The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 2, 1996 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, October 2, 1996
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Page 3
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THE SALINA JOURNAL WASHINGTON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1996 A3 V WHITE HOUSE House can't have Freeh memo White House refuses to turn over FBI director's criticism of Clinton's anti-drug policy By MARCY GORDON The Assni-interl Press WASHINGTON — Defying a House panel again, the White House claimed executive privilege Tuesday over a memo to President Clinton from FBI Director Louis Freeh said to be highly critical of the administration's anti-drug policy. The move came as an investigative subcommittee questioned White House drug-policy director Barry McCaffrey, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Kramek and others about a Pentagon-ordered report that found flaws in federal anti-drug policy. Some Republicans have accused McCaffrey of suppressing the report. White House counsel Jack Quinn, in a letter FREEH Tuesday to Rep. William Zeliff, R-N.H., chairman of the subcommittee, said, "The president has instructed me to inform you that he invokes executive privilege with respect to this document." In the memo, Freeh complained to Clinton about the lack of "any true leadership" in fighting the influx of heroin and cocaine, according to a report in Newsweek magazine in August. Freeh hand-delivered the memo to Clinton some 18 months ago, Newsweek said. It was not the first time the White House The Associated Press White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey testifies Tuesday before the House subcommittee that is looking at the Clinton administration's anti-drug policy. had crossed swords over subpoenaed documents with the Republican-led House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Last spring, the White House sparked a showdown over executive privilege with the full committee when it refused to turn over documents involving the White House travel office firings. As the dispute escalated, the committee voted to seek a criminal' contempt charge against Quinn and two other presidential aides. V GULF WAR SYNDROME Troops exposed to gas may top 15,000 CIA is working on computer model to determine exposure By The Associated Press WASHINGTON - A CIA study looking into how many U.S. troops may have been exposed to a chemical weapons explosion could reveal "a very large number" were involved — even far greater than 15,000 troops, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday. Pentagon officials are contacting about 5,000 troops whom they believe may have been exposed during the first of two explosions at an Iraqi chemical weapons dump in southern Iraq in March 1991. But Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said a new study that looks at wind conditions, the potential number of chemical rockets destroyed and other matters involving a second explosion on March 10, 1991, may show far greater numbers of troops could have been exposed. "My expectation is that, based on the amount of chemical weapons in the pit and what we've been told, there 'could be a very large number of troops included in a possible cloud area," Bacon said. Pressed to define the number, he answered: "I just don't think we know at this stage, but we have to think in terms of big numbers, bigger than 15,000 certainly." Veterans have long suspected that contact with Iraqi chemical or biological agents contributed to the chronic illnesses afflicting thousands of Gulf War soldiers. Until June 21, the Pentagon insisted there was no evidence the Iraqis used chemical or biological weapons during the war. Then, the officials acknowledged that U.S. troops may have exposed themselves by blowing up Iraqi chemical rockets at a site they believed contained only conventional weapons. The CIA computer model is supposed to help ascertain how many troops may have been exposed to sarin nerve gas during the destruction in a bunker and an open pit at the weapons depot site called Khamiseyah. ^DNE^D^NIGHT^PECIAL EVERY WEDNESDAY 5-9 PM T SUPREME COURT High court to rule on assisted suicide 3 Piece Fried Chicken Dinner $325 Includes tossed salad, soup or tomato juice, baked potato, french bread, coffee or tea. MARS RESTAURANT Open 7 Days A Week 712 S. Broadway^ Court to rule by July if doctors can help terminal patients die By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The Supreme , Court agreed Tuesday to decide ; whether states may ban doctor-as- j sisted suicides, setting the stage ! for a momentous ruling on the ! "right to die." • The court said it will decide by July whether doctors can be pro- i hibited from prescribing life-end- 1 ing drugs for mentally competent '. but terminally ill patients who no 1 longer want to live. Most states have such laws, but ! ! V WHITEWATER lower courts this year struck down assisted-suicide bans imposed by New York and Washington state. By reviewing those two rulings, the justices are expected to set national guidelines. "This is one of those watershed legal issues that will be out there until the nation's highest court makes a decision," Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire said after learning of the court's action. Susan Dunshee, president of the Seattle-based Compassion in Dying group that successfully challenged the Washington law, said the court has "an opportunity to benefit patients throughout the country." Jumping the gun on its 1996-97 term, which officially begins next week, the court also granted review to several other cases. The constitutional right to die was first recognized by the Supreme Court in 1990. Assuming that such a right exists, the justices said then that a terminally ill person may refuse life-sustaining medical treatment. Just last year, however, the justices rejected a challenge by Dr. Jack Kevorkian to Michigan's ban on assisted suicide. Lawyers for Kevorkian had no reaction Tuesday, but prosecutors who three times tried unsuccessfully to have him convicted of helping someone commit suicide praised the court's action. "It is my prediction that the court will reverse (the New York and Washington) decisions and allow individual states to make political decisions based on policy rather than the Constitution," said prosecutor Richard /Thompson. The generally conservative high court may choose to overturn the appeals courts' rulings, said Howard Simon of the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan. "There is just as much danger that they're going to do violence to the rights of Americans as they are likely to protect the rights of Americans," Simon said. Cost of Whitewater probe tops $23 million By The Associated Press I WASHINGTON — The White" water investigation, already ; spending money faster than the ^record-setting Iran-Contra probe, »spent more than $23 million in its J first two years, according to con; gressional auditors. I Expenses for Whitewater prose* cutor Kenneth Starr's office alone "— salaries, rent, expenses and "help from the FBI and Internal !! Revenue Service — totaled $8.65 •million for the 12 months ending i March 31, the General Accounting Office reported. That's an average of $720,845 a month. The investigation is operating from two locations — Washington and Little Rock, Ark. Since the Whitewater probe began in January 1994, and through March 31 of this year, Starr and his predecessor, Robert Fiske, spent $12.4 million for FBI help. The total cost of the Whitewater investigation exceeded $23 million as of March 31, the last date through which audited figures are available. The Iran-Contra investigation spent $596,750 a month during fis- cal 1988 and cost taxpayers a total of $47 million over seven years. Starr has won convictions against President Clinton's former Whitewater partners, James and Susan McDougal, as well as former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker. Starr's investigation shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Costs for other independent counsel investigations into Clinton administration figures for the six months ending March 31: • Donald Smaltz has spent $6 million investigating former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy's alleged- ly improper acceptance of gifts. • David Barrett has spent $900,000 on the probe of allegations against Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros. • Daniel Pearson spent $1.3 million in the now-closed investigation of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, who died in an April plane crash. security Savings Bank it has always been our policy to give customers Gxactly what they want. Introdudng.. 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