New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 21, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
4 New Braunfels, Herald Zeitung Tuesday, February 21, 1984OpinionsHwrald-ZeitungDave Kraaacr, General Manager Hobart Johnson, EditorAndy RooneyIt's hard to tell when to butt in
I was walking along 18th Street about 8:00 last Thursday night when I saw a man and a woman ahead of me having a violent argument.
Suddenly the woman slapped the man in the face. He grabbed her and they started wrestling and punching. I was getting closer.
I don’t know how you judge those things, but I judged they were husband and wife and that they’d had the same argument before. It was a terrible moment of decision for me. Do I interfere? Do I ask her if she wants help’’ What kind of help do I give her?
I crossed the street and walked on. I looked back and saw her break and run in the opposite direction. I was
I wasn’t comfortabe, though. Did I do the right thing, I wondered. If the woman had wanted help, I guess she’d have yelled. But would she? And ... where did she run to? Did he catch her’’ Waht did he do then? The following day I leafed throught the papaer, nervously expecting to find a small notice of a murder on 18th St. Did he have a gun? A knife? Was I oliged to intervene no matter what the consequences in physical damage to me might have been?
It struck me, reading the paper Wednesday, after President Reagan announced he was pulling out the Marines, that I have the same uneasy feeling about lebanon. Have we
crossed the street and walked past, failing to give help to someone who needs it? I hope, like the street scene, that it was none of my business. None of America’s business. But I’m not easy about it.
On the day after President Reagan's announcement, I went to the lebanese consulate to get a visa for a trip I’d planned to Beirut next week.
The consulate is in an important-looking stone townhouse on an expensive street in New York. The windows were dirty and curtainless and even from the street it has a seen-better-days look.
Inside, a pregnant woman sat at a small desk with a telephone switchboard. The floor was bare wood, worn and water-stained.
I was impressed with the informality of the place. I had half expected to be frisked for weapons or explosives but when I asked for the visa offcie, the woman politely indicated I should just walk through the double doors in front of me.
It must have been a grand drawing room at one time but it looked dreary and sad now. It had five battered old desks in it and a nondescript collection of chairs. Over what had been a working fireplace was a framed picture of President Amin Gemayel. It hung alone on a stained and dirty yellow wall. Gemayel looked like a young foreign student at Cornell. Under the picture was that tired cliche of a slogan tha began with “I (heart! New York." Bread “I (heart)
The man at the desk on the right as I came in had papers spread out over his desk and several passports. Having dealt with passport people before, I acted a lot sweeter to him than I would have with the average lebanese stranger.
He took my papers, looked them over with that skeptical air passport people have and .started writing and stamping.
“You want a multiple, don’t you?” he said.
He sounded as though he expected me to say yes, and although I had no idea what a multiple meant I said, “Oh yes. Please.”
It turned out a multiple meant that I
can return to Beirut as often as I want to in the next six months. That’s as lucky as a person can get, isn’t it? I was sure glad I’d said yes.
While the man worked on my visa, I struck up a conversation with a woman working on an IBM typewriter with Arabic script on it. She thought she recognized me from “20-20.”
“The bad news must be depressing for you,” I said.
“It’s been bad for nine years,” the woman said. "You get used to it."
I left the liCbansese consulate with my visa, and found myself idly thinking what a terrible coincidence it would be if she was the same woman I’d seen running from the man on 18th Street.
Washington's honor tested by love for friend's wife
WASHINGTON <>n the eve of the British assault on the French outpost at Ft Duquesne, where Pittsburgh is now located, a 28-year-old colonial officer penned a letter to the women he loved Outside his tent, a cold rain pelted Uh* camp.
George Washington began the love letter in the stilted style of his da> “’Tis true.” he wrote. “I profess myself a votary of love. I acknow ledge that a lady U* in the t. as And luther I confess that this lady is know n to y ou I feel the force of her amiable beauties in the recollection of a thousand tender passages
Young Washington addresses the letter not to Ins fiancee, Marilla Guslis, but to his neighbor's wife, Sally Fairfax He concluded the letter with a discreet appeal:
“You have drawn me, my dear Madam, or rather I have drawn myself, into an honest confession of a simple fact. Misconstrue not my meaning 'Tis obvious Doubt it not, nor expose it. The world has no business to know the object of my love, declared in this manner to you. when I want to conceal it."
Four months later, George Washington married Martha t’ustis By al) accounts, it blossomed into a happy marriage Yet deep rn his heart, the passion for Sally never died She kept their secret — but also his letters, which were withheld from history for two ventures.
I BS television will soon reveal the real George Washington — and the secret he felt the world has no business to know ” An eight-hour miniseries will dramatize Washmgun's personal relationships, including his consuming, hidden love for Sally Fairfax, his best friend s wife," the network promises Sally was the young wife of his closest friend, George William Fairfax, who lived at Belvoir, an estate three miles down the Potomac from Mount Vernon She was a woman of uncouunon beauty and astrictrain- grace.
Washington was ruggedly handsome, an accomplished horseman and forceful soldier He was as ill at ease around w omen as Sally was poised in the company of men.
The met in 1754 when Washington was 22 The young squire of Mount Vernon had recently gone soldiering with tile Virginia militia in the wilds of Pennsylvania and Ohio He retured to Virginia a hero. In one battle he had two horses shot under turn and his clothes ripped by four bullets He was vulnerable, however, to the coquettish Sally Fairfax When she would make sly remarks about his military daring, he was flattered.
Apparently, George and Sally never consummated their love. The reason is that Washington was bound by a strict sense of honor. The man who later would lead his countrymen in pledging 'our lives, our tortures and our sacred honor,” would not lightly betray his best friend for a doomed dalliance with his wife
The purpose of his letter to Sally from the battlefront on that dreary day Sept. 12, 1758 — was not alone to declare his love but to acknowledge its futility. For he added to the tender lines this forlorn comment.*
"But experience, alas, sadly reminds me how impossible this Hovel is, and evinces an opinion which I have long entertained, that there is a destiny which has the sovereign control of our actions, not to be resisted by the strongest efforts of human nature."
On Jan. 6, 1759, George married Martha Fusils. There is reason to believe that Martha and George Fairfax were aware of the romantic feelings between their spouses. Yet Uiey trusted in Washington's honor, and tile two families remained close until the loyalist Fairfaxes moved back to Fngland. The1 mansion at Belvoir burned down and the estate lay empty for years after the Revolution
Historians believe that Washington, though he married Marilla without any great passion for her, developed a deep love for her Yet his memory of Sally Fairfax never faded, As his second presidential term was drawing to a close, hi* w rote again to her:
"Many important events have occurred and such changes in men and things iiave taken place as the compass of a letter would give you but ail inadequate idea of. None of which events, however, not all of them together, have been able to eradicate from my mind the recollection of those happy moments, the happiest in my life, which I have enjoy ed in your company ....
“It is a matter of sore regret, when I cast my eyes toward Belvoir, which I often do, to reflect that the former inhabitants of it, with whom we lived in such harmony and friendship, no longer reside there; and that the ruins can only be viewed as the memento of former pleasures."
The aging statesman concluded by suggesting that Sally Fairfax return to America, rebuilt the mansion at Belvoir and spend the evening or your life” down the road from Mount Vernon She never did; Washington died three years later.
Washington's censorship makes government workers gagHeadlines and footnotes
Defense contractors have been ordered to report “information that relects adversely on the integrity or general character” of employees with access to classified information, including "criminal activities, bizarre or notoriously disgraceful conduct, treatment for mental or emotional disorders ... and excessive indebtedness..."
- The donor who pledged $500,000 to the American Secunty Council if matching funds were raised has been identified by council president John M Fisher He is Gus A. Ruder Jr., a St. louis attorney. The matching funds were raised.
The Reagan administration has been hurt by relatively few stupid actions over the past three years. I uke every administration, it lias suffered from occasioanl gaffes, boners, embarrassments and acts of individual nusconduct, but until the White House last year pronounced National Security Decision Directive 84, we had seen little that was really stupid This thing is down right dumb.
The purpose of Directive 84 is to prevent the disclosure of highly sensitive information in ways that would harm our national secruity interests. No person with even a touch of patriotism could oppose that purpose
But ends are one thing, and means are another. Directive 84 would directly and immediately affect more than 100,000 civil servants. It would compel them to sign and agreement, binding for the rest of their lives, in which they pledge to submit for prepublication censorship anything they may write that deals with their experience in government or makes use of information they handled in the course of their work. Failure to sign the required oath will result rn
James Baker, White House chief of staff, attempted a feeble defense of Directive 84 recently on “Meet the Press.” He said it really applied only to top-level people in Defense, the National Security Council, the CIA and related agencies. It was “only an expansion” of rules that CIA has enforced for many years on its own emplopyees But Baker conceded that the directive which has been temporarily suspended until April 15, is the subject of "rethinking.”
A whole lot of rethinking needs to be thought. As a condition of original employment the requirement probably is defensive. This was the position the Supreme Court took in the matter of Frank Snepp, a one time agent of the CIA who wrote a book about his experiences in Vietmnam. No one had compelled Snepp to sign on with the CIA . He voluntarily pledged his word to abide by the requirement of prepublication review. He broke his word, thus breaching his contact, and he got what was coming to him by being forced to disgorge his earnings from the book.
But to improve this requirement retroai*tively upon thousands of civil servants with only occasional access to sensitive information is absurd. How in the unholy name of J. Edgar Hoover would this draconian censorship ever be enforced? The directive speaks at one point of unlawful “disclosures" and at another point of “prepublication review." Obviously, unlawful disclosures may be either oral or written. Taken on its face, the directive would prohibit a Jim Baker from answering questions on "Meet the Press” until the questions and his proposed answers had first been submitted for review to — to whom’’ To Jim Baker?
Had this foolish directive been in effect during the Carter ad-minsitration, former Vice President Mondale would now be tongue-tied. No bad thing, perhaps But Mondale of course had access to top-secret documents. Under this directive he could not make a speech about national defense without first sub-nutting his speech to Cap Weinberger for approval. George Shultz would have to bet the further memoirs of
Henry Kissinger. Jody Powell
Carter’s press secretary, could not bi writing a syndicated column Thi whole thing is looney.
In proclaiming Directive 84
President Reagan acted in un
characteristic pique. At the time hi was “up to my keister” in leaks; hi was sore at the press, as ever; president is sore at the press Hi wanted the leaks sloped But surely i was unnecessary to propound thi: bristling directive with its heavy breathing threats of "appropre adverse consequences” for those wh< failed to take lie-detector tests If there were cornicing evidence o widespread abuse, perhaps thesi
measures could be resentfully tolerated, but no such evidence ha: been forthcouung. Sen. Charles Met’ Mathias of Maryland held hearing: last September. He asked foi examples of damaging disclosure: from the Departments of State Justice and Defense. Over the pas five years, State and Justice couldn' think of any, and Defense could recal only one confirmed invident Enough said. Let us drop Directly: 84 down Geroge Orwell’s mentor hole, and forget it ever was proposed
San Lloyd Samson United States Senate Room 240 Russell Building Washington, D C 20810
Ben. John Tower United States Banate Room 142 Rusted Budding Washington, D C 20810
Rep. Tom Loather Rep fdmund Kuempei U S House of Representatives Texes House of Representatives 1212 Long worth House Office Building PO Box 2810 Washington, D C 20818 Austin, Texas 78788
San John Trooper
Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711