The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 6, 1997 · Page 21
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December 6, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 21

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 6, 1997
Page:
Page 21
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Page 21 article text (OCR)

C THE PALM BEACH POST SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1997 21A EL PAIACIO FURNITURE GALLERY 1 ii '" . ;L J WALL UNITS UlNINIi SETS BtuRDuM fa Si rf r 1 aRMninFS i nrs fhrmitiirf Steverino! Steve Allen is putting on his latest show right here in town. Hap Erstein talks with the comedian-author-performer-Renaissanceman. Ambassador's record not on par with other envoys in Arlington BREAKFAST SETS ACCESSORIES OPEN: MON.-SAT. 10-6, SUN. 1-5 im jj A Short Drive to Save a Lot of Time! pTKir ! i i" sTmT 7.77 V J he ftiim Beach ft 4624 1. PowiriiM Ru4, Piapaw vt tut mm Umt MM m rmium (954)974-9067 kJ4 MRA Wis. run IS FsifiLrJ7 (urSDcBfiLTU (sHW LnJ PJtonths Wo Payments No Interest for 6 Palm Beach Post Wirt Reports WASHINGTON - The dip-matic record of M. Larry Lawrence, cited by the Clinton "administration to help justify his Upecial burial at Arlington Na-.Jtional Cemetery, involves neither Hhe long service nor violent death r.pf five other ambassadors who lot waivers for burial there, cemetery documents show. This discrepancy between '.Lawrence's case and that of the ."ither ambassadors may deepen rdoubts about the Democratic do-; nor's controversial interment. ; President Clinton Friday held ; blameless administration offi-; cials who believed Lawrence had served in the Merchant Marine in World War II, as Lawrence had ', long claimed, and thus qualified ! for burial in Arlington National ; Cemetery. ; "Were the people involved in ; the decision in any way at fault?" ; said Clinton. "I don't think they j were. They acted on the facts as they knew them." '. Clinton, at an event on Medi-J care reform, called the questions l about Lawrence's military ser-yice "serious" and said he has ;asked the State Department to investigate. The records show three of the other ambassadors were killed by "terrorists, while the remaining J two were career diplomats who served in a series of locations ;over many years. Lawrence, a real estate developer, one-time owner of the famed Hotel del Coronado inear San Diego and a major con-;'tributor to President Clinton, had "served for less than two years as ambassador to Switzerland when ; he died of cancer in January 1996. ; And he had no earlier diplomatic service. The records come to light 'amid fresh controversy about ..'whether Lawrence served the : heroic World War II merchant- marine service that administration officials have said was the key to his special treatment U.S. officials said this week they could find no evidence in maritime records that Lawrence had been a merchant-marine seaman in World War II or was wounded when his ship was torpedoed, as Lawrence had claimed and the government contended in 1996 when it asked special permission to bury him in the military's most revered ground. The disclosure has sent officials digging for further information since the papers found so far are not conclusive and injected new life into a political battle between the administration and its critics over whether rules were bent to gain burial in Arlington for Clinton allies. The list of burial waivers granted ambassadors covers the years since the 1960s, when the cemetery was forced to impose new entrance requirements because of rising demand for space in its 200 acres. The three ambassadors who died violent deaths were Cleo A. Noel Jr., killed in March, 1973, when Palestinian terrorists struck an embassy in Sudan; Ad-olph A. Dubs, killed in 1973 when Afghan police stormed a hotel room where he was being held by terrorist gunman; and Arnold L Raphel, who died in 1988 when a plane carrying Pakistani President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq crashed. Sabotage by Zia's enemies was widely believed responsible for the crash. Receiving waivers as longtime diplomats with military service were William R. Rivkin and Philip K. Crowe. Rivkin, who died in 1967, served as ambassador to Senegal, Gambia and Luxembourg. Crowe, who died in 1967, was ambassador to Denmark, Ceylon, South Africa and Norway. 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