Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 1, 1974 · Page 4
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 4

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 1, 1974
Page 4
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Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest Is The First Concern 0} This Newspaper 4 · TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1974 Inside The Kennedy Kids Kidnap Scare No Loopholes Needed "It's difficult to advise your client of all the ramifications of a legal problem and at the same time advise your opponent," says Jerry Canfield, Fort Smith city attorney, who suggests an amendment to the state's Freedom o£ Information Act that would allow closed sessions between all public bodies and their legal representatives. We would stipulate at the outset that we have great respect for the client-lawyer relationship, just as we do for the doctor and his patient and the reporter and his source. But there is a distinction that needs to be drawn between the public's business and that of a private individual. In a matter between the city of Fort Smith, for instance, and its attorney, residents of the city are clients in city affairs just as much as commissioners or mayor. If a Freedom of Information law is to have any function at all, it cannot bo evaded simply by discussing a particular subject with an attorney. Such a device would provide an excuse for even worse abuses of the principle of open government than were the custom prior to adoption of the state's model FOI statute. To the Arkansas Bar Association's credit, the original suggestion for amendment has been returned to a committee for closer definition. Presumably the committee will spell out subjects eligible for closed session with counsel. Begging the ABA's pardon, but that's not enough of an improvement. Arkansas' FOI Act insures the reasonably open conduct of public affairs in schools, municipal and. state government. That's a plus that need not be tampered with, even in thp interests of an occasional lawsuit manipulation. Minimum Precautions A Necessity !5y JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON -- The public has yet to lean' the full story behind the kidnapping scare that brought more than GO Secret Service agents racing from all poinls of Hie country two weeks ago to protect the late Sen. Robert Kennedy's children. Here are the exclusive details: The Secret Service's duties are strictly defined by law and do not include guarding the progeny of deceased Senators. Yet for 0112 full week, on orders from the White House, the agenls provided emergency, round-the-clock protection for the- Kennedy kids. Before the affair was over, the bodyguard service was also extended to a nephew, Cluistophcr LawFord, son of aclor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy. One agent, standing watch outside a Harvard University blowout attended by one of the Kennedy boys, even suffered the indignity of having lo duck a urinary sprinkle. A raucous party raged inside, and one of the parly-goers urinated out the window. The same agent later stood by in astonishment as local police descended upon the scene and barged past him into the building to quiet the reveling students. . The kidnaping threat, based upon a third-hand tip from a police informant in the Boston area, turned out to be bogus. By conservative estimate, the false alarm cost the taxpayers about $126,000. The Washington Merry-Go-Round An incident at last weekend's football game at Razorback Stadium, in which an emergency service ambulance found itself inside a padlocked gate, is the sort of thing that should not be allowed to happen. We do not know the official explanation for the occurrence, though we are confident that appropriate officials are investigating the affair. More precautions, surely, will be in effect next game. But even once is too often, it seems to us, considering the considerable expense involved in having a properly outfitted vehicle and trained personnel on hand at the game for just such emergencies as occurred last Saturday. A carefully chosen point and route of exit, complete with official notification of all whose official functions might come into play, in the event of an emergency (police, groundskeeper, parking attendant, etc.), would seem to be a minimum essential. Whether the gate was locked deliberately, or by accident, seems less the point than that it served to obstruct an emergency run to Washington General Hospital. No matter what the reason last time, it shouldn't happen again. From The Readers Viewpoint Letters To The Editor Letters to the editor and other opinion-related contributions are solicited. We reserve the right to edit all letters, but try lo do so only for space requirements: in the interests of good taste and general public Interest, and to avoid libel. We edit grammatically, only on behalf of clatity. be_ing loo inexpert to do otherwise. Letters stand the best chance of being printed If th ey a re double-spaced and typewritten, and of not much more than 200 words. We have rules, too, agatnst personal attacks and out-and-out advertising (we have-*-an ad de-- partment for that). Letters should be signed by hand, but identity of writer will be withheld on request. --The Editors Keep It Clean To the Editor: This letter is directed lo all the people of Arkansas who hold their very lives and the ' health of their loved ones dear. There have been numerous articles in the news recently concerning SWEPCO's proposed coal-fired electric generation plant to be located four miles north of Siloam Springs and two and one-half miles southwest of Gentry in the Little Flint hollows. Many very learned and efficient experts in the field of pollution have already made statements regarding the TREMENDOUS HEALTH HAZARD which would be created by allowing sulphate, mercury, lead, zinc and ash particles fill the air from the plant as proposed by SWP:PCO. One pollution expert testified before the Arkansas Public Service Commission that the sulphate level of the air in Arkansas already exceeds a safe level. Experts testified pollution of this sort would increase asthmatic attacks, aggravate conditions of heart and lung patients and increase respiratory problems in children and the elderly. In addition to the tremendous health hazard to human life, the pollution emitted into the air and possibly into some local waters, is a GREAT THREAT to your very livelihood. For this pollution is extremely harmful to poultry, grapes, sweet potatoes and clover and alfalfa - consequently to pasture lands. Tiierefore, if you are not concerned for human health and life perhaps you will be concerned for your pocketbook and your means of livelihood. Your beautiful Northwest Arkansas which attracts so many vacationers, s i g h s e e r s and retirees will not present an inviting "atmosphere" nor a desire to visit or live here when people learn of your polluted air. If you did not read the complete article in 'The Northwest Arkansas TIMES." September 15, 1974, "Flint Creek -Plant Testimony Filed," then by all means do so if you value your life, your wife or husband's life, your son or daughter's life, your sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend or any human life. Does any of this concern you? Does it frighten you? Does it alarm you? I pray H does for I know what agony it is to gasp for breath, I know how truly frightening it is to struggle almost panickly lo breathe -I am a severe bronchial asthmatic patient. I have just moved here from out of state with my husband and two of my three children. My doctor advised me to move from our previous location due to all the pollution in the air which caused my condition to begin three years ago. I use a pressurized breathing machine daily, I take 10 different kinds of medicine . daily, up to four times daily. I've been in Northwest Arkansas one and one-half months and already I feel my condition has improved -please help me to continue to improve. I don't want to have to move again. Write to your congressman, speak up and do your share. Don't put it off, help us keep our clean air. Anne Warren West Fork In Error To the Editor: In a recent column (I J-14) columnist Jack Anderson attacked the International Police Academy, which is run by the U.S. government to train police They'll Do It Every Time 9(JFF£K AlWAYS ffUNSUP/tGAINSrttON- PRAY-me ELEVATOR DON'T BRWk POWN.' The bizarre a f f a i r began on unlucky Friday, September 13. Some sluidy characters, according lo the tip, had been talking about kidnaping David and Robert Kennedy, Jr., both of whom attend Harvard. The information was relayed lo llic FBI, which immediately l a u n c h e d an investigation. Meanwhile, Elhel Kennedy, the anxious mother, was alerted. Her first thought, of course, was to protect he rchildren. She knew from experience that the Secret Service has the world's best bodyguards, so she made an urgent request for federal protection. Secret Service Director Stuart Knight, knowing he had no authority lo protect the Kennedy children, agonized with his associates over the request. He personally drove out to the Kennedy estate in McLean, Va., to explain to Ethel how his hands were tied. But lie was overruled by his boss, Treasury Secretary William Simon, who took up the kidnaping threat with the White House. Back came word from presidential counselor Phil Buciien: protect Ihe Kennedy kids. Simon ordered the Secret Service into action on Saturday. September 14. Then he phoned Elhcl Kennedy to reassure her. My associate Joe Spear spoke with Simon, who said he had frequently been threatened wilh ·physical harm and, therefore, had "empathy for people in public lite." Considering tho suffering tho Kennedy family has been through, he said, "this was one of tho easier decisions I have ever made." Word was received on Wednesday, September 18, that the supposed kidnapers really had their eye on Ethel Kennedy's nephew, Christopher Lawford, who attends Tufts University In Medford, Mass. So a protective detail was dispatched to cover the Lawford boy. The intensive FBI investigation, meanwhile, turned up no substantial leads. So about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 20, the Secret Service protection was lifted. WATERGATE TACTICS: -A . holdover from ex-President N i x o n ' s infamous "Attack Group" is using Watergate tactics to destroy a white civil servant who has sought lo help the most downtrodden ghetto blacks. The holdover is Edward Failor, now in charge of the Commerce Department's statistics, who controls a $100-million operation and 7,000 employes. This was his reward for unde- vlatirrg loyalty to the "Attack Group," headed by convicted White House aide Charles Colson. The group's purpose was lo discredit 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern by unscrupulous but legal means. Failor was first installed in officials from developing countries. Anderson said: "After a lengthy investigation we have found no evidence that the academy actually advocates third-degree methods. But we have read several student papers which discuss the use of torture to break suspects." Anderson then quoted from six of these papers, suggesting that the quotes "showed many s t u d e n t s graduate without showiirg much' effect of their 'humanitarian' training." By taking statements out of context. Jack Anderson has misrepresented the views of the authors of five of the six papers he cited. For example: Anderson quoted Lam Van Huu of South Vietnam as saying: "What do we mean by 'force and threat?' Physical force--beating, s l a p p i n g , electrocuting. Threats--physical shaking a fist in the face of the subject; verbal, saying, 'Listen, I'm going to break your neck if you. don't confess." Anderson implied that Lam Van Huu was advocating such measures. What Anderson concealed from his readers was that Lam Van Huu after defining what was meant by "force and threats," went on to give nine reasons why police interrogators should not use force and threats. He did not tell his readers that Lam Van Huu concluded his discussion with this strong denunciation of the use of force: "Thus the use of force and threats is not only a method that is vicious and inhumane, but also dangerous and useless. Those that are for force would do better to quit the police force and take up the career of boxing." Another trainee gave a brief historical review of the use of torture, going back to medieval times. In the course of this ho briefly described the Chinese water torture. Anderson quoted this description and implied that the trainee was advocating its use. The trainee clearly did not advocate (his, nor did he advocate the other measures he described that were used in medieval Europe and Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Mr. Anderson's investigators examined 56 papers out of nearly 5000 prepared by trainees at the International Police Academy. He quoted from six of the 56, and by taking statements out of context he misrepresented the views of 5 of the six authors. He com- plcltey ignored all statements that din* not support his exercise in advocacy journalism. Reed J. Irvine WASHINGTON, D. C. · (EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Irvine is chairman of Accuracy in Media, Inc.) Bible Verse "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." John 5:30 The goal of the Saviour was to do tho will of God. Part of that will was tho performing of miracles. He said, "as my Father hath sent me, even so I send you." He has not. changed. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever." 'It's Common Practice To Interfere With Other Government--If They're Elected, That Is'' a federal mlno safety Job which, according to tlio General Accounting Office, he fouled up. He was qulclly moved over to the Commerce Department over the objections of professionals who considered him totally unqualified. Interim! mcmos show he is now using salaml-slyle tactics to cut up a Census Bureau official, Jolm Cosserly, who has been seeking ways to get 1.8 million "missing Americans" to take part in the 1980 census. These are the most depressed ghetto blacks who were rot counted in 1970. Because they represent 7.7 per cent of all blacks, the entire black community lost millions in federal and state aid based on census statistics. . The momos show that Casserly took steps to get these "missing Americans" on the census rolls. For his efforts, he was summoned before Pallor and was told his proposal was "stupid." .. .. His voice rising, Failor said the proposal was a "huge mistake" and demanded to know whether Casserly had "any problems." "I have no problems, replied Casserly. "You may well have in tha future," shot back Failor. This turned out to be prophe- . tic. Failor and his census chief, Vincent Barabba, a Nixon campaign pollster in 1972, began giving Casserly a bad time. His staff was slashed, and he camo under sudden investigation. FOOTNOTE: Failor conceded he called the Casserly proposal "stupid," but only because it was full of false statements. He admitted Casserly is in trouble because of his proposal, but said this is purely because it shows "bad judgment." Bolb Failor and Barabba defended their policies toward the blacks. --United Feature Syndicate State Of Affairs Nixon By CLAYTON FHITCHEY WASHINGTON -- Since the resignation of Nixon,, his gifted · secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, has been busier promoting the old policies of the former President than fashioning new policies for the new President. This is already bringing Mr. Ford into conflict wilh Congress and the people, as it was bound to, for the discredited old poli- s i i p p o r t i n g anti-democratic cics, nol.».biy in respect to miliiii-y dictatorships all over the world, are increasingly abhorrent to most Americans and their representatives in the House and Senate. No new President is obliged to uphold or carry on the policies of his predecessor, yet Mr. Ford has needlessly embraced t h e Nixon-Kissinger secret intervention in Chile, which was designed to undermine the popularly elected government of Salvador Allende. Mr. Ford not only defended the CIA's covert activities in Chile but went so far as lo say they were "in the best interests of the people of Chile and certainly in our best interests," although he would have a hard time proving that dubious claim. The President's statement was offensive to Congress because it had previously been led to believe that the Nixon Administration had meticulously kept hands off Chile's internal politics. This deception came to light through disclosure of sworn testimony of William Colby, director of the CIA, that the agency, under orders from the White House, spent millions of dollars trying lo subvert the Aliencie government. THE PRESIDENT had every opportunity to disown actions that he was not responsible for, or at least say the CIA policies would be reviewed. He had a ready opening, for Colby himself recently said that abandoning convert action entirely "would not have a major Jm- pact on our current activities or the current security of the United States." Instead, the President openly endorsed the policy of secret intervention and, in Chile's case, tried to justify it on the grounds that Dr. Allende's g o v e r n m e n t allegedly w a s suppressing opposition groups. Does that signify Mr. Ford is now preparing to intervene against the military dictatorship which, after overthrowing Allende. is presently suppressing all democratic opposition, or does it mean that only popular governments that the Administration dislikes need fear the United States? Mr. Ford would have been better advised to heed what Nixon and Kissinger preached rather than what they practiced. In resisting pressure to crack down on Russia for its What Others Say ATTAWAY, DR. BISHOP · One of the clearer and better statements yet made by the still new president of the University o! Arkansas, Charles E. Bishop, is that he intends to take a hard line on tenure in the university system. Speaking at the university's branch at Monti- Bishop said "tenure has been cello, Dr. Bishop said "tenure has 'Keen a l i t t l e too easy to a t t a i n , " and lit invited tho faculty lo make some "tough judgments" in order lo maintain and raise the quality of the university staff. It's not the kind of talk that is likely to make the new president very popular with mediocre or worse members of the faculty, but it's the kind that ought to bring taxpayers, parents, students and anybody else with an interest in education to their feet. Right on, Dr. Bishop! --Pine Bluff Commercial Housing Squeeze Hedges WASHINGTON (ERR)-Ons way to tackle inflation at the personal level is to make do without what one already owns. Outmoded clothing can be trotted out for yet another season of wear, while do-it- yoursclf repairs on the family car may forestall the need to buy a new one. Beating the high cost of housing takes more ingenuity, but it can be done. The housing crunch affects established and prospective h o m e o w n e r s alike. Those are able to find financing at all. Those seeking to sell must wait for a suitable buyer and, more than likely, settle for less money than they expected to get. Both groups would be well advised to take matters, quite literally, into their own hands. Young couples unable to afford a new home are beginning to discover the advantages of "sweat equity." Under this approach, the householders pay for the exterior shell and interior walls of a home and complete all or part of the remaining work themselves. Max Zamansky, a pioneer in the shell-home field, told U.S. News World Report that a buyer who does all of the finishing work can save up to 40 per cent of the price o' a comparable finished unit. Ha estimated that at least $14 13 saved for every sweat-equity hour of labor. emigration policies, Mr. Nixon said: "We would hot welcome the intervention of other countries in our domestic affairs and we cannot expect them to he cooperative when we seek to intervene directly in theirs. We cannot gear our foreign policy to transformation of other societies." That, of course, was only for public and congressional consumption. In real Hie Nixon and Kissinger did just the opposite when it suited their purposes, as in Chile. AS SERIOUS as Chile is, it is only part of a much larger problem that confronts Mr. Ford, for he is well on the way to a collision with Congress on foreign and defense policy in general. Congress, revolting against the arrogant abuse of the war-making power by both democratic and republican presidents, has in recent years been tryirrg to curb Ihcse powers and reassert its own constitutional responsibilities. There was a sigh of relief on Capitol Hill when Mr. Ford became the Chief Executive and promptly pledged a new era of co-operation with Congress, inclu.ling respect for its right to be consulted and heeded on the conduct of foreign policy. But that's not the way it is working out. Despite strong congressional protest, Kissinger has been allowed to brush off a law which forbids further aid to any country which, like Turkey, u s e s U.S. weapons for aggression instead of defense. The Ford-Kissinger Administration is also resisting to the limit congressional efforts to reduce the billions of dollars going to S o u t h Vietnam's military regime and to phase oat over three years military aid to the South Korean generals. And, of course, Mr. Ford, like Nixon before him, is fighting congressional efforts lo hold down the defense budget. Seams like old times. (C) 1974, Los Angeles Times HOMEOWNERS in need of more or better living space can get it by building additional rooms or remodeling old ones inslcad of by moving to a new house. "Last year, the home improvement industry totted up a hefty $22 billion for repairs, remodeling and accessories,' B u s i n e s s Week recently reported, "and it is looking for that to rise to at least $28 billion this year." Because of inflation and high labor costs, homeowners are h a n d l i n g many small remodeling projects tnemselves. Some supply houses offer free ciasses on how to perform such tasks as plumbing and paneling. A n d certain remodeling materials are available in kits with "how to" instructions. Still, contractors have their hands full of orders for larger remodeling projects. Armand L. F o n t a i n e , executive vice president of the American Association, estimates that home improvement now accounts for 25 to 30 per cent of all building activity in California. "Three years ago, a $10,000 home improvement job was something a contractor saw once a year," Fontaina says. "Now it's two or three a week--a good 30 lo 40 per cent of the jobs are over $10,000 now." EXPERTS on consumer affairs advise caution in undertaking a remodeling project lest the homeowner hire an unscrupulous or financially unstable contractor. F.very spring the nation's press runs stories about gypsy contractors who offer bargain roofing or blacktopping jobs -- performed, the homeowners later discover, with crankcase oil. And yet thousands of homeowners fall victim to the racket every year. "The home improvement industry is probably the only consumer-related i n d u s t r y where 50 to 75 per cent of tha contract price is paid up front before any work is done," says James J. Lack, commissioner of consumer affairs for Suffolk County, N.Y. "It's just conducive lo ripoffs." He and o t h e r consumer advisers recommend making only a token deposit, with subsequent payments pegged to the amount of work done. In other words, caveat emptor,

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