The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 29, 1974 · Page 15
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 15

Publication:
Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, March 29, 1974
Page:
Page 15
Start Free Trial
Cancel

Lie detectors aren't all that By DANIEL RAPOPORT Washington Post Service Rarely a week goes by without news or another notable having taken a lie de- tector test, having offered to take a test or having been challenged to take one. The plains of Watergate are strewn with polygraph reports. For example: The original' prosecu tors resolved a conflict of testimony be-' tween Jeb Magruder and John Mitchell by testing Magruder; California Lt. Gov, Ed Reinecke told the special prosecutor he'd be willing to undergo a polygraph examination to verify his latest version of administration dealings with "ITT; Charles Colson rushed to New York and rama Kaslr ..' U t i .... 1 L ." l I-:.- mu iscu.il Willi ICSl 1CSUUS YVIUCU HIS lawyer claimed cleared him of any wrongdoing; Egil Krogh disclosed that in the summer of 1971 an angry President Nixon ordered him to conduct extensive lie detector tests of government officials as part of the relentless "plumbers" drive to plug up news leaks of sensitive information. Surprisingly, few of the non-professionals attracted to lie detection seem aware that they can get burned and burned badly by the polygraph. That is equally true for the guilty who figure they can beat it, the innocent who expect to be vindicated by it and the prosecutors who see it as a means of reaching the truth. The classic example of a lie detector's jpfiilairelplxia inquirer BACKGROUND AND OPINION . Friday, March 29, 1974 15-A Dodges Nixon plays the role of defendant By GARRY WILLS Ron Ziegler's remarks at a recent press conference bore all the marks of careful briefing from the Presidential lawyer, James D. St. Clair. The press secretary said it makes no sense to furnish evidence until the nature of the charge is spelled out what, in general, is an impeachable offense, and what specific offenses are alleged? That has the sound of a criminal lawyer advising his client. Don't say anything; make the prosecutors do all the charging and proving. "The government" must prove a crime under the law; the defendant's only task is to defend. But Mr. Nixon is also the government or a part of it. Mr. St. Clair remembers that, when it suits his purpose as when he claimed the President did not have to report evidence of a crime to law enforcement officials, since he is one (one who did precious little enforcing among those in his circle). But even as he claims he is defending "the Presidency" itself, St. Clair treats his client like any other criminal defendant when it comes to surrendering evidence or "protecting his rights." There is a marvelous irony in this though few of us can enjoy it much at the moment. Mr. Nixon campaigned in 1968, 1970, and 1972 on the charge that courts have weakened "the peace forces" by leniency toward those charged with crime. Yet here he is, now, using all the dodges he has in the past denounced. But even that does not state the case fairly. Mr. Nixon is claiming a defendant's rights in a process where they were always inapplicable. The President is expected to exercise accountability to the people and the Congress the Constitution orders him to report to Congress regularly on "the state of the nation" (k.e., on his executive stewardship over the laws it has passed). This accountability is always expected, even in ordinary circumstances. But an impeachment proceeding goes far beyond the normal. It gives Congress the duty to investigate whether there has been executive dereliction. The Constitution, in giving the end, must give the means. Now the President accuses the House Judiciary Committee of going on a "a fishing expedition" the courtroom slang for evading rules of admissible evidence. Well, yes, Congress is fishing and is supposed to. What they are looking for is continuing evidence for fitness to hold office, not for proof that a crime has been committed. The Senate can remove a man from office, but not punish him for a crime that is why the Fifth Amendment's protection against double jeopardy at the law does not apply to a President removed from office. He can still be indicted and tried and that is the time for him to act like any ordinary defendant using all available protections of the law, even though he has denounced them in the past. The President must meet higher standards of accountability, not (as this President seems to think) even lower standards than the ordinary citizen not to mention the ordinary thief standing trial for his crime. He is sworn to uphold the Constitution, part of which is the impeachment process. His task is not the defendant's simple one, of defending, but also the government's one, of revealing all facts for Congress to consider and to make its judgment on. boomerang potential lies in the experience of Philadelphia's Mayor Frank ,Rizzo. Last year Rizzo allowed himself to be hooked up to a polygraph after Democratic Committee Chairman Peter Cam-iel accused him of influence peddling. Rizzo found (presumably to his surprise) that the polygraph nailed him not only as . a liar but as a practitioner of the seamy sort of politics which he supposedly was elected to clean up. ' Psrhaps because he was once his city's police commissioner and felt obligated to stand behind an instrument used by his men, Rizzo accepted the challenge of a newspaper that the two belligerents undergo lie detector tests to determine which was telling the truth. That was too bad for Rizzo, because the percentages were against him from the start. Ironically, Rizzo was practically within walking distance of one human being who could have objectively quoted him the odds. For Dr. Martin Orne, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, has performed the best and virtually the only independent research on the validity of the polygraph. Orne estimates that under optimum conditions a top flight operator working with a carefully calibrated machine polygraphs can attain an accuracy rate of about 80 percent. In other words, in testing 100 people, the examiner can correctly determine whether 80 of them are telling the truth or, as the professionals Same old morality Watergate hasn't BY SAUL FRIEDMAN Inquirer Washington Bureau WASHINGTON It won't be long now before politicians and their scribes tell us of the blessings we are about to receive from what may be called The New Watergate Morality. It is as if politicians have been surprised to discover that people are cynical of politicians; that voters expect, of all things, honesty in government. Some political declarations these days remind one of that scene in "Casablanca" when the inspector is looking for an excuse to close down Nick's place. As he pockets his roulette winnings he exclaims: "I'm shocked, shocked to learn that gambling is permitted here." And so, like the hucksters who can turn a national crisis, even a revolutionary movement, into a multimillion dollar blue jean industry, our political faddists shall now attempt to gather votes from the holier-than-thou syndrome. In a few elections so far this year candidates have challenged each other to disclose their financial records, as if anyone will voluntarily make damaging information public. Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew released their financial statements when they were running mates; a fat lot of good that did. Members of Congress have published An upward curve Mr. Moak is bullish on the city's future By GEORGE WILSON Of the Editorial Board You can always tell when Lennox Moak is preparing to philosophize. He starts by telling a story. The city finance director was well into his second hour of deciphering the proposed six-year capital budget at a briefing for representatives of the news media when someone asked him the inevitable question about the coincidence of accelerating neighborhood improvement projects so they will be completed in 1975, a mayoral election year. Mr. Moak was ready. He had saved his fireplace story for this moment. Early in life, he recalled, he learned an important thing about a fireplace: Stand close enough to keep warm, but far enough away to keep from getting burned. That, said Mr. Moak, is his policy on politics. And he respectfully declined to discuss whatever political motivations may be inherent in capital spending proposals. Having dodged that question, he launched into a discourse that might have seemed to be a digression but actu-' ally was more illuminating than all those figures in the budget. It was Len Moak the philosopher speaking. Anyone who has served as financial director under Mayors Joe Clark and Frank Rizzo and has carefully scrutinized the budgets of other mayors Lennox Moak budget as an investment lo7 "The classic example of a lie detector boomerang potential lies in the experience of Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo." like to put it, are attempting deception. In 5 percent of the cases, according to Orne, the operator would be wrong. The remaining IS percent would furnish results that for one reason or another would be inconclusive. What Orne's research tells us and would have told Rizzo had he inquired is that lie detection can work well enough to foil just about anyone who tries to beat the polygraph but is not sufficiently reliable for an innocent person to stake his welfare on. The accuracy of a given test varies with the competence and integrity of the operator. A sloppy or unscrupulous examiner can wreak terrible damage on an individual who is incorrectly judged to be lying. (For the record, the operator who tested Rizzo, Warren Holmes of Miami, does enjoy an outstanding reputation.) ' Because of this possibility, a number of states have enacted laws prohibiting employers from requiring polygraph tests as a condition of employment. That's the civil liberties side of the coin. Sometimes, however, a careless or dishonest test protects an individual who does not deserve it from the reach of the law. their income tax returns, while doing very little to close the loopholes they helped pass and have become accustomed to using. Candidates for this fall's elections have announced sharply reduced limits on the size of cash and other contributions they will accept. But most of those who have done so come from safe districts. And the new campaign financing bills under consideration, while making a show of reform, are designed to strengthen incumbents who could be in trouble. Because Richard Nixon has made life miserable for all of them, members of Congress, on floor and stump, call for "Congressional leadership." But leaders of both parties, after years of providing Presidents the power to step on Congress, have little idea where they should be leading on problems grown worse because of Watergate. Instead they talk of giving the President even more power in energy, trade and economic legislation. True, Presidential power and legislative inertia are so deeply embedded in the system that they cannot be uprooted overnight. And the New Watergate Morality is bringing to Congress new faces and a bit more backbone. But if the morality issue is another as an able administrator of the Pennsylvania Economy League has earned the right to turn philosophical once in a while. And his views deserve attention. He portrayed a capital budget as an investment in the future of the city and its people. He humanized those columns of figures. He brought them to life. He talked not of expenditures and debt and transient political considerations but of the urban environment and what has to be done to improve its quality and its capacity to lift the spirit. And he counseled against selling Philadelphia short. He views this city as a blue-chip investment that will yield high dividends for every dollar put prudently into long-term development. Looking backward as well as forward, he spoke of the post-World War n migration of blacks to Philadelphia and other northern cities from the South, where they had been denied adequate educational opportunities. From that migration he envisions second and third generations of descendants comprising a middle class of exceptional upward economic mobility. He foresees dramatic increases in the Philadelphia tax base and in the buying power of Philadelphians in the years ahead. He predicted that, nationally, blacks will close the income gap in relation to whites and that the affirmative effects in cities such as Philadelphia with large black populations will be greater than many realize. To illustrate, Mr. Moak gave a hypothetical example. If in a given period of time average annual income were to increase from $6,000 to $12,000 for black families and from $10,000 to $15,000 for white families, the black vs. white ratio of increase would be only $6,000 to $5,000 not a tremendous difference. But the significance would be in the percentages. Black income would have risen 100 percent while white income increased 50 percent. Implications of the Moak thesis are worth pondering. He feels that Philadelphia's capacity for economic growth at a faster rate than suburban communities is generally not appreciated and needs to be better understood not only by municipal planners but by businessmen making plant site and expansion decisions. Lennox Moak, in sum, sees the future of Philadelphia as an upward curve. But the years immediately ahead could be crucial. If this city is going to move forward at a pace equal to rising potential, it must invest in the future. accurate But the tainting of an examination can be accomplished more subtly and without any complicity on the part of the operator. Dr. Orne says his research has shown that the chances of beating the polygraph increase when the subject does not have to "fear the consequences" of lying. If he walks into the examining room knowing that should he flunk the test the results will simply be tossed out, he just might be relaxed enough to breathe calmly, perspire regularly and register normal cardiovascular responses. If he can do that he has outwitted the machine and its operator. One final note of irony: While the Justice Department has been relying on the lie detector as an investigative tool (the government boasts some superb and impeccably honest examiners), its trial attorneys have been fighting off a growing number of attempts by defense lawyers to crack the 50-year-old ban against admitting lie detector results into evidence in Federal trials. '' Defense counsels want juries to learn of test results that purportedly clear their clients. Among the arguments the Justice Department employs to oppose changed politics election year fad, like the environment, how long will it last? How deep will it go? There is one indication that it is not very deep. The politicians, in spite of the New Watergate Morality, continue to talk like politicians, even when they don't have to. They continue to dance that political minuet, bowing to untruth or half-truth, then smiling at how graceful they are. Guest editorial Is it kids' lib next? From the Chicago Tribune Now it's children's lib. Forbes Magazine, which seeks to discover trends, publishes an interview with a psychologist who has written a book, "Birthright" about the subject. Forbes sounds a bit dubious about the whole thing, but recalls that the psychologist, Dr. Richard Farson, new president of California's Esalen Institute, predicted correctly in 1969 that women's lib would be big. So his credentials are acceptable. At first blush, it is hard to take the idea seriously. One has a feeling that if children become any more liberated, not a house on the block will be left standing. But then one recalls the photos of battered babies and of crying children being torn by court order from homes they love to be delivered to ones they dread, and the subject suddenly seems more important. It is chillingly obvious that children Spring on the double with a jacket on the loose! Jacquard knit of Fortrel0 Versatile, seasonless costume that waits for no special occasion. Short sleeved dress can go solo, loop-buttoned jacket reflects fashion's new big top look. Tailored of dunk-dry Celanese Fortrel polyester by Right Track in beige or blue. Sizes 12 to 20. $34 Phone WA 2-4500. Pickwick Dresses (498) Third. Philadelphia and all stores. Fortrvf is a regmtemt trademark efVibvrlndustrienlnr, if" s. Mayor Rizzo and the test . . . conducted by Warren Holmes such moves is the contention that lie detection which it continues to employ has yet to be proven scientifically valid. (Mr. Rapoport, a free-lance writer, is a long-time student of lie detection.) Why can't politicians speak with un-forked tongue? It's mostly a matter of habit, and the failure to understand that voters are turned off by the twinkle-toes politicians who dance away from the issues. But then again, who knows? Maybe the politicians are right in supposing that the voters want some illusions to survive, and that the politician, therefore, cannot be too honest. need more rights or at least more compassionate and sensible enforcement of the rights they have. So we're with Dr. Farson in principle, but we can't follow him every step of the way. Particularly when he says: "The bottom line to children's liberation is that the child must have the right to self-determination from Day One." Day One? Oh, come now. Dr. Farson seems to have gone overboard also in talking of abolishing compulsory education and letting children form binding contracts and have credit ratings. He would be wiser to confine his mission to serving as a colorful catalyst, calling attention to the fact that children need more protection than they now have from society and, sometimes, from parents. To do this is to help humanity. But let's not insist, doctor, that day-old babies have credit cards. Let's face it some of them are simply not ready. V - ,V "P rA$-VV U. S. relations with Greece threatened By ROWLAND EVANS And ROBERT NOVAK WASHINGTON Confidential correspondence between a powerful figure in the Greek military dictatorship and Pres ident Maummar Qaddafi the fanatical anti-Western dictator of Libya, has raised grave alarm here over rapidly deteriorating relations between Greece and its traditional Western allies, especially the United States. The secret correspondence is between Qaddafi and Col. Manousogiannakis, "a strongman in one wing of Greece's new military dictatorship which took power last November in a xenophobic coup A'ptat 'Rut thA liaisnn hponn even hpfnre thru nvprthrnur nf fnrmpr firtntnr Hprtruf Papadopoulos. Tt Hramnri7pc thia foav Thp npur miH- tary clique now in power in Athens is -searching for radical transformation of Greece's postwar alliance with the West . in a form that could have dangerous im plications for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and particularly for the West s defense of tne Eastern Mediterranean Sea. IMC plainly ailll-mu&i iv.au uiaiavivi ui . the new regime, moreover, is becoming clear in other ways. Spyridon Tetenes, the Greek foreign minister and a bureaucratic puppet, stunned Westerners this week when he blamed the failure of the , carrier home-porting deal on President proceedings. Indeed, signs of the major transforma--" tion now going on between Athens and Washington are unavoidable. Here for consultations, U.S. Ambassador Henry. Tasca is mincing no words in private . talks with high officials of the State Der partment. Tasca is privately warning in unambi-' a . i i . i . i . - : guous terms mat tne present aetenora-. tion carries ominous risks for both NATO , and the U. S. Other observers flatly pre- Ulll LlldL VJ1CCIV UUCllCVlUaiO ailU DIU- , dents, possibly joined by senior military nffiVprs shnckpH hv tVia iimta's nrimitivfl icnui latuts, may muve iu upcu icvuii soon. Potentially far worse, however, is. growing anger against the regime by Greek workers and the middle class. Inflation is now approaching an annual rats nf 5(1 nerrp.nr a factor that rhreat- - - i , ens political revival of long-dormant Marxist parties knocked out of action 25 years ago by Harry Truman's Greek-Turkish aid program. The potential danger of a Communist revival was ridiculed by the State De-. partment during the seven years the Papadopoulos dictatorship was wooed by President Nixon, Now, however, high of- ' ficials here say privately that a combination of economic chaos plus the political chaos of military dictatorship makes , a radical leftward turn toward commu- nicm a livo nnecihilittr Either xenophobic neutralism, Qaddafi- .' style, or communism would pose deadly alternatives to President Nixon and NATO. Yet, that menace is greater today( than at any time since the 1967 over' throw of parliamentary government. '

What members have found on this page

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 20,000+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free