Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 11, 1976 · Page 53
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 53

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 11, 1976
Page 53
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Page 53 article text (OCR)

S J u l r l l Sunday Gatette-Mail Charleston, Wejt Virginia ----- Past, Present Mysteries Punctuate Amin's Rule - A P Wirrphoto Mason County Sheriff J.J. Gaskins Relaxes Beneath 'Big Pig' Poster Gift From His Son ' NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - President Idi Amin, central figure in the U.N. Security Council debate on Israel's hostage-rescue raid in Uganda, has been described as a brute by the leader he deposed in 1971 and a natural-born leader by a British colonial officer who once trained him. Idi Amin says: "I am a pure son of Africa." According to most biographies, Amin was born in 1925 in the Moslem and Kakwa tribal district in extreme northwest Uganda. An exact month and day of birth isn't known. The biographies say his mother, who had a reputation as a sorceress, soon left the area and Amin had little contact with his peasant-farmer father until more than 30 years later. But Amin told another story at a summit meeting in Kampala, Uganda, last July of the Organization of African Unity. He said he was born in 1928 in a police barracks that once stood on the site of the summit conference. He claimed his father was a police sergeant. It was on that occasion last July that Amin began a one-year term as the OAU . president, making him black Africa's chief spokesman. His term ended at the OAU's recent meeting on the island of Mauritius. * * * BIOGRAPHERS CREDIT Amin with a partial grade school education before he joined the British colonial army in Uganda in 1946 as an assistant cook. But he said last year in an interview: "I never went to any nursery or primary school at all. I was arrested, taken by force into the army. I could not read or write my name but they educated me in the military." He was 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed 250 pounds and learned fast in the army. He held Uganda's heavyweight boxing title for nine years. The year before Uganda's independence from Britain in 1961, he became a lieutenant, one of two Ugandans to be made officers. Aformer British commander was to say'later: "He was the most natural-born leader that I've ever met... You could have much worse than Idi Amin as president of Uganda." In 1966, Amin was accused by political opponents of embezzling the equivalent of $47,600 given to him by Congolese rebels to buy arms for their fight against Moise Tshombe in the Congo, now called Zaire. But the Ugandan president, Milton Obote, also was implicated by the opposition, and he quashed the charges, promoting Amin to armed forces commander. Differences developed later between the two and while Obote was abroad in January 1971, Amin seized power in a military coup. Obote remains in exile in Tanzania where he has since called Amin "the greatest brute an African mother has every brought to life." * * * AMIN AS PRESIDENT gained an international stage, making headlines in 1972 by expelling the Israelis who had been training his army and by saying later that Hiller was "right to burn six million Jews." A few months after expelling the Israe- News Portrait lis, Amin ordered the expulsion of 40,000 Asians with British citizenship who had dominated Uganda's industry and business. Later he nationalized 90 per cent of British investment in Uganda and threatened to execute a British professor who described him in an unpublished book manuscript as a village tyrant. He once ordered 112 United States Peace Corps volunteers detained for two days, saying he wanted to make certain they were not Israeli agents, and expelled Marine guards from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. The United States, largest buyer of Ugandan exports, closed the embassy but did not formally break diplomatic relations. His expulsion of the Asians and nationalization of British interests -- to give Ugandans more control - was popular with his people but Uganda's economy ran into serious difficulty as a result. Western aid dried up and Amin sought Arab oil money to keep Uganda afloat. Shipments of Soviet weaponry and the recruitment of thousands of southern Sudanese made his army east Africa's strongest. Amin has said he governs by dreams and does not fear assassination because he already had dreamed when he was going to die. He claimed powers so strong that dead trees sprang to life when he approached. * *·'* IN 1974, he fired his foreign minister, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya, after accusing her of making love to a European in a Paris airport rest room en route home Two Persons Hurt In Boone Accident MADISON-A one-car accident on U. S. 119 near Foster, Boone County, Saturday morning injured two persons, one seriously. Donald Sutphin, 18, of Danville was listed in serious condition Saturday in the intensive care unit of General Division of CAMC. Glen Sigmond, 20, of Barrett was in fair condition. Trooper M. S. Holstein of the state police detachment in Madison said Sutphin, driver of the car, apparently lost control on a curve and hit a tree. The car was split in half, Holstein said. The pair was first taken to Boone Memorial Hospital, then transfered to the Charleston hospital Saturday morning. Holstein said the investigation is continuing. from the United Nations. She now is in exile in Europe, joining dozens of Ugandan teachers, doctors and professionals. A Moslem, Amin has married five wives and divorced three of them. He is estimated to have fathered more than a score of children by various women. His latest wife is Sarah Kyolabaf, a former waitress who was 19 years old when he married her last August. She had borne him a child the year before. Since becoming president, Amin has promoted himself to field marshal and awarded himself medals -- the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross, all copies of British decorations. Unsophisticated Works Wonders In Jefferson CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (AP) An unsophisticated capture foiled a home burglar here. Paul Ashbaugh had found a quantity of liquor missing from his Harpers Ferry home during the last several weeks. But his efforts to apprehend the thief were unsuccessful. Finally, Ashbaugh tied a string to the back door and to his wrist before going to bed. He was awakened by a tug on his arm when the door was opened and he caught William Lee Hardy, 48, of Harpers Ferry. Ashbaugh secured his captor with tape before calling state police. Hardy was charged with burglary and was remanded to the Jefferson County jail in lieu of $1,000 bond. HAPPY AND YOU THINK YOUVI GOT PROBLEMS Unusual Pair Sheriff Glad to Be Home After Stint in Florida By Strat Douthat POINT PLEASANT, W. Va. (AP)-Big ,, city cops are being glamourized on TV these days but Sheriff J. F. "Jim" Gaskins says small town law enforcement also can be rewarding. A friendly man with a ready smile, Gaskins has been on both sides of a fence. "I was a sergeant of the Miramar Police Force down in South Florida before com.. ing back home," he said. "We were right next to Miami and had all the class A crimes-murder, rape, robbery, you name it." : But after seven years of life in the bustling bedroom community of Miami, he sold his house, put his wife and three boys in the family car and headed for the West Virginia hills. "I grew up here in Point Pleasant." said Gaskins. who was appointed acting sheriff of Mason County last spring when former Sheriff Pete Wedge was killed in an explosion at the jail. "I was a police officer here in 1966 when my uncle asked me if I'd be willing to go down to Florida and go into business with him. I jumped at it. Hell, a police officer's salary here was only $290a month back then." + * * SO, like thousands of other West Virginians, the Gaskins moved to Florida. He opened a coin-operated laundry in Dania but soon became restless. "I saw an ad in the paper one day where they were giving civil service exams for the police department. Three days later I went to work for the Miramar Police De- partmenl.'' Gaskins soon worked his way up to shift commander. He was earning $237.50 a week for four 10-hour days and was picking up another hundred or so in extra duty pay and in money earned as a part-time contractor, working with simulated brick. "You know how Florida is," he said, leaning back in his favorite chair, the one beneath the huge pictkure of a uniformed pig given him last Christmas by one of his . sons. "Everybody down there has two or three jobs to keep up with the Joneses." · When he'd come back home to visit, .he'd hardly be able to wait to get back to "paradise." But unbeknownst to Gaskins, the glamor was beginning to wear thin. "You know," he said, taking a sip of coffee, "after seven years we realized we still hadn't really adjusted to Florida. We were still West Virginians at heart We missed the change of seasons and the folks back home. "We had lots of good friends down there but we got tired of the sameness. Basically, everyday awas^ust another pretty day. And the crowding began to get to us. One day, it was in July, I had put the day shift on the road and was pulled up beside Pembroke Road watching the traffic and the heat waves dance up off the macadam. I thought to myself, 'what's a country boy like you doing here,' and 1 turned my cruiser around and headed for home. * * * * "I WHIPPED into the driveway and told my wife we were going to put the house up for sale. We were going home. She was ready to go and so were the kids." When the Gaskins blew back into town three years ago, Jim went into the car business with an old friend. But he soon found himself staring out the window at the passing cruisers. "It wasn't long before I was offered the job as police chief." He took the job and was still police chief last March when he was asked to become acting sheriff until January. At that time, Gaskins will go.back to the city force, where the chief earns about $10,000 a year. "There's really not much difference in big city and small town law enforcement." he said. "In a big city you break the town into zones and get to know your zone just the way you do a small city. Of course, you have to be much more versatile here. We have an eight-man force here, including the chief, and everybody does everything. There's so much specialization in a big city with the homicide, robbery, identification and juvenile division."' * * * BEING A CITY of 7,200 in a relatively rural area, Point Pleasant doesn't have much major crime. But Gaskins says the police force stays plenty busy handling larcenies, burglaries, breaking and enter- ings and vandalism. "I like small cities," he said, "because you have a chance to form closer relationships with the mayor and the people who must support you. Also you know the people and they trust you. A man's word is his bond here but down in Florida when I went to spend a $50 bill in a store at Christmas, they mugged (photographed) me." Pastors Conference At Bluefietd State BLUEFIELD-Speakers from three states will lead the 1976 Pastors Conference at Bluef ield State College July 26-29. They will be Dr. Albert Meiburg, dean of faculty and professor of pastoral theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; Dr. William L. Blevins, professor of religion at Carson- Newman College, Jefferson City, Tenn.; and the Rev. Tom Reynolds, associate pastor of Blacksburg ( V a . ) Baptist Church. Further information may be obtained from, and reservations may be made with. Bluefield State College President Charles Tyer. E.M.T. Recertification Tuesday at Bancroft BANCROFT-There will be an E.M.T. recertification class at the Bancroft Volunteer Fire Department station at 7 p.m. Tuesday. WVU Receives Grant MORGANTOWN-West Virginia University has received a grant of $59,379 from the National Insitute of Mental Health to support a training program in clinical psychology and a grant of $5,000 from the West Virginia Antiquities Commission for restoration work at Jackson's Mill. These two signs in front of adjacent fast food establishments in Morgantown offer an unusual and thought : provoking combination to passersby. Fayette Man's Death Ruled Accidental Investigators for the state fire marshal's office have ruled that a blaze that killed a Nicholas County man Thursday was accidental. Meanwhile, officials from the fire marshal's office said that their investigation is continuing into the cause of a fire that killed a Fayette County man on the same day. Lloyd McMillion, 49, of Nettie was found dead in his burned-out Nicholas County home early Thursday morning. Fire marshal's investigators said they have determined that the fire was the result of an accident, but would not comment on what caused the blaze. Joe Vealey, 67, of Danese, Fayette County, died Thursday in West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa., of burns received when his home exploded four days earlier. That explosion and fire remain under investigation by J.G. Layne of the fire marshal's office and Sgt. J.L. Puckett of the Fayette County sheriff's department. The Richwood blaze was investigated by Layne and Trooper William Berry of the Richwood state police detachment. Alabama Choir to Sing AtHillcrest Baptist SPENCER-The 44-voice Chapel Choir from the First Baptist Church of Columbiana, Ala., will present a concert at Hillcrest Baptist Church here at 7:30 p.m. today. Henderson-Aug. 1, Carter Caves, near Olive Hill, Ky. A basket dinner is planned. Concord He-Men's Outing To Be at Glenwood Park ATHENS-The annual Concord College He-Men's Outing will be held at Glenwood Recreational Park here Wednesday. Registration will begin at 2:30 p.m. with the annual steak dinner at 5:30 p.m. Potomac State Names New Admissions Director KEYSER-John L. Raschella has been named director of admissions of Potomac State College of West Virginia University. He replaces James M. Huffman, who resigned in January to become registrar at the National Mines, Health and Safety Academy in Beckley. Beirut Crisis Lets Pentagon Try Out New 'War Room' ByJohnW.Flnney (c.) iV. V. Times Service WASHINGTON - A few weeks ago the secretary of sefense, the deputy secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and sundry flag officers and civilian officials assembled in a top-secret room at the Pentagon to supervise the evacuation of 116 Americans in Beirut. To some in the military, it did not seem a serious enough crisis to warrant such high-level supervision. But the evacuation gave the civilian officials, the generals and the admirals their first chance to try out their new "war room" in the Pentar gon. After repeated requests and some resistance by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to an intrusion into their inner sanctum, the Defense Department last Thursday permitted the first public viewing of the war room, known colloquially around the Pen-- tagon as the "NMCC" for National Military Command Center. Situated in the second and third floors of the Pentagon in the tightly guarded area of the joint staff, the center, which replaces a much smaller war room, was completed in February at a cost of $15.4 A million. · * * DR. STRANGELOVE would feel at home in the setting of the new, two-story emergency conference room, which is normally restricted to individuals · holding only a top-secret clearance or higher. On one wall are six different screens on which, with the aid of computers, many things can be projected -- from the weather in Washington to the position of a bomber ordered to strike an enemy position. On another wall, draped over for the press tour, is what the Air Force brigadier general in charge described as the "alphanumeric display board." It gives the position and readiness of every missile poised to hit the Soviet bloc. Six digital clocks tick off the time in various regions of the world. One was still set for the time in Beirut. Behind a glass wall is the "emergency action room," with a switchboard that can reach any major command within 20 seconds and keep track of where every major official is. On the "call list," for example, was a notation that President Ford would go to Pittsburgh, N. Y., Friday and that Gen. George S. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, would leave at 5:45 p.m. Thursday for the beach at Rehoboth, Del, and return on Sunday. In the middle of the "emergency conference room," which is reserved only for crises, is a 25-foot-long table around which 14 officials can sit to make decisions on war or peace or to pass down commands on the movements of American military forces. A tan executive chair at the center of ' the table is reserved for the secretary of .defense, who need only pick up a red "secure" phone - another gray phone is reserved for "insecure" conversations -to talk to a military command anywhere in the world. WITH THE RED PHONE, the secretary can reach a battalion commander or the skipper of the Spiegel Grove, the amphibious ship that carried out the Beirut evaca- tion. He can push another red button and talk directly to the White House. If in some crisis the secretary has to go to the bathroom, there in the men's room, right pff the "senior authority room," is a loudspeaker, with a volume control on the wall, so that he can keep track of the discussions. In fact, the whole center, occupying 77,000 square feet, is wired for sound and television. Four remotely controlled television cameras scan the emergency conference room, so that officials in other parts of the center can see the expressions on the faces of the policymakers as they hand down their order, or study the charts that have been projected on the wall. Lining a long corridor, known in the center as "the bowling alley," are more than 50 loudspeakers, spaced about IS.feet apart. One irate civil servant who works in the Pentagon complained privately to a reporter that the military men, in noncrisis periods, use the loudspeakers "to play soul music w h i l e they read Playboy magazine." *.»· NOT SO, SAID the Navy commander who was briefing reporters. Only "semi- classical" music is played over the loudspeaker system, he said, and that softly, so as to "conceal" conversations among the policymakers as they walk down the corridor. Just how an enemy could "bug" a conversation in an inner circle of the Pentagon was not explained. The new war room is the center of a multibillion-dollar worldwide command- and-control system being developed by the Defense Department to keep close track of military forces anywhere in the world. With a flick of a switch, a defense secretary can talk by radio with a commander in the field or at sea, bypassing the normal chain of military command. In effect, a defense secretary can direct the battle from the isolation of the war room, a capability that is still viewed by some in the military as a potentially dangerous intrusion upon the responsibilities of the military commander on the scene. In a nuclear war, however, the policymakers, if they had time, would have to leave their new war room, which has no protection against the blast of a nuclear explosion. In such an event the plan calls for the policymakers and their aides to retreat to a military command center underground in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains or to take off in an airborne command post plane that stands ever waiting at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland.

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