Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 31, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
8-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, October 31, 1973 Q. What does impeachment mean? NEW YORK Ought Richard Nixon to be im- peached? If so, for what? In order to answer those questions sensibly, impeachment has to be understood for what it is, not for what it sounds like. Impeachment would not mean the conviction of Nixon for anything. It would not constitute his removal from office. It would not be an action that necessarily would result in a guilty verdict, or in his removal from office Impeachment need not be an allegation, even, that Nixon has committed criminal offenses Impeachment is no more than a formal charge brought by a majority of the house of represen- tatives against a president or any "civil officer" of the United States, and upon which he or she must stand trial by the senate. Even if im- peached, the official in question is presumed in- nocent and the burden of proof lies upon the ac- cusers Conviction may be obtained only upon a two-thirds vote of senators voting upon the issue, and only after a fair trial governed by well- established rules of procedure. If a president is being tried, the tribunal must oe presided over by the chief justice of the United States, who would rule upon disputed points of procedure, subject to a majority vote of the senate on appeal. If the official being tried is found guilty, the only penalty that can be levied is his or her removal from office (although or- dinary legal prosecution can later be pursued if the facts The comparison often is drawn between im- peachment and the process by which private citizens are indicted by a grand jury. That is a reasonably close analogy to impeachment, but there is one sharp difference; the private citizen is supposed to be indicted only for specific violations of specific statues, while a president or other civil officer may be impeached for less specific "high crimes and misdemeanors." Thus, impeachment is a "method of national inquest into the conduct of public men" as Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist (No. 65) Impeachment provides a political remedy for political offenses, a redress for public wrongs by public men; and precedents go- ing far back into English law show that a "high" crime is an act against the state as opposed to an act against a private person. James IredelJ of North Carolina, an early supreme court justice, said in debate on ratification of the constitution that the occasion for impeachment would "arise from acts of great injury to the community." Hamilton put it (again in the Federalist (No. 65) Commentary by TOM WICKER New York Times Service that impeachable offenses "relate chiefly to in- jured done immediately to the society itself." The power to impeach, then, is not so sweeping as Rep. Gerald Ford would have it "an im- peachable offense is whatever a majority of the house of representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history." A president may not be impeached for having a mistress or being profane. But neither is impeachment so limited as to demand, as some argue today, evidence or allegations of a specific act by Nixon that, were he a private citizen, would be grounds for criminal indictment by a grand jury. All this being the historical case, there are ample grounds upon which to impeach Nixon. According to Jefferson's manual, in fact, the house could even proceed to do so without further investigation, since "common fame is a good ground for the house to proceed by inquiry, and even to accusation." The' common fame of Richard Nixon, after the last six months, is in- disputably that he may well have committed the high crime of "acts of great injury to the com- munity" as well as "injuries done immediately to the society itself." That is to say that the house clearly would be justified in charging Nix- on with such acts and injuries, whether or not he could ultimately be convicted in the senate. The specific counts might be many; but could logically include charges that in 1970 he approv- ed an internal security plan that authorized violations of the law; later established in the White House a secret police force; made unlaw- ful use of the FBI and the CIA; illegally wiretapped his own aides and four new- spapermen; and tried to bribe federal judge Matthew Byrne by offering him the directorship of the FBI on another level, charges might also be brought concerning the unauthorized bombing of Cambodia not just as a criminal act, but as the "high crime" of constitutional perversion. It follows that if these charges could be brought on the basis of Nixon's "common they should be, in order either to es- tablish his innocence or to remove him from of- fice. He has himself repeatedly asserted, through his attorneys, that the appropriate meed the only remedy for the abuse of presidential power is impeachment. And that remedy must be sought when the question arises in the words of George Mason of Virginia "shall any man be above justice? Above all, shall that many be above it, who can commit the most extensive A. An inquest into a leader's conduct UffiSf YOUR CHOICE KRESGE PRICE Set Each PLASTICWARE ASSORTMENT This large plasticware assortment includes: Laundry baskets, dish- drainers, 4 pee. mixing bowl sets, waste baskets or dishdrainer drainboard. 2 Pee. LUGGAGE SET A set of 'Escapade' luggage makes you ready to travel.Set in- cludes 21" Weekender, and a 25" or Avo- cado. 24 Pee. STAINLESS CUTLERY SET Elegant describes the clean lines of the 'Stella Pat- tern'. Set encludes 6 each knives, forks, dessert spoons teaspoons. OvrHMpriMit.M BLUE OVAL ROASTER Don't let another holiday pass with- out an oval roaster with built-in gra- vy well. Cooks: 9 Ib. fowl or 12 Ib. roast. Our Hit 3.2S Etch 7 Pee. KITCHEN TOOL SET RACK All the basic kitchen utensils you'll need. Set in- cludes: Basting spoon, Slotted spoon, Small turn- er, Pancake turner, Ladle, Fork and Rack. KRfSOE SPECIAL KHESOE PRICE 8tl Etth Food shortage The Philippine rice shortage is due to last year's floods and drought. The pro- blem can hopefully be helped by a forejgn-exchange surplus. Philippines uneasy beneath martial law MANILA. The Philippines The flash of newspaper headlines offers one kind of glimpse into the dramatic changes in the Philippines over the past year. In the influential, indepen- dent Manila Times before it was shut down and put out of business by martial law in September, 1972 its leafl item was a graphic photo of a slain car driver. Other front- page items: "Car "Bomb scare forces classes "Robber holds girls hostage, gets "Holdup men kill driver, take pesos." This was before President Marcos made his much dis- puted decision to take matters into his own hands and rule by what he calls constitutional authoritarianism. Today the headlines read differently. Earlier this month, the controlled, pro- Marcos Times Journal (no relation to its predecessor ex- cept in featured a photo of a peaceful citizen assembly taking a census to ensure fair distribution of rice during the current shortage. Other front-page headlines: "Christians, Muslims are working "U.S. foreign aid to and "President forms agency on iron, steel supply." These are the headlines of what Marcos officials call the "new society." But do the new headlines portray the whole picture? Has martial law accomplish- ed what the government claims, and have the people been content to lose their democratic freedoms? ASSESSMENT On the one hand there are the positive assessments of of- ficials like veteran Foreign Secretary Carlos P. Romulo, who sees the current authoritarian measures as simply an interim step. "Democracy is far from dead in the he says. "We must view the 'new society' as a transitory stage, a period of preparation during which try to fashion new social and political in- stitutions which will give more concrete meaning to the abstract concept of democracy. "Our prestige has zoomed. Countries now offer us credit. Our foreign-exchange reserves are the highest ever. There are no more 'please deposit firearms' signs in Manila, no more warlords and private Mr. Romulo says. Yet not all voices here agree with the Romulo opinion. "Yes, things are better on the a foreign resi- dent conceded. "Many businesses are thriving. Foreign investment is coming in. Peace and order are better. "But down underneath, peo- ple don't like this continued The Phi ippines revisited By HENRY S. HAYWARD Christian Science Monitor Authoritarian rule grips most oi the Philippines. Yet, after nearly a year of martial law, there is little visible sign of public dissent. In a series of five articles, the "new society" proclaim- ed by President Marcos and its prospects for the future are assessed. This first article deals with the effects of martial law. martial law. Filipinos are democratic-minded. They don't dare say so openly, for Marcos has everything under tight control On separate weeks during the past month, both Newsweek and Time magazines disappeared from the newsstands when they earned articles on the Philip- pines that apparently included references either unfavorable or displeasing to Malacanan Palace, The Philippines White House. By way of contrast, any favorable comment is likely to be picked up and reprinted widely in the controlled Mar- cos press. When former Philippine Ambassador to the United States Amehto R Mutoc said in Honolulu that the results of martial law over the past 11 months cannot be ignored and have been "a spectacular this story ran on the front page of a Manila paper not once but on two different days. Critical voices nonetheless continue, albeit usually muffl- ed or secondhand. "All the young people I talk to hate Marcos and martial asserted a visiting stu- dent who was off to the hinterlands to see for himself. He was referring to conver- sations with students and young liberals he had en- countered. It should also be noted, however, that two earnest young Filipinos from one out- lying province said they were all for Mr. Marcos and mar- tial law. "He has restored peace and one said. "The constabulary and soldiers who used to rape women and rob our people now are severely punished. There is great improvement." Behind this mixed verdict on the past year of one-man rule are a handful of firm facts: Mr. Marcos has ex- perienced two extraordinary windfalls and two major set- backs equally unexpected. The first windfall is that Communist insurgents in the north, cited as one major reason for imposing martial law Sept. 23, 1972, have vir- tually disappeared from the scene They have not chosen or perhaps not been able to mount an offensive that would take advantage of the intense preoccupation of the Philippine armed forces with the Muslim insurrection in the south If both hostile forces ha4 erupted in strength simultaneously, informants here believe the government's position would have been ex- tremely difficult. RESERVES The second windfall is finan- cial. Foreign-exchange reserves, which were in the red by million a year ago, now are million in the black an impressive tur- naround of three-quarters of a biihuii uuildii, which Siiuuiu encourage more investors to return to the Philippines. Of the two major setbacks, the first to erupt was the con- tinuing strife between Muslims on Mindanao on one side and Christians and the Philippine armed forces on the other. It rivals the magnitude of the pro-Peking New People's Army activities in premartial-law days. To the concern of Mr. Mar- cos and his military men, moreover, the Muslim problem involves support not only from Muslims in Asian nations such as Malaysia and Indonesia, but from Mideast Muslims, too. The second setback is the rice crisis. In common with other Asian nations, the Philippines is experiencing a sharp shortage of rice stemm- ing from last year's successive floods and drought. True, the nation's new foreign-exchange reserves provide a comfortable backlog of funds to meet the estimated shortfall. But the immediate impact of the shor- tage is all too apparent to the man in the street. HOARDING "It's almost impossible to find rice in this city today at any a Western diplomat declared earlier this month. "Hoarding by big dealers and individuals ob- viously is going on." NEXT: The insurgent wars.