Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 11, 1974 · Page 4
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June 11, 1974

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 4

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Tuesday, June 11, 1974
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Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest It The First Concern Of This Newspaper 4 9 TUESDAY, JUNE II, 1974 Did Shah Donate To Nixon Campaign? Checking To Make Sure If Southwestern Electric Power Company's joint project with Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, in Ihe proposed construction of a power generating plant near Gentry, is as advertised -- and (here would seem to be sonic lay members of the area who have doubts -- they have a right to lament the skepticism being aimed their way. In the context of the imperfect state of pollution control art, however, plus big business's tendency in general to manipulate its public relations with propaganda, they nevertheless must expect some tough questioning. Arkansas Power and Light Company, which by chance is also proposing a coal- fired generating installation in Arkansas (on the Arkansas River near Pine Bluff), by coincidence is presently undergoing an awkward confrontation with a sizeable error in its advance environmental impact statement. Inaccurate data, even in the company of sincere smiles and expression of good intention, tend to raise suspicion. Justly or unjustly, the S\VEPCO project will suffer a little by association. In the ongoing wrangle over environmental criteria at the APandL Redfield installation, the company now admits that it made an error -- "At .this point in time," ·ays an articulate spokesman for the company, "(it) appears to be somewhere around 15 to 20 per cent," meaning that the concentration of sulphur dioxide in the immediate area around Pine Bluff might be that much greater than APandL first estimated. The company, at this juncture, says it doesn't look like a serious problem, and adds, ominously, that to add "scrubbers" would boost everyone's bill by hundreds of dollars. "It's a community problem," the industry explains, "not a production one." So . . . it is small wonder that concerned citizens of Northwest Arkansas (where the air is a good deal cleaner than along the Arkansas River valley between Little Rock and Pine Bluff, and where a few streams still rim sparkling clear and pure) are closely questioning SWEPCO -- AEC, about the Gentry plant. As information was developed during a recent public session at Rogers on the subject of the Gentry plant, several items would seem to remain for the power people to clear up. Most recently, the state of Oklahoma has indicated thai it plans to join local interests as a party to hearings on the. plant's environmental impact, Several serious questions are raised, including the effect on flow of water downstream from the plant, which proposes to dam Little Flint Creek; amounts of emissions and their dispersion; and effects on the area's ecology of such emissions. Sponsoring officials are vigorous in their overtures of cooperation and compliance with pertinent regulations. Which is well and good ».s far as it goes. It needs to be borne in mind that the object of the questions being put to the power people is to make sure they are not seriously in error (not 15 to 20 per cent, for instance) in their projections of such an installation on the Northwest Arkansas quality of living. It is a sound exercise in public concern and responsibility. What Others Say CAMPUS OMBUDSMAN Most people recalling t h e often violent campus unrest of the 1960s would be hard put to come up with anything t h a t could be classed as a positive result of it -- hut there was at least one. That was the establishment, on many college and university campuses, of Ihe office of student ombudsman. Like his namesake in the Swedish government where the idea originated, the ombudsman's job is to act as a mediator between students (citizens) and thfi university administration (the bureaucracy), to h e a r complaints and try to get Ihe appropriate official to do something about (.hem. A recent report by the student ombudsman at the University of Chicago is probably typical. During his stint in the spring and summer quarters of L973, Ombudsman Joel Levin handled 65 complaints, ranging from !ack of bicycle security to the rirabness and inadequacy of student housing to the sanitary From Our Files; How Time Fiies 10 YEARS AGO In a long, busy session of Hie Springriale school board last n i g h t , a location was f i n a l l y tie- · termined for the proposed elementary school. The school will be built at. the corner of W. Huntsville and W. End streets on a 10-acre tract already o w n ed by the school district. Members of the fientonville 50 YEARS AGO The Fiftieth Annual Commencement exercises at the University of Arkansas will come to a close tonight when the 178 sucessfull candidates for degrees and certificates are given treasured 1 manuscripts at the hands of Governor Thomas C. McRae and Presidnt John Clinton F u t r a l l . Congressman John N. Tillman has returned from the session 100 YEARS AGO Ten or twelve days since, six men. well-mounted and well- armed, passed Maguire's store, this county, pursued by a party of men from Missouri, who Mated. 50 we a r e informed, that the men ahead were none other than the notorious James City Council last night promoted Bentonville to a city of the f i r s t class in an ordinance adopted without opposlion, Judy Hersoy of Farmington will he among those taking part in a slate 4-H club broiler bar- becueing contest in Little Rock, June 20. of Congress which adjourned Saturday evening. The session was one of the most important in the history of the country, Judge Tillman stated and one of the most interesting. The "R.O.T.C. Special" with Rome 90 University of Arkansas cadets left Fayetteville on (he 3 o'clock north-bound 'risco t r a i n this afternoon for Fort Snelling. Minnesota and a six-week summer camp. and Younger brothers. A fight, ensued at White Oak and one of the pursuing party was k i l f ed, the others turned back. The pursued! could not have been the James and Younger brothers, else the pursuers would not have come off so easily. They'll Do It Every Time napkin situation fn women's rest rooms. Levin's comments on his experience are an interesting microcosm ol life itself. "There is often a correlation," lie writes in his report, "between remoteness from direct student contact and a willingness to accommodate an individual student's problem. Thus the person students first encounter is often as petty and unyielding as his superior, four times removed, is like to be m a g n a n i m o u s a n d a c - commodating. "Often these superiors are willing to betid or abandon genera] policy to accommodate individual students." As an example, one student complained Unit the registrar's office wouldn't allow her to graduate with honors because a secretary bad inadvertently omitted her name from an honors list. An ho nor] ess diploma had thus been ordered for the student and she was given the choice of graduating without honors En June or graduating with honors in September. The ombudsman asked the registrar why a blank diploma couldn't be given in June and the actual one mailed later when iL had been printed, permitting the student to graduate with the rest of her class' without being penalized For a mistake she hadn't made. The registrar, showing no concern for the student, replied t h a i this would inconvenience his office and would violate university regulations. IL was not u n t i l the ombudsman took the mutter lo the president's office that the decision was changed. The same kind of thing must happen a thousand times a day In every bureaucracy that exists, be it a university or city hall or the federal government where, as Levin writes, the "fragmentation of the (bureaucracy) into separate little empires fosters an attitude of indifference to a!! things unconnected with the smooth running of each individual empire. In other words, when we complain about "the .system," we're really complaining about h u m a n nature. -- Springfield (Mn.) Leader and Press IT WAS JUST MARTHA As readers h a v e scon, the voluble Martha Mitchell has been in town for a few days and, as she is inclined to do on occasion, she called up a few friends. As a m a t t e r of fact, someone gave her our number, so she called xip around 1:15 in the morning. We told her in all honesty that yes. we had been asleep. but that a call from her was such a rare treat and high privilege that we didn't mind being awakened at all. So we had a pleasant conversation; she is a delightful lady and we fully expect to hear more from her. But there is one lingering problem which husbands might appreciate: You can imagine how far you get when a lady calls in the middle of the night, chats for a while, and your wife asks, "who was that?" and you reply casuallv. "oh, that was Martha Mitchell..." --Montgomery (Ala.) Journal By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON -- For six months, we h a v e been investigating the strange relationship between President N i x o n arid the shah of Iran. There have been whispers, all vehemently denied, t h a t the shah funnelcd money into the Nixon campaign by way of Mexico. Our i n q u i r i e s , i n c l u d i n g overseas calls to Tehran, Geneva, Bonn, Mexico City and other faraway places, have got the I r a n i a n s in a dither. Suddenly, we found Iranian officials were expecting our calls before we made them. Then the distinguished and decent former secretary of state, William Rogers, telephones us in the shah's behalf. He cautioned us kindly that we were chasing; wild rumors. He called back twice, with more categorical denials. Then his law firm followed up with i\ telegram to United Feature Syndicate which distributes our column. The .story we were investigating was "implausible and totally baseless...," the telegram charged. We strongly urge that this story not be pub- li^iicd." We can hardly resist publishing a story t h a t the shah is so anxious lo suppress, ft all started six months ago when a former high Iranian official came to us with the allegation that the shah had routed h u n - dreds of thousands - of dollars Lo the Nixon campaign. The Washington Merry-Go-Round The source admitted he had turner! against the shah. His information, therefore, must be regarded wilh skepticism. The I r a n i a n embassy f l a t l y denied the slory; the While House denied it; Bill Rogers denied it. And we cerlainlf can't prove il. But we have uncovered some curious circumstances that are worth relating. First, we contracted another prominent Iranian who. quite independently, told us the same story. T h e money had been routed, he said through Mexico. But he. too, admitted he was opposed to the shah. Then we learned from Swiss banking sources that the shah had transferred more than $1 million from his personal, numbered accounts in the Sch- weizerisihe Bank Geselshaft to the Banco dc Londres y Mexico in Mexico City. It also struck us as an interesting coincidence that cither Nixon campaign money had been laundered through a Mexican bank. When llie FBI began to check into this, it seemed to upset the While House more t h a n any other phase of the Walergate investigation. The President's two most trusted aides, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. tried to use the Central Intelligence Agency to head off the FBI. CfA director Richard Helms and his deputy. Lt. Gen. Vcrnon Wajlcrs. were summoned to the White House. They were instructed to inform the FBI that the Mexican probe was interfering with the CIA's operations in Mexico. Not long afterwards, Helms was suddenly named ambassador to Iran. Yet this predecessor in Tehran, Joseph Farland, had scarcely settled down in the job. Clearly, the President wasn't displeased wilh Farland's performance. For the President tried to placate him by offering him his choice of four other ambassadorships. Although Farland refused to speak to us for the records, sources close to him told us he was "greatly amazed" and "grief-stricken" a t being removed. He not only fell it · might be misinterpreted as a blot on his career but he was beginning to enjoy the new assignment. His departure was so "emotional," said our .sources, that he was moved to tears. I f Helms' appointment ama/cd Farland. it also took the Stale Department by surprise. The handling of the move, say Stale Department sources, suggests that the President had some compelling reason to send Helms to Iran. Why was the White House so concerned about the FBI inves- 'Chief, that stone wall has handwriting on it' State Of Affairs New Press Critic Speaks His Piece By CLAYTON FR1TCHEY WASHINGTON -- The Presi- d e n t ' s perennial campaign against the press (meaning all of the media) has largely been a bust, not because the press is blameless but because Mr. Nixon's hit-men are not very sophisticated about the world of journalism. Most of them arc bright enough, and some of Ihem know their way around in public relations and propaganda, but. on balance, they have had comparatively little experience as top-notch reporters or editors, which may help explain why their attacks on the media are so often wide of the mark and unconvincing. It might have been another story if the President had been able to recruit for his White House press staff a few journalists of the caliber of Harrison Salisbury, the recently retired assistant managing editor of The New York Times, who has just taken a critical and telling look at his profession in an article called Failure of i h * Press." The chief reason the Salisbury critique is effective is that after a distinguished lifetime in the newspaper business he knows wh^t he is t a l k i n g about. As a foreign correspondent and n a t i o n a l political reporter, S a l i s b u r y w o n countless awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. He also is the author of "The Siege of Leningrad" and other notable books on worEd affairs. . COMPARE THOSE credentials with. say. Ron Zieglcr's. Before becoming the President's chief press secretary and affairs. Ziegter was a junior member of a Los Angeles advertising agency. Or take young Patrick Buchanan, who pro- pares Mr. Nixon's daily news summary, along with composing blasts against the news media. Buchanan's pre-White House media career consisted of writing editorials for a couple of years on a St. Louis, Mo., newspaper. And then there's Bruce Her- schensohn, a former U.S. Information Agency visual man, who now seems to be the White House's most active press- Water. It was Herschensobn who volunteered to prove that Mr. Nixon was right when he accused the television networks of "outrageous, vicious, distorted reporting." When the National News Council, organized by the Twentieth-Century Fund to investigate public grievances against the press, asekd the President For documentation, it got none. Meanwhile, however, Hershcen- sohn said he would provide it, since in his, opinion it wasn't seemly to require it of the President. That was months ago. Today the council is still waiting for the bil of particulars. That is about on a par with Ziegler's denunciation of the p r e s s , particularly T h e Washington Post, for publishing allegedly inaccurate and irresponsible stories about Watergate in its early stages. When the stories were confirmed by later developments, Ziegler's retraction consisted of saying his charges were now "inoperative," Ah,-well. It's not likely, though, that Mr. Nixon would like a journalist of Salisbury's stature around the White House, for the complaint of the ex-Times executive is not that the press is too critical but not critical enough of the government -- and not necessarily just the Nixon government. Writing in Penthouse magazine. Salisbury says the public is mistaken if it believes the press is the "variant watchdog" of its liberties, or that it will defend those liberties in the event of an internal crisis, He concedes that some reporters, columnists, newspapers and news magazines have performed in a "superlative" way from time to time hut. he adds: t h e s e recent achievements EVEN CONSIDERING (Watergate and P e n t a g o n Papers exposes, a n d the expose by Jack Anderson of U.S. policy during the Bangladesh crisis), can we rest certain that if a new and unexpected challenge to fundamental freedoms should arise in the United States, the media will rush to their defense? I simply do not think to." It is true that until recently investigative reporting had been on the decline, and that the press as a whoto was alow to perceive that the freedoms supposedly guaranteed by the First Amendment were not necessarily' secure- against a ruthless government that cares only for power. Nevertheless, the eyes of the press have now been opened to the danger of such infringements. Two years ago almost 90 per cent of the press backed Mr. Nixon for re-election, but his unrestrained abuse of the executive power appears lo have alarmed and alienated even many of the most Republican papers 3n the country. It is not just Watergate. The first great eye-opener was the unprecedented attempt of the Administration to apply "prior restraint" against publication of th e "Pentagon Papers." Mr. Nixon went all the way to the Supreme Court in an effort to end that crucial battle. He lost, but it was a close call. Currently, the President is calling for tough new federal libel laws to protect politicians from criticism. He is also opposing press immunity legislation that would enable journalists to protect their sources of information. So the m e d i a was further shocked by revelations that the Administration was talking of punishing its enemies through its power over television licenses, by the auditing of income lax returns and other pressures. Contrary lo Salisbury, I have an idea that the press, for its own sake as well as the country's, is now fully alert to the need of safeguarding our liber- tics. Mr. N'ixon has taught us all tbat it could happen here.' 1 .. (C) 1974, Los AnjgHes Time* Bible Verse "And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt tftou have me to do? And the Lord grows stronger. The Lord is into the city, and it shall be said unto him, Arise, and gt told thee what thou must do." God is no respecter of persons. He has plans for you too and power to go with it. Keep open to His will. Everj-one who trusts Him is called for a life time of service, but our work orders com* by the day. ligation of cash laundering hi Mexico City? In light of th« other Watergate revelations, this would seem to be a fairly insignificant detail. Ami why did Helms agree to tell the FBI that (he Mexican investigation c o u l d jeopardize a CIA " operation? We checked with Watergat* investigators who said they had detected no trace of Iranian' money in their probe of the Mexican connection. But they r had picked up hints that something is still lurking in th«. background which has yet to be revealed. "It is all very mysterious," said one Senate investigator. None of this proves, of course, Iliat the shah's money ever reached the Nixon campaign. But the intriguing relationship between the President and the shah deserves closer examination. Footnote: As another piece of the puzzle, the shah announced last July 25 after conferring with the President at the While House that Iran had struck an oil deal wilh A s h l a n d Oil. Ashland's president. Orin Aikins, has confessed that his f i r m illegally contributed $100.000 in corporate funds to the Nixon campaign. The donation. all in $100 bills, was routed through an African subsidiary. Spokesmen for both the Whit* House and the oil company deny reports that the President personally put Atkins and th'« shah together al the B l a i r House, where visiting dignitaries were quartered. The Ashland spokesman told my associate Joe Spear only that Atkins was in Washington during the shah's visit. How Many Years Of Watergate? WASHINGTON (ERR) -Few disagreed with Nixon when he said, in his 1974 State of the Union Message. that "One year of Watergate is enough." The only critics of that statement insisted that one year of Watergate was much. more than enough. June 17. however, will mark the second anniversary of the bungled b r e a k - i n at Democatic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex. and an end lo the scandal appears nowhere in siglil. Slill. it is permissible lo wonder how and when it will all end. And although historical analogies are ti'eacherous. a look at t h e biggest previous government scandal -- the Teapot Dome affair of the 1920s -- may be instructive. .. FROM START to finisH, Teapot Dome lasted almost nine years. The scandal broke shortly after President Warren G. (lading's death in August 1923. It was learned that Harding, in May 1921, had been induced to sign an unconstitutional executive order transferring certain oil reserves from the N a v y Deparlmtnt to the Interior Department. Subsequently. Interior Secretary Albert B. Pall leased the Elk Hills Reserve in California to Edward L. Dohcny and the Tea not Dome Reserve in Swy- oming lo Harry F. Sinclair, presidents respectively of o i l companies. Fall was financially rewarded for his efforts on behalf of the oilmen. After congressional hearings, a federal grand jury in Washington indicted Fall. Sinclair, and Dohcny on charges of bribery and conspiracy to defraud the government. That was on June 30, 1924. It was not until "1929 that Fall, the central figure in the case, was convicted of bribery. Fall's release from prison in May 1932 marked the f o r m a 1 end of the Teapot Dome a f f a i r Actually, Ihoiigh. public interest in the case had long since waned. "With (President Herbert) Hoover's retirement the Twenties were no longer a part of the past that intruded into the living present. w r o t e Harding's biographer, Francis Ru.sscll. "To Ihe new deal- dominftttd Thirties they soon seemed as remote as the 1912 world had seemed to the Harding-Coolidge era." .. IT IS H A R D to resist th» conclusion that Teapot Dome, though serious enough in itself, was a far simpler scandal than Watergate. The cast of principal and .supporting characters was smaller. Ihe issues more clear-cut. The conviction and imprisonment of Fall wrote · convenient finale to the case. No such definitive conclusion -- not even impeachment of the President -- seems likely for Walergate. Several former ad- m i n i s t a l i e n officials are awaiting trial, and appeals of any convictions could take years lo resolve in the courts. moreover, Ihe original Watergate grand jury is still sitting, as are others, which means that additional indictments may he handed down. Even after all the court cases are settled, the larger issues raised by Watergate will continue lo be subjects of debate. Such broad concepts as national security, executive privilege, separation of powers, and impeachment will occupy tnt attention of scholars for years to come. Campaign spending and the federal intelligence community seem destined for more intense scrutiny than ever before. It is possible that Wategate's third year will prove to he its climactic one, but almost surely not its final one. In June 1973 t h e Wall Street J o u r n a l published a c o l u m n by Irving Krislol under the headline. "What Comes Next. After Watergate?" Alas, the question was premature.

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