Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois on June 22, 1973 · Page 14
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Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois · Page 14

Galesburg, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, June 22, 1973
Page 14
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14 Golesburfl^Reglater-Mall, Golesburfl,, 111,, Friday, June 22, 1973 The Unknown Herot Challenge of Courage Watergate Affair: Profiles In Courage or Cynicism? By IRA BERKOW NEA Senior Editor WASHINGTON - There are perhaps heroes in the Watergate scandal who will remain forever mysterious, or moot. They range from men like James McCord whose motives are questionable, to men in the Federal Bureau of Investigation who may always be anonymous, though important, footnotes in history. Last in a Series FBI men leaked information including that about the close political and unethical ties between the White Hoise and former Acting Director L. Patrick Gray, a relationship which reached its nadir when Gray admitted burning important files upon urging of frightened White House aides. Some FBI men, brought up on the axioms of fidelity, bravery and keeping one's trap shut, were shaken by this butchering of separation of powers. Some, probably in the domestic intelligence division, were also appalled by the illegal bugging and espionage going on under White House auspices. An underground network was formed between these men and some members of the media, including and especially the Washington Post and Jack Anderson. THESE INFORMANTS DID risk their careers and their reputations in getting this information out. Yet their motives are not entirely clear. Perhaps they were torn within themselves and finally responded to a "higher law," one in which they.put their principles above the letter of the law. These men did, in fact, break both a federal regulation and a bureau regulation against leaking information. Perhaps, though, they did not appreciate Gray, who besides his buckling to White House dictates also fired or demoted old- time FBI stalwarts, radically began reshaping the FBI image by approving the wearing of colored shirts and long hair and hiring women as field agents. The motives of James McCord, also an informer in Watergate .but a much more visible one than the FBI men, are in question. Did he give lengthy testimony solely in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence for his part in the espionage and burglary of Watergate? Or was he a man of conscience who say a new light? DANIEL ELLSBERG BELIEVES the laltter. Ells-berg, ithe Defense Department oonisulfcawt who gave fee Pentagon Papers to The New York Times, is considered an ideotog'ica! her"-, by some in this country because oif has willingness to go to jail for a larger interest — that is, revealing to the nation through ttiose documents the lies amd deceptions of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations relating to the Vietnam War. To President Nixon, however, Ellsbeng is hardly a hero, "We have to stop making heroes out of those who Steal seoreat and publish them in newspapers," he ©aid recently. "I believe," said Ellsberg, who attended the early Ervin committee hearings in which LMoCord testified, "that McCord is an honest man ... I recognize my own past in him. I, like McCord, spent all my professional life under the belief that the president's word was <t'he law. At a certain point in my life, I discovered that that was a mistake." McCORD'S CAREER HAS been one of federal service: 19 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and four as an FBI agent. He is also a retired Air Force colonel. He disclosed an a latter to Judge John J. Sirica tot 'political pressure wa^ being exented on him and the six other Watergate defendants to plead guilty by the administration officials, that administration officials had prior knowledge of bugging, and thalt they purjured themselves. He broke the case wide open. "J fell a sense of injustice about the whole business,'' said MoCwd. A man like G. Gordon Liddy, convicted as the ringleader of the bugging group, is, unlike McCord, remaining mum as he begins to serve a minimum six-year, eight- month prison sentence. 1 "In wartime," wrote Stewart Alsop, in a recent issue of Newsweek, "G. Gordon Liddy would have been festooned with decorations rather than slapped into jail. As so oifiSen in wantiime, his stubborn silence did no good." Another who began work 'in the admin- isfcraitron with Mby idealism and then grew disenchanted with internal operations quit in silent protest. He is Hugh W. Stoan Jr. He resigned abruptly ais treasurer of the Ocmmiititee to Re-eledt the President last July, less ten a month aiSter tine Watergate anresits. According to Stein, he was approached by Jeb Stuart Magiruder and Fred LaRue, two hiighiranking campaign cifificers, and asked to give false testimony before a federal grand jury. "I DIDN'T WANT to be a party to it," said Stoan, in a recent interview. "I have a clear conscience personally, I believe I did the night things — but I feel lousy." He reflected on Ahs past five years in the White House: "There was no independent sense of morality there. I mean, if you worked for someone, he was God and whatever the orders were, you did it. It was all so narrow, so closed." The ugly uncoverings of Watergate disturbed cithers. iBairry Goldwater, senator from Arizona and previously a staunch supporter of Nixon's, was the first Republican 'to appeal to the President to come out in the open on the Watergate matter and clear the air. He doubted the veracity of some of the President's statements. ("I have to tihink he knew this coverup a good deal before his April 30 speech"). At the time, it was a courageous thing for a partisan senator to say. There were others alter the truth, and others taking risks. Such as the prosecutor in Florida, a Nixon appointee, who went after Donald SogretJi. The prosecutor risked his job. AND CERTAIN ELEMENTS of the press, still being maligned by the administration, continued to energetically dig toward Ihe bottom of what sometimes seems a bottomless pit. This of course includes The Washington Post, particularly their young local crime reporters, Bob Woodward and Oarl Bernstein (known in the city room as either "Woodstein," or "The Katzen jammer Kids"). There was Waiter Oronkite who devoted two 15-minute segments to the importance of Watergate during the presidential campaign. A gusty thing to do because (a) it was noit reaily so powerful an issue back then and (to) Oronkite and the Columbia Broadcasting System predictably incurred the wrath of the administration during the next several months and was branded "shabby" and "irresponsible." Judge Sirica believes that much of the political scandal of Watergate and other scandals on local levels would diminish if citizens took greater interest in government — asking more questions, being more aware of their candidates, voting for the best people available. "We do too much spectating," he said. He believes in the uncommon man, ifihe mail with vision who can determine his own fate. He agrees, it seems, with John F. Kennedy, who wrtoe in his book, "Profiles in Courage": "TO BE COURAGEOUS . . . requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place land circumstance. It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all. Politics merely furnishes one arena which imposes special tests of courage. "Jn whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be (lie sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience — the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow man — each man must decide for himsdf the course lie will follow . . . Each man must look into his own soul." Lb Once high interest earning CD'S were available only to the very rich. Now for as little as $100 you can build your own private collection. EARN OVER 604 ACTUAL RETURN ON 2-YR MATURITY! 5%% CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT 2 Year Time Deposit. Interest compounded and payable quarterly. Automatically renewable. $100 minimum other savings options 5 1 /2% 5% 5% 4 1 / 2 % CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT GOLDEN PASSBOOK REGULAR PASSBOOK 1 Year Time Deposit. Interest compounded and payable quarterly. Automatically renewable. $100 minimum 90 Day Time Deposit. Interest compounded and payable quarterly. Automatically renewable. $100 minimum A savings gem. 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