Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on April 4, 1969 · Page 91
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 91

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Friday, April 4, 1969
Page 91
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REPUBLIC 60 The Arizona Phoenix, Fri. Republic , April 4, 1969 Demos still outnumber GOP in top Pentagon jobs SEN. EDMUND MUSKIE Muslde seeks ABM policy clarification United Press International WASHINGTON - Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, D-Maine, believes President Nixon should have revealed Russia's aim of first-strike capability when he announced the decision to deploy an Antiballistic Missile System (ABM). "The debate sort of floats along from disclosure to disclosure by the Defense Department in a way that makes it difficult for the American people to focus on the essential elements of a decision," Muskie said in an interview with UPT yesterday. AN ABM deployment decision by the President "should not, could not be made independent of such a policy objective," Muskie said. "So, frankly, I'm puzzled why, if indeed this is this administration's evaluation of Soviet policy, why the President did not say so at the time of his ABM decision." In recent hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the disarmament subcommittee, Defense Secretary Mevin R. Laird said the ABM was needed to defend against any Soviet first strike — a massive barrage of nuclear missiles. Muskie urged that Nixon and Laird have a "meeting of minds" to clarify whether they agree on Soviet intentions and objectives. IN A SENATE speech yesterday, Muskie noted the Russians might interpret the President's "safeguard" system as being a step toward America's first-strike capability. "Secretary Laird refers to Safeguard as a 'building block for peace,' painting the system as not being provocative — a judgment. that strikes me as illogical and it- lusory," Muskie said. Former vice president Hubert Humphrey, meanwhile, said the administration's public assessment of Soviet plans would stimulate the arms race and jeopardize prospects for U.S.-Russian negotiations. Speaking at a dinner in honor of William C. Foster, former U.S. disarmament director, Humphrey urged the administration to avoid "raising specters of massive Soviet strategic commitments until we have determined through direct talks their actual willingness or unwillingness to decelerate the arms race." "THEN WE will not have to speculate on such critical matters," the former vice president said. "We will know." Muskie said the administration may intend Safeguard "as a blunt challenge to the Soviets to come to the bargaining table and negotiate over strategic weapons, or else the United States will heat up the arms race, counting on our superior technology to protect us if negotiations fail. "I cannot believe that this kind of bluster would have any rational justification, and I must caution the Senate and the country that such diplomacy is the very essence of provocation." Up to now, he said, the administration's case has been "utterly unconvincing, shedding not light but shadow on the most fundamental aspects of the program." BIOGRAPHY OF LBJ NEW YORK (UPI) ,- Sam Houston Johnson, brother of former President , Lyndon Johnson, will write a biography of his brother which will be published in book form after its serialization in a national magazine, it was disclosed yesterday. Associated Press WASHINGTON - It's now more than 10 weeks since the Nixon administration took power, yet there still are more Democratic holdovers than new Republican faces in the Pentagon's top civilian posts. An analysis shows that only 12 of the 29 first-line civilian jobs have been filled with fresh GOP talent, including Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird and Deputy Secretary David R. Packard. Although some of the remaining senior positions are held by temporary holdovers, the Laird regime will have a strong flavor of the preceding Democratic eras of Robert S. McNamara and Clark M. Clifford. This is because Nixon and Laird have given regular appointments to seven officials continuing on with policy and administrative assignments they held under the Democrats. These include Dr. John S. Foster Jr., director of defense research and engineering; Comptroller Robert S. Moot, and Secretary of the Army Stanley R. Resor. Further, Dr. Robert C. Sea- mans Jr., who was associated space agency administrator in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, has been brought aback as secretary of the Air Force. John L. McLucas, who formerly was deputy research director, has returned as undersecretary of the Air Force. And Barry J. Shillito has been promoted from assistant secretary of the Navy under Clifford to assistant secretary of defense under Laird. Some Republicans on Capitol Hill and elsewhere have complained that the new Republican -administration has kept on too many Democrats. 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