phone is an act of faith. I haven't seen the instrument since my daughters became old enough to dial. I know, or want to believe, that the blower sits there somewhere in the limitless expanse of teenage, but I can't prove it. There is jjo need in our house to ask for whom the bell tolls. The cat takes more calls than I do. I remember as though it were yesterday the last time one of my daughters answered the phone and said, in a tone of wounded disbelief: "It's for Daddy." The whole household was thrown into confusion. My hams creaked with the unaccustomed effort to rise from a chair without a period of mental preparation. My children clustered around the phone, which lay on its side as though stricken by a strange, previously unknown malady. My wife ran into the back yard to see if the telephone pole had been hit by lightning. It was a wrong number of course. The family breathed easier. But suspicion lingered that. I would take a phone call if given half a chance. I mean, it was proven that I knew which end to put to my ear. It would be only a matter of time till I remembered which end I talked into. Because of the extension of conversation by the younger generation, and with Mother filling the intervals when our spawn pause for breath, I have informed business associates that for me telecommunication consists of a native runner carrying the message in a cleft stick. One Toronto publisher is co-operating with me in the experiment of thought transference. Aside from necessity's mothering invention, ESP is attractive because there is no toll charge. The telephone company is asking for a boost in its charge because of rising costs. I don't understand how my phone is more expensive to operate. I know that it isn't because of something I said. The phone company says I live in a wild and rugged area. Well, I guess it knows our neighborhood better than I do. But according to my records I am not making more obscene phone calls than I was in 1962. I can only assume that the phone company is hiring more people to do the bird imitations I get when I try direct distance dialing. In contrast to DDT, DDD seems to encourage the propagation of screech owls, loons and an unidentified fowl that hiccups a lot. The phone company has also, I suppose, lost some revenue because pay phone booths are, tied up by Superman changing into his leotards. But it is difficult to dispell the suspicion that there is profiteering by a large, corporate octopus bearing only a passing resemblance to Alexander Graham Bell. In fact I may even brood about this, when for the third time in one afternoon I have dropped the lawnmower to run into the house and answer the call from a youthful voice that says it is Debbie and will talk to anybody. Can some one please quote me the monthly rate for a party line of smoke signals? She's a poor winner too By Dong Walker Ing a name like that. Well, she's real. Even our kids will admit to that. Actually the name isn't so bad although only the Scots seem to favor it. We console ourselves that she could have been Esmerelda. occasional comment drifts back to me from die readership that indicates some people are a little skeptical about whether thnre really is someone called Elspeth. They apparently find it hard to believe that anyone could gb around sport- Politicians harassing TV insupportable WASHINGTON - Members of the House Commerce Committee have let their egos overload their logic, so pride apparently is going to drive them to push contempt proceedings against Dr. Frank Stanton, president of the Columbia Broadcasting System. And that will produce another Constitutional confrontation every bit as historic as the great hassle between the newspapers and the government over "the Pentagon papers." Rep. Harley O. Staggers (D.- - W. Va.), chairman of the House Committee, wants Stanton held in contempt of Congress because Stanton refuses to give Congress all the films, scripts, and recordings that contributed to CBS's controver-' sial documentary, "The Selling of the Pentagon." Stanton would not be worth much as a guardian of the public interest if he did not invite a contempt citation, because what the Congressmmen seek to do is contemptible. They want to establish a pre- cedent under which politicians who don't like a television pre-, sentation can call in the producers and their rough film , and scripts and try to impugn their motives and judgment in editing the program. The day isn't coming when an American newspaperman will turn over his notes, or recorded interviews, or photographs and let some Congressmen or government official second-guess his choice of a lead, of quotes to emphasize, or photographs to print. The "You Can't Play Ping-Pong All the Time!' whole country is in trouble if Congress is permitted to single out television tor this kind of bullying. There has never been a television documentary of merit that did not irk some Congressman. Some Senators still curse "Harvest of Shame," the late Edward R. Murrow's great documentary on migrant workers. A moss-backed minority in the Congress screamed angrily when television focused its cameras on the ugly truth of hunger in America. "The Selling of the Pentagon" has won some lofty prizes, but that won't silence the howls of those who, out of vested interests, feel compelled to defend anything and everything about the defense establishment. Can anyone imagine television networks ever doing worthwhile programs on controversial issues if they are always subject to second-guess harassment from bellyaching Congressmen who can pass judgment on whether the documentary meets their idea of "fairness"' No group of politicians ought ever to have that kind of power, and it bespeaks a lofty level of arrogance, or conceit, that Rep. Staggers and Rep. William L. Springer (R. - 111.) should imagine that the public wants them to exercise such power. Stanton speaks for the preservation of a free society when he says: "The chilling effect of both the subpoena and the inquiry itself is plain beyond all question. If newsmen are told that their notes, films, and tapes will be subject to compulsory process so that the government can determine whether the news has been satisfactorily edited;, the scope, nature and vigor of their news gathering and reporting activities will inevitably be curtailed." Staggers counters with the argument that television is so powerful it "sends chills up and down the spine of many men in this country." Calling the networks the nation's most powerful instruments of public Opinion, he said they "can ruin every President, and every member of Congress." Staggers needs to be reminded that the First Amendment protections of the press were designed precisely to keep a few chills running down the spines of those who spend the public's money and do the public's business. Those chills are what keep a lot of public servants honest, including Presidents. If those Constitutional protections were justified for the written media 150 years ago, when their power was viewed as awesome, they are' justified for television in this frightful new atomic era when a powerful, free press is all the more needed. One could at least entertain Stagger's argument if the performance of the networks had been of such overweening abuse of power that numbers of honorable men were driven from public life into ruin. But such has not been the case; indeed, it might be said that the networks have dealt too gently with, numerous scoundrels who deserved to be chased away from the public trough. Stanton concedes that journalists make mistakes, including mistakes of judgment in editing. Some of the editing techniques used to prepare "The Selling of the Pentagon" are certainly questionable. Staggers, Springer, and other Congressmen are within their rights to complain of what they think are errors, to attempt to call the public's wrath down upon an offending station or network. But the constitution draws the line right there. And heaven help the people if the day ever comes when the politicians are given the bullying powers over this powerful medium that some House members now seek to sieze. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Colin Smith India's deadly cholera bomb ticking away TVEW DELHI - "Cholera", said a young Dutch doctor recently arrived in Calcutta for the European child rescue or-ganization, Terre des Hommes, "is like an unex-ploded bomb. Just when you think things are going to be okay it goes off in your face." With a disease which is spread by a water bacteria, explained Doctor Hendrik Scheer, you could hardly count yourself as home and dry when a monsoon season had just started. Flood-water could easily take-cholera to places it had not been before. The East Pakistan refugee story is already rating smaller headlines in the world's Press. Even the Indian newspapers are � no longer devoting the whole of their front pages to the horrors of Bangla. Desh. President Yahya Khan's regime is apparently so confident that it has tidied the mess up that Radio Pakistan has announced that foreign journalists will be allowed unescorted into the Eastern Wing again. Now the survivors of war, famine and disease huddle in the sodden camps that television and the other media have made as synonymous with West Bengal as Big Ben is with London or the Eiffel Tower with Paris. Already some of the places have taken on an air of permanence, with wayside tea stalls and signs asking the traffic to slow down when it drives through. At the time of writing the Indians are saying that some six million refugees have crossed into their country. There is absolutely no way of checking whether this is true or false even if it mattered. Figures become quite meaningless at the sight of one dying child. It has long been established that most of the refugees to come out in the later waves, the Indians say five million of them, are Hindus who will probably never return to their homes even if they are in a liberated Bangla Desh. Nevertheless, fairly senior civil servants here in Delhi still insist that the Pakistanis "must have them back", knowing full well that this is never going to happen. It is an attitude which conjures up dreadful visions of people being kept in showcase misery, a perpetual reminder to the rest of the world of a neighbor's awful mistake: another Palestine with India playing the role of the Arab states. The same civil servants say that at least $2 million a day in aid would be needed to cope successfully with all the refugees and at the moment no- where near that amount is coming in or ever likely to. They are very anxious that any impression that recent aid was for India should be corrected. "It's not for us. It's for Pakistan. These people are Pakistanis". Another official sighed: "There are said to be 10 million Hindus in East Pakistan. Even India can't absorb 10 million people." At the moment mass vaccination has definitely contained the cholera outbreak, but there are fears that many people who have been given jabs may already have been infected with the disease which has a seven-day incubation period. Thus the disease is spread - usually by the victim excreting into water which people use for drinking without boiling it - and people who have not already had injections become demoralised, saying they are no good. There are rumors of cholera, unconfirmed by the authorities, at Mana Camp where some of the refugees who settled in border areas have been taken by air and rail. This camp is in Madhya Pradesh state in the centre of India. It is run by the Army, a colonel in the artillery is in charge, and was startea in 1964. Some of the refugees who went there then - there has been a steady trickle of Hindu refugees into India from Muslim Pakistan since parti- Aged Minority Facts By Ray Cromley, NEA Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON - One de-prived "minority" group is seldom mentioned - the aged. There are today 20 million men and women aged 65 and over. Half are more than 72. One out of five is over 80. In 30 years there will be 30 million aged. Thirty per cent of the elderly are poor. In 1967, half of the aged families had income under $3,928. Half of the elderly living alone had incomes under $1,480. Almost a third of the elderly probably have assets of less than $1,000 each, for emergencies. The male suicide rate is alarming. For men it increases steadily to 60 per 100,000 at age 85. The suicide rate for females reaches a peak of 12 per 100,000 in the 45-to-54 period; The problem is not only income but jobs. The four million elderly who work are fairly well - off, even though many of them work at poorly paid part-time jobs. But many of the 80 per cent without jobs, especially the men begin to see themselves as "out-of-date and soc:..Hy irrelevant" -in a society that increasingly emphasizes youth. It is a common practice these days to say that many young people are alienated because they feel that society has no place for them. But what about the vigorous elderly man or woman out of work and denied a job, not for lack of ability, but because of age? Yet studies sponsored by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare find: Indus', -ial injuries are lowest for workers over 65. Older workers. '--'-