Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 3, 1974 · Page 4
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October 3, 1974

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 4

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Thursday, October 3, 1974
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Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest Is The First Concern 01 This Newspaper 4 « THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1974 Another 'Coincidence Of ITT In Chili Committee Closes The Door ·5 Circuit Judge Tom Digby of Little Rock £has ruled that the state's Freedom of Infor- ·fmation Act does not provide for "open" Committee' meetings. Thus the student af- ijf airs committee of the University Board of ·^Trustees is found to have acted legally in ^ousting a reporter from an autumn session ;«a year ago. fi The Arkansas Gazette, which filed the iuit, will appeal presumably. The finding, ^though, is unsettling and suggests that ··^thought should be given to amending the .*FOI Act, should the Digby ruling stand. *1 Judge Digby finds no suggestion that ·icommittee work must be open to the public !~in the wording of the FOI Act, and he even !;'makes a strong affirmation of his appreciation of the importance of open government :'and a free-press in a free society to prove ·.- ; his lack of bias. The problem, he says, is ; .*.that the Act simply doesn't say anything · 'about committees, as such. Thus he finds in : 'favor of the UA Trustees. But the judge, it seems to us, is look- ,'ing too intently at the fine print. He would ;^be better off to step back aways and take Ca look at the whole package. Committees, it Jhas always seemed to us, are but pieces :of the whole, and we fail to see how a law ·'can apply to the whole aud not its integral parts. Maybe the Supreme Court can .'·clarify this. ':_ The case in question has to do with a ^·session of the UA Board of Trustees' stu- :"dent affairs committee of last fall. Discussed :at that session were two sensitive, touchy ;.topics -- student drinking and race relations. ;'The committee, apparently for that reason, ; - was reluctant to air its opinions on the sub- John I. Smith iects at hand in front of a reporter, Ms Ginger Shiras of the Gazette. She was asked to leave. , , As it turned out the Trustees later on took action in open session, but with only abbreviated discussion, relying instead on the recommendations of the committee. The clear consequence is that the committee "dodge" enables the Trustees to circumvent the purpose of the FOI Act. There are always a variety of groups hanging around ready to do away with the First Amendment, and it is a caution to find that school boards are frequently out front of the mob. It is a caution, because the First Amendment (and the FOI Act) is a safeguard that belongs to the citizens of this country, not the press or tv, and is basic to the whole principle of education. The state's FOI Act has a provision for closed door meetings to discuss personnel matters, and we imagine every public board or agency in the state has used this privilege at one time or another to avoid discussing potentially hot political topics in public. The public's business does not profit by secrecy, however, and the sooner this latest ruse to slam the door on the public s right to know, the better. The sad thing, we repeat, is that those who ought to be most aware of the error of such practices all too often are the most unrelenting in efforts to keep the public in the dark. If the UA Trustees are allowed to pursue this practice, it won't be long before open discussion of controversial topics in public affairs is a thing of the past. It'll all be done by committee, and that must not be allowed to happen. Area Farming ·';!·· An item came to my attention . last week which should warm v the spirits of anyone in this time of inflation, adverse wea- Xther, high crime rate, or what 1 "have you. ; We have a multitude of rural organizations which endeavor to ". build neighborliness between the people of given communities .'.·and between themselves. They ··'often use the rural school build- '=· ings no longer used for schools '-in these days of consolidated '.schools. Or they might even '. 'convert unused rural churches ;C into meeting places for t h e i r * Organizations. ',:" One such group of organizations is the farm fraternity. ..more officially called the ^'"Patrons of Husbandry". ..but rJfor short, is just called the ''£ "Grange." This is a Nationwide »J organization which at times has "·(exceeded a million members ·-Tand now might range close to T* that magic number, 'A Its basic front line of attacks 5? toward the problems of its "·S. members, is the local units no '^larger than the organizations ^mentioned above; that is, no ^larger than a rural school dis- %trict. %* It is to the happy credit of jfithe writer of this column (Jr- (because perhaps he is also a member) that Ke Is called upon at times to grade their scrap books which outline their fraternal efforts toward each other. He and the friends who help him make no claim to any throughness or exactness in grading ' these books, but we enjoy, nevertheless, t h e observing of what they do for each other. NOW BACK TO the item which came to my attention last week. I wish I could say that it happened in Washington County, but with equal admiration, must say that the incident happened in Carroll County, another fine agricultural county of Northwest A r k a n s a s . One of their members became ill. He w a s placed in a hospital for a long, long session, from which he never "'recovered. It would be wholesome to quote the full report of all that the rural neighbors and fellow Grangers did for this man during this time, however, short quotes are often more effective than long ones, and the quotation is confined to about eighty words, and they follow: '"Since May 1974, approximately 12,000 bales of hay and 36 tons of fescue seed have been harvested for this family. We | From The Readers' Viewpoint |No Stunt By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON -- International Telephone and Telegraph dispatched one of America's top bugging experts Into the homes and government palace of Chilean president Salvator Allenda in 1971. The alleged purpose of this mysterious mission was to "debug" Allende's roms and to train Chilean police and army men in electronics de-bugging techniques. Interestingly, it was thr military which later overthrew Allende. The visit of master-bugger John Ragan came as ITT, the CIA and the U.S. Embassy in Santiago were busily seeking information ot help them get the socialist Allende out of office. Allende was nationalizing American companies in Chile, including ITT. Hagan, an ex-FBI electronic specialist, is best known as the man called in by the White House "plumbers" to bug the home of columnist Joseph Kraft. But in the "business,'' Ragan is respected as an awe- Some pro: a specialist called in to de-bug the quarters of such notables as Richard Nixon, former Attorney General John Mitchell, Charles "Bebe" Rebo- zo and others. On his trip to turbulent Chile, Ragan took along a load of "offensive" bugging equipment. Secret Watergate documents show he was accompanied down by ITT's assistant security director Russell Tagliareni. The documents reveal that Hagan stayed in Chile from April 28, 1971, to May 5, 1971. and was paid $200 a day by ITT. While there, Ragan, at the invitation of the army and police, entered Allende's home at Valparaiso and Santiago, and his presidential palace. According to Ragan, he and The Washington Merry-Go-Round t T o t h e Editor: *s? In all sincerity I do want to J'-'serve you on a national level- 7"'preferably as a Senator or per- '-·JJ-haps a Representative. After J^-'carefully considering many -/pfacets of this issue of my .l-*!running as a write-in candidate -for the U.S. Fourth Congres- V.-^sional District I have decided "Vthat it would be wise if I posl- ';poned my political career and ". will devote my time to study- ing issues that are important to us. Hopefully I can also begin my law studies soon. I will be able to serve you to the best of rny ability with a little more time even though the U.S. Constitution states that i am of age to serve as your Representative. My filing as a write-in candidate was in no way a "political stunt" as I filed vyith strong convictions concerning worthwhile goals. Beverly Ann Perchan Pine Bluff They'll Do It Every Time estimate our men folk have spent 600 man hours and 400 machine hours; all in a spirit of neighborliness,...there is no charge. They have mowed the lawn once a week all summer, as well as spreading 23 tons of fertilizer, the second week of September, 1974. Grange ladies also helped...we prepared food for the family, helped with the housework, the garden, freezing and canning." If it cost 20 cents per bale to put up hay, and it does, figure the cash value of this labor donation. Again, if farm labor is worth two dollars per hour, and good labor is worth this much, figure the donation again. Figure the value of 400 machine hours. If it costs 5 cents to harvest a bushel of grain, calculate the donation for harvesting 36 tons of seed. Then notice "there is no charge." Then, too, the food that the ladies prepared for the workers must have rivalled a first class country barbecue or fish fry. America win lose a lot, if it ever loses this almost spontaneous aid which neighbors extend to neighbors. It is expressed in fighting fires, house or barn raisings, rushing an injured man to the hospital, bringing groceries to a family in distress, or in enough other ways to fill two short columns like this, if all could be tabulated. These are the activities that make country life worth living. These are the activities which Oliver Goldsmith, over 200 years ago, lamented the loss of when he wrote "The Deserted Village." Biliy Graham This Is My Answer I have always had difficulty in determining the will of God for my life. Is there really such a thing as a divine plan, and how does one discover it? K.S. Indeed there is, and God wants us to know His will and do it. The best definition of this I have ever seen has come from George Muller, a man in the last century who 'ounded 01- phan houses in England. Here are his six points. "First, I seek to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Secondly, having done this. I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself l i a b l e to great delusions. Thirdly, I seek the will of God through the Word of God. If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures. Fourthly, I take into stances. Fifthly, I ask God in prayer reveal his will to me. And lastly, through prayer, the study of the Word and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment -- according to the best of my ability and knowledge. If my mind is thus at peace and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly." This seemed to vyork well for George Muller. Write me again after you've tried it. Allende once sat down and had coffee. There the Chilean leader learned that Ragan worked for ITT. Hagan describes the conversation as "cordial." No one seems to know why ITT, a relentless enemy of Allende's, was allowed in his dwellings, much less why the Chilean president let an ITT a- g e n t conduct "electronic sweeps" of his rooms at a time when planting of bugs was widely feared in Chile. Allende cannot explain: He died from gunshot wounds in the coup. But as we reported on March 21, 1972, ITT had made approaches "to select members of the Armed Forces in an attempt to have them lead some sort of uprising" in late 1970 only a few months before ITT and the Chilean army helped arrange Ragan's visit. The ITT electronics misson is even more puzzling in view of a secret ITT memo dated Sept. 29, 1970, from ITT Vice President E. J. Gerrity of ITT President Harold Geneen. In the memo, Gerrity advises "We should withdraw all technical help (to Chile) and should not promise any atchnical assistance in the future." Yet, within months, ITT's de- put security chief and its $20Q-a- day electronics consultant were dispatched to give "technical assistance" to the army, police and to at least one Chilean telephone company official. Through a trusted intermediary, we have been given a summary of Ragan's notes on the yisit. They do not shed much' light on the subject, but simply tell of meetings with the Chilean police and army officials. Some of them appear to be in code. After the Chilean excursion, Ragan continued to have high- paying dealings with ITT. His private lags show such curious listings as "6-2-71 - ITT test hi-power tmitter..6-7-71 -- ITT w-tmitter ..6-10-71 -- Call Jack Caulfield.." "Tmltter," in this case, is a tiny bugging transmitter. And Caulfield was the White House dirty trickster of the Watergate era. Ragan also ran an ITT debugging seminar and has done de-bugging work for Geneen and lesser ITT officials such as Dita Beard, John Ryan and William Marriam. He collected $175 to $200 a day for such duties. B'ootnote: Ragan spoke with my associate Les Whitlen at length. The "tmitter" was used only at the seminar, he said, not for bugging. The Chilean mission, he insisted, was "open and above board" and no bugs were planted while in Chile, nor were any found. The bugs he took with h i m , he said, were left In .Chile only for training purposes, not for "offensive" bugging. ITT also denies any effort to hug Allende . . JAILS OF MONTEZUMA: In an earlier column, we revealed that Army recruiters have signed up convicts on probation and men with police records -- a practice which could result in a dangerously substandard Army. Now we have discovered that the same recruitment abuses are widespread in the Marine Corps. Recruiters have gone to the crime rosters for their "few good men," and have arranged , with district attorneys, defense attorneys and judges to drop or reduce criminal charges against those who enlist. The $100,000,000 Man "ZscuTescwE" kiwi State Of Affairs Acid Test For Crime-Fighters A California source familiar with the practice, describes how prospective jailbirds arc told "that unless they estnolifr "that unless they enlist for a term of two or three years, they will go to pall." Not surprisingly, most of them prefer a hitch. In the Marines to a stretch In the slammer. My reporter, Randy Fitzgerald, made spot-checks around the country. Here are a few of his findings. -- In Houston, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's office admitted it is an "informal" practice to allovy prison prospects to choose military service instead. Usually such prisoners would have gotten probation, he said. --Another Texas district attorney, who preferred not to be identified, acknowledged that the number of men entering the Marine Corps through coerced enlistment "has increased considerably in the last few years." -- Los Angeles attorney Scott Tepper says he has clients "from all across the nation" who were.coerced into the arm- services. "Marine recruiters are now enrolling young recruits," he charged, by methods "reminiscent of the impress- ment techniques used in Draconian times." The Marine Corps' ; acting commandant, Gen. E. E. Anderson, insisted all this is :against policy. Yet in a letter to Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Tex-., the general conceded that recruiting regulations have been "circumvented" in an unknoyvn ed services. "Marine recruiters number of eases. · " -- United Features Syndicate By CLAYTON FRITCHEY WASHINGTON -- Like all the Chief Executives who have preceded him, President Ford is against crime. Speaking to the International Assn. of Police Chiefs the other day, Mr. Ford took note of the still increasing crime rate and deplored it. The President urged police officials to give "high priority" to violent crimes in the cities. There, he said, "is where crime docs the most damage to our whole urban structure." True enough, except Mr. Ford--like other Presidents--shied away from mentioning the chief instrument of this damage -- ·guns. Lyndon Johnson sponsored the greatest national study of crime ever made in the Snited States, but he did not campaign for legislation to outlaw the weapons with which most violent crime is committed. Former President Nixon also took a tough law-and-order line, but his Administration was so busy committing crimes itself that it had little time to deal with the nation's problem. It did find time however, to oppose new bills outlawing firearms in general. There is a simple test (or politicians who say they are concerned over the shootings of so many Americans every year. If they refuse to support gun- control laws, they are not to be taken seriously. Since Mr. Ford emphasized his concern over violence in the big cities, he might f i n d it worthwhile to listen to Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago. Speak- iirg for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mr. Daley urged Congress to pass legislation "which would take the guns away from every private person." ..HE SAID THAT as far as he was concerned, "lh« only purpose of a handgun in unauthorized hands is to kill." He also asked why Congress hasn't passed a strict gun-control bill and then provided the answer. "There is the influence and lobbying pressure of the National Rifle Assn.," he said. "There is no doubt about the organization being financed by gun manufacturers and dealers in addition to the revenue from membership dues." Another voice of experience is Boston Police Commissioner Robert di Grazia, who says there are now 40 million handguns in the United States, with over 2 million more being sold each year. "The gun," he says, "is no longer merely the instrument of crime; it is now a cause of violent crime." The commissioner reports that of the 11 Boston police officers shot in recent years seven were killed with handguns; and of the 17 wounded in the same period, 16 were shot with handguns. Policemen, of course, are What Others Say CONVENTION SITES Syndicated columnist Morrie Tyskind, who has called the House Judiciary Committee a "kangaroo court," added these satirical comments: "Maybe if the liberal juggernaut has its way, the next GOP convention may have to he held in San Quentin, But were the law applied equally, the Democrat.'! might have to hold theirs in Leavcnworth. But not with this kangaroo court." And if a convention were called for politicians of totally unblemished rectitude, a telephone booth might provide adequate quarters. --Charleston (S.C.) Evening Post not the only victims of these vicious weapons. In the last decade, America suffered 95,000 gun murders, 100,000 gun suicides, 700,000 gun woundings and 800,000 gun robberies. In the last five years, gun murders rose 50 per cent over the previous five years; gun robberies went up 75 per cent; gun murders of policemen rose 90 per cent. Canada, Japan, Australia and 29 European countries have strict gun controls, and their firearms violence rates ar incomparably lower than America's. England, for instance, had only seven handgun murders in 1971, while the United States had 8,991 in the same year. . P R I V A T E ownership of handguns must be banished from this country, declares Police Commissioner Di Grazia. "1 am not asking for registration of licensing or outlawing cheap guns," he says. "I am saying that no private citizen, whatever his claim, should possess a handgun. Only police officers should." While it goes without saying that the outlawing of firearms would not in itself solve the nation's crime problem, it can also be said that no country has ever controlled 'gun crime without gun control. And it's never too late to start. Jarnes B. Sullivan, a board member of the National Council of a Responsible Firearms Policy, puts the case this way: "Let us adopt this social reform 142 years after gun registration was adopted in England, just as we adopted old-age insurance 55 years after Germany, a minimum wage 44 years after New Zealand and unemployment insurance U years after Great Britain." (C) 1974, Los Angeles Times Privacy And The Courts WASHINGTON (ERR) - The Supreme Court of the United States will begin its 1974.-75 term on Oct. 7. . PRIVACY, WROTE Louis IX Brandeis 84 years ago, is the "right to be left alone." What are the modern dimensions of that right, in view of intensifying government and media scrutiny of areas of an individual's .life once considered highly personal? In various guises, that question winll face the nine men who on the U.S. Supreme Court when they meet on Oct. 7 to begin the Court's autumn term. Several of the cases they have agreed to hear argued this term deal with the issue of privacy. DOES A psychiatrist, for example, have the right to publish details of a particularly interesting case without the patient's consent? The right of free expression collides with the confidentiality expected in the doctor-patient relationship in a case which comes to the Court from New York. The patient won a lower court ban on distribution and sale of a book her psychiatrist wrote. The psychiatrist wants the Supreme Court to reverse the ban on the ground that it violates the First Amendment guarantee of free expression. In another case set for argument this term, the Cox Broadcasting Co. 'appealed a state court ruling that the company is liable to a million-dollar damage suit for broadcasting the name of a rape victim .in violation of a state law which prohibits such a report. Eight months after the rape, which resulted in the girl's death, a newsman for WSB-TV, an Atlanta station, used the victim's name in reporting the guilty pleas of the men charged with the assault. The victim's father then brought the suit. "Surely there is a line.-an outer limit, at which point the individual is given constitutional protection" from public scrutiny, the father's attorney argues. Welfare mothers from New York and Connecticut have challenged those slates' requirements that they bring or cooperate in, paternity and child-support suits against their children s absent fathers. They argue, in three suits, that these requirements invade their privacy and add to the strain of already difficult family relationships. TURNING THE bank-robber scenario inside out, the federal government lias asked the Court to affirm the right of the Internal Revenue Service to see bank records. The IRS wants .to find out who deposited $40,000 in badly deteriorated $100 bills in a. Kentucky bank, for it suspects that the depositor had hid pects that the depositor had hidden the money for a long time without paying the required fed. era! taxes. . To establish the depositor's identity, the IRS issued a "John Doe" summons asking an official of the bank to produce records for the relevant period. The official refused to comply. An appeals court upheld his refusal, holding that the p r i - vacy of bank records could not be breached by such a summons unless the IRS could identify the taxpayer under investigation. The only case that Richard Nixon ever argued before the Supreme Court involve da family that claimed its privacy had been violated by .in article oub- lishcd in Life magazine. Nixon losct the case in a 5 to 4 decision. Perhaps the prcsqpt Court, which includes four Nixon appointees, will be more sympathetic to individual appeals for protection of personal privacy.

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