St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on December 6, 1990 · Page 8
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 8

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Thursday, December 6, 1990
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Page 8
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6 V330 vote ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH NfflQN WORLD THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1990 11A GIs In Panama Seize Escapee To Thwart Coup PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) U.S. soldiers arrested a former senior Panamanian police official Wednesday after he escaped from prison and took over national police headquarters in what the president of Panama called a coup attempt About 50 armed supporters of former Col. Eduardo Herrera gave up after several shots were fired. One of his supporters was wounded. Herrera and the supporters were turned over to Panamanian authorities. The challenge was the first to the government of President Guillermo En-dara, who was installed after the United States invaded Panama last December and toppled Gen. Herrera Antonio Manuel Noriega. Endara had won elections that Noriega anulled. Herrera, a former associate of Noriega's, said he did not want to overthrow the government but to gain more respect and better pay and benefits for police. Endara said it was a coup attempt Herrera had been awaiting trial on conspiracy charges. Using a private helicopter, he escaped from the prison on the Pacific island of Nao on .Tuesday afternoon. He and his backers then took over police headquarters in Panama City early Wednesday after spending sev- 'The Days BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) President George Bush saluted Argentina's President Carlos S. Menem on Wednesday for quashing a military rebellion, saying the action showed that "the days of violence and dictatorship" were over In Argentina. Bush also praised Menem for sending two warships to the Persian Gulf to help enforce United Nations' sanctions against Iraq and for changes that Menem has instituted to stem Argentina's hyperinflation. At a joint news conference at the presidential palace, Bush repeated FT Crackdown's Delay Laid To Five Key Regulator Calls Keating's S&L 'Probably Worst In Nation' WASHINGTON (AP) The Keating Five senators pressured thrift regulators on behalf of "probably the worst institution in America" and caused enforcement delays that inflated the cost of the federal bailout the Senate Ethics Committee was told Wednesday. William K. Black's criticism was the strongest the committee has heard of the senators' intervention with thrift regulators. Black is a senior career regulator. He was the first witness in 12 days of bearings to blame the senators for delays in the government's seizure of Charles H. Keating Jr.'s Lincoln Savings and Loan of Irvine, Calif. Lawyers for the senators said bitterly that Black should not be permitted to blame the senators for the delay; the lawyers said Black had no direct knowledge that the senators were responsible. Black was permitted to give the testimony, however. He said political pressure by all the senators generally played a role in delaying the seizure to April 1989 from 1987. Covering the losses of Lincoln may now cost taxpayers more than 2 billion. The regulator specifically linked pressure from an aide to Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif., in May 1988 to delays in decisions by regulators. Black 'Kill Him Dead,' Keating Said Of Official WASHINGTON (AP) Charles H. Keating Jr. clearly didn't care much for a red-bearded federal thrift regulator named William K. Black. "Kill him dead," Keating once wrote in reference to Black, attorney for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Black proved to be a dramatic witness Wednesday in the 12th day of public hearings by the Senate Ethics Committee into the Keating Five senators. The senators face allegations that they wrongly intervened with regulators on behalf of their political patron, Keating. Defense attorneys objected, paced, stammered and complained throughout Black's testimony, which not only supported other regulators' allegations but raised new ones. "It is the most fundamental smear," declared William Taylor, attorney for Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif. "Innuendo," said James Hamilton, attorney for Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz. " Reckless and irresponsible." The lawyers tangled with the committee's special counsel, Robert S. Bennett who had called Black as a witness. Black said Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan had operated like a "Ponzi scheme," or financial pyramid Cajbbean Sea El Former official escapes prison by helicopter 10 miles ap eral hours in a vain attempt to get support from police units near the capital. Panamanian troops surrounded the building and were joined by U.S. soldiers at Panama's request, the U.S. Embassy said. The United States maintains about 12,000 soldiers in Panama to protect the Panama Canal until Panama takes it over at the end of the century. 100 miles ix. Canal Zona Z!-. Pacific Ocean PANAMA Panama City ff apjaf t Of Dictatorship' Are Over, Bush that there would be no concessions for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Bush said there should be no effort to help Saddam find a face-saving way to pull his troops out of Kuwait. "When naked aggression takes place, it's not a question of finding saving face for the aggressor," Bush said heatedly. "When a country is literally raped and pillaged, should the world go out and try to find a way to save face for he who has raped and pillaged that country?" Bush's remarks were echoed by Menem. "We wholeheartedly con said the delays "greatly increased losses" for taxpayers. At a meeting April 9, 1987, between the five senators and four regulators, including himself, Black testified that Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., "kept coming at us" on Lincoln's behalf even after the regulators said they were making criminal referrals to the Justice Department. Cranston's attorney, William Taylor III, called Black's testimony "the most fundamental smear." James Hamilton,, representing DeConcini, said Black was "reckless and irresponsible." The three other senators under investigation are John McCain, R-Ariz.; Donald W. Riegle Jr., D-Mich.; and John Glenn, D-Ohio. Keating and his associates contributed $1.3 million to the five senators' campaigns and causes; the committee is trying to determine whether the money influenced their conduct. Earlier, two former chief thrift regulators, Edwin J. Gray and M. Danny Wall, told the committee that the senators were not responsible for delaying the seizure of Keating's thrift The thrift was taken over April 14, 1989, two years after the San Francisco-based regulators who met with the senators in 1987 had recommended a William K. Black "Ponzi scheme" dependent on an ever-increasing churning of assets. Its parent Keating's American Continental Corp., was no more than a "shell" that siphoned dividends from Lincoln and distributed them through inflated salaries to Keating, his family i' ty ' ri'-h rA, ,. ffe.V f. . IT 1 .... ..X " ana 5 ' II i Mill' U.S. soldiers arresting supporters of former police official Eduardo Herrera on Wednesday in Panama City, Panama. Herrera met at the police headquarters with U.S. and Panamanian officials, but it was not known what they discussed. He walked out of the headquarters at midday, surrounded by armed supporters and journalists who were trying to ask him questions. In the confusion, Herrera slipped past a barricade manned by U.S. troops and into a car and made a brief demn what Iraq has done: to invade and occupy a territory which does not belong to it," Menem said. "The only way is for Iraq to withdraw without any preconditions." Midway through a tour of South America, Bush met with Menem at Casa Rosada, the president's palace. The palace is near the army headquarters, seized by rebels in a shortlived military uprising Monday. Bush congratulated Menem for ending the rebellion quickly. "The Argentine people proved again this week that they will not permit any group to government takeover. Black provided a vivid account of the meeting April 9, 1987, with the senators, saying he was extremely upset with their hostile tone toward the regulators. "This is an institution that probably was the worst institution in America, and instead of people trying to help bring it under control, five U.S. senators were pushing us in the opposite direction. It was startlingly the wrong direction," Black testified. "They had made a decision we were wrong, Lincoln was an abused institution and they were coming after us. " Black said. He said that after the Federal Home Loan Bank Board approved a hardline policy on May 5, 1988, an aide to Cranston, Carolyn Jordan, "called two senior officers at the bank board . . . and indicated severe displeasure." The board revised its policy, Black said, to "expressly permit Lincoln to make new direct investments they would not otherwise be allowed to make." Lincoln also was permitted to significantly expand its sale of junk bonds. "This led to greatly increased losses for the federal savings and loan insurance fund initially and the taxpayers eventually," Black said. members and associates. Black said. "We call it a scam," Black said simply. "I think most people do." Black said Lincoln was "probably the worst institution in America." And the five senators' pressure, he said, led to a delay in regulatory controls on Lincoln thus causing increased losses that taxpayers have to pay for, to the tune of $2 billion. "Instead of people trying to help bring it under control, five U.S. senators were pushing us in the opposite direction," he said. The ethics committee released copies of a memo Keating wrote to his chief Washington lobbyist, Jim Gro-gan, on July 15, 1987, making clear he wanted Black removed. In it, Keating refers to the then-Speaker of the House, Jim Wright of Texas, as an ally. The memo begins: "Highest Priority Get Black," with the last two words underlined. "Good Grief," Keating wrote. "If you can't get Wright and Congress to get Black kill him dead you ought to retire." None of the Keating Five senators was present for Black's testimony. Besides Cranston and DeConcini, they are Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrats John Glenn of Ohio and Donald W. Riegle Jr. of Michigan. .. v- ;Uy w J fr (K: I i a,- getaway. But U.S. troops captured him and his supporters at a building nearby. " Herrera was a member of Noriega's Panama Defense Forces. But he had been on the outs with Noriega, who forced Herrera to leave the country by appointing him ambassador to Israel before the U.S. invasion. Herrera returned to Panama after Noriega was jailed in Miami on drug return Argentina to the days of violence and dictatorship in a superb show of strength and commitment," Bush said. Bush got a red-carpet welcome in Argentina. A procession of presidential grenadiers on horseback led his motorcade to the Hall of Congress for an address to lawmakers. "Let those who would attack constitutional democracy understand: In Latin America, the day of the dictator is over," Bush declared to the congress. He also praised Menem for his free-market changes to halt Argentina's on tttoimilfr SAVE $156 ON WOOL AND CASHMERE, PURE WOOLVELOUR AND ENGLISH SAXONY TOPCOATS BcAlTirUll Y TAILORED IN SINGLE ANIDOl'BLE- breasted sty les. navy, Charcoal, Black, and Camel. This coat is S335 in the best stores; at Gentry, it's $179. entry TOWN & COUNTRY COMMONS: 932 0 G E S A GENTRY square: 9901 watson Hoaa, uestwood, MO 63126, Phone: (314) 965-2500 SPECIAL HOLIDAY HOURS: Mon - Sat; 1 0 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sun; 1 1 a.m. - 6 p.m. Gift Certificates A vailable All Major Credit Cards Accepted J a. I rr. II - f 7. j c -mr . r .m I "t. charges, and he became deputy police chief in January. He was fired in August and jailed in October on charges of conspiring against Endara's government. Herrera has been accused of ordering elements of the national police to detonate bombs and of trying to take over various police headquarters. Endara said his government had the support of the majority of the Tells Argentinians inflation, estimated at upward of 2,000 percent this year. "We know of the painful, short-term sacrifices you are being called upon to make, in what your own president has called 'surgery without anesthesia,' " Bush said. "For this tremendous undertaking to succeed, it will not take miracles it will take work." Asked by an Argentine journalist how the United States would reward Argentina for sending ships to the gulf, Bush replied: "I don't believe Argentina is sending frigates to the gulf to help the United States. . . . They believe, as we do, that we must stand up T X TV Town & Country Commons.Chesterfield, IS! . - " . , , ;, 5 X I $ , t , ' i NTR Y m f & I la 4 L. V JLA" AP country's 12,000-member police force; he accused Herrera of trying to carry out a coup. Herrera denied the allegation of a coup attempt at a news conference at police headquarters Wednesday morning. He was surrounded by about 100 people, some of whom said they were being held hostage. But Herrera said they were free to leave the building. against this brutal aggression." Menem agreed that Argentina was seeking nothing in return. "That would be undignified," he said. "We don't want any help or aid . . . and, in fact, were it offered, we would not accept it." On a separate matter, Bush said that 6I.bal trade talks under way in Belgium must tackle agriculture subsidies or the talks would fail. He added: "If that round fails, we will work bilaterally with the Argentines to see that their trade with us is not set back." MO 63017,Phone: (314) 256-8500

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