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October 10, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-10-10

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Murder in

~4e Mir4ig~au Dailyj
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedomn
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

my heart for the Judge'

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

ROTC: Modified into
the ground

THE REPORT of the Senate Assembly's
Academic Affairs Committee on the
status of ROTC at the University is a
masterpiece of co-optation, and the co-
opted party is the Department of Defense.
The committee recommended that:
-the ROTC programs be deprived of
their departmental standing;
--that instructors not be given aca-
demic titles unless they hold regular
academic appointments here;
-that the military reimburse the Uni-
versity for all services rendered (such as
secretaries and classroom space);
-and that a new committee be set up
to oversee the ROTC programs.
The report makes one concession, albeit
a major one-it allows the Department of
Defense to continue to operate an ROTC
program here. At the same time, it with-
draws all University support for the pro-
gram leaving it only the barest formal
The final version, in short, comes across
as advertised earlier - ROTC would be
"modified into the ground" if the recom-
mendations were accepted.
MORE SPECIFICALLY, the recommen-
dations of the Senate Assembly com-
mittee eliminate all the vital areas in
which the University supported the pro-
gram before.
It was always a major concern to the
three services that their ROTC programs
be accredited as regular units of the Uni-
versity. That was why they wanted de-
partmental recognition and academic
titles-it looked good.
But the committee, recognizing finally
the gross academic failings of ROTC,
have completely undercut all such pre-
tenses, and left behind only what the
military wanted to hide under academic
regalia-a recruitment program.
What is left is the slightest possible
University cooperation with the three
ROTC programs, an agreement to let
ROTC exist as a part-a slight part--of
the University, nothing more.
WHILE THE report of the committee as
a whole is commendable, other com-
mittee members did suggest an important
addition that should not be ignored either
by Senate Assembly or the Regents.
Three professors recommended that
the ROTC programs be barred from giv-
ing "instruction specifically directed to-
ward means for the destruction of human
life"-in line with the University's policy
on research.
The recommendation, although com-
mendable, does pinpoint the basic con-
tradiction in the University's cooperation
in any form with the ROTC programs.
The University may try to cleanse itself
by eliminating the specific military train-
ing in the programs, but the larger goals
of the program remain the same-to train
soldiers whose task is war.
But it is by keeping the ROTC program
here that the University may be able to
have some small effect on its product.
That is, the alternatives now are com-
plete severance, reducing ROTC to an
extra-curricular activity, or this limited
and limiting relation, with the University
doing the limiting.
Potential University control would lie

in the hands of the proposed restructured
and reconstituted ROTC Committee. The
committee, under this report, would be
responsible for:
-evaluation of all personnel assigned
to ROTC programs here by the military;
-evaluation of the curricula of the
ROTC programs (including supervision of
the "instruction directed by the destruc-
tion of human life" provision, if it is ap-
proved); and
-mediation between ROTC and stu-
dents enrolled in the programs.
This recommendation, on the face of
it, is excellent, but it must prove itself in
UNFORTUNATELY, there are precedents
that indicate things might be other-
This committee would succeed the pres-
ent ROTC liaison committee, which 'also
had the power to oversee all appoint-
ments to the ROTC staff. But that power
was never exercised by the committee,
and became in the long run a paper pro-
tection that the University was little in-
clined to use.
There seems to be no real protection
against this happening save for constant
vigilance on the part of those who would
have ROTC be kept in its proper place-
as an unpleasant but necessary addition
to the community.
BUT IF THE committee does not decay,
it would have the power to make ROTC
what it wants it to be, not what the De-
fense Department wants.
By keeping a careful watch over staff,
and by using its power to reject proposed
appointments liberally; by keeping a
careful watch over the content of the
ROTC programs; and by fighting to pro-
tect students who get caught in ROTC
and want out, the committee could force
ROTC into a mold much more acceptable
on a college campus.
If all these provisos are met, and they
are admittedly many and difficult, then
the University will have an acceptable
working relationship with ROTC.
THE COMMITTEE was obviously aware
of the negative reaction the Defense
Department may have to its recommen-
dations, and added a little recommenda-
tion that covers that contingency very
nicely. If the recommendations are not
met by the Defense Department, the com-
mittee wrote, then ROTC should be drop-
ped and left as an extra-curricular ac-
The minority report submitted by Prof.
Eugene Litwak calling for a complete
severance of the University's ties with
ROTC is no less acceptable than the ma-
jority report. The difference is political.
We would prefer Prof. Litwak's stand that
ROTC be dropped, but we think it is im-
practical position at this point in time.
The impracticality brings up one last
point. This recommendation must still go
to the Regents, and they are unlikely to
go too far in limiting ROTC. It is in this
light especially that the majority report,
the best possible compromise, appears
most acceptable.
Managing Editor

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
third and last part of a series
describing the Writer's arrest and
conuviction for possession of nari-
juana. In this section Sinclair
describes his last trial and the sub-
sequent legal battles surrounding
his imprisonment.)
t WON'T EVEN try to describe
the jury here - just go into a
courtroom sometime and look at
the jury for yourself, they're all
pretty much the same especially
in their exclusions. The jury was
selected on June 24, 1967. By
June 26, a mistrial was declared.
The state's star witness Vahan
Kapagian, had made, according to
Columbo's ruling on the motion of
my lawyer, Justin Ravitz, mis-
leading, prejudicial, and otherwise
false statements during his testi-
mony before the jury. In, cross-
examination Ravitz asked Kapa-
gian if he had been to my apart-
ment before the 22nd of December,
1966, and Kapagian replied, "yeah.
I was up there when they were all
smoking marijuana." The state-
ment was not only misleading but
it was completely untrue since he
hadn't been there and I didn't
even live there on that date.
The mistrial postponed the trial
for another month and gave us a
chance to pick a new jury. Trial
was set for the 21st of July but
didn't start until the 22nd because
our dear President Nixon pro-
claimed Monday the 21st a na-
tional holiday in honor of the re-
turning moonmen.
BY THE END of that week-
Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.-the
case went to the jury. During the
trial Ravitz had demonstrated that
the agents stories had no objective
basis; that the agents had, ac-

cording to their own story, ample
opportunity to arrest me and to
confiscate a bowl of marijuana
they said I had in my possession
on December 22 but didn't inform
me of the alleged crime or arrest
until over a month later, on Janu-
ary 24, 1967; that the substance
involved couldn't be proved to be
marijuana by the state's chemist;
and that the political situation at
the time of the arrest was such
that the police easily could have
made up the story about alleged
dispensing of the two joints be-
tween 8:55 and 9:05 p.m. on De-
cember 22, 1966, and just rounded
mne up with 55 other people a
month later just so they could
f romn
"get me,' as Lt. Stringfellow had
promised before the "investiga-
tion" began.
The jury deliberated for an
hour and five minutes before de-
livering their verdict of "guilty as
charged." Judge Colombo imme-
diately revoked my bond and re-
manded me to the Wayne County
Jail, setting sentencing for Mon-
day morning at 9:00 a.m.
sentenced me to 9%-10 years in
prison for possessing two mari-
juana cigarettes. He said in his

little sermon that he wasn't sen-
tencing me because of my beliefs,
he was sentencing me "because
John Sinclair and his ilk believe
they can defy the law with im-
punity," or something like that-
a nea exercise in newspeak double-
He also refused to set an appeal
bond, basing his decision on his
contention that I would "continue
to commit" such dastardly crimes
as possession of marijuana, even
though I had been free on bond
for 2% years on this case without
a single arrest for marijuana
crimes and had never missed a
court date, and even though go-
lombo knew there were substan-
tial constitutional and other legal
questions involved in my appeal
which would eventually bring
about a victory for me in the
higher courts.
Colombo's decision to withhold
appeal bond in my case was a deli-
berate and cynical act of political
repression directed against a polit-
ical activist in direct violation of
constitutional provisions, just as
his prosecution of me under the
law was illegal and unconstitu-
tional. But few judges, it seems,
have any respect for the law when
it doesn't suit their own prejudicies
and desires.
Wayne County Jail that Monday
morning and shipped to the South-
ern Michigan State Prison at
Jackson the next day. Ravitz and
Otis filed an "emergency appli-
cation for appeal bond" with the
Michigan Court of Appeals the
next day, but the appeals court
turned it down without even read-
ing the application or the sup-
porting brief.
It was enough for them to have
read the newspapers. The appli-
cation summarized the history of
my case and contended that "the
issues on appeal . . . are meritori-
ous and substantial and have not
been resolved in the appelate
courts in this State nor in many
other states around the country."
Also the fact that the trial
judge's ruling that the evidence
had been obtained illegally but
was still allowed as evidence
against me, and the fact that the
arrest was made more than a
month after the alleged crime had
been committted constituted an
"unreasonable delay" which was
"prejudicial to the defendants,"
were further "meritorious grounds
for appeal," and further reasons
why an appeal bond should be set
pending the eventual outcome of
the appeal.
IN THE BRIEF supporting the
application, which went to the
State Supreme Court in Lansing,
Michigan, Ravitz quotes U.S. Su-
preme Court Justice William O.
Douglas (in Carbo v. United
States) on the legal bases for

denying appeal bond to convicted
"Bail should not be granted
where the offense of which the
defendant has been convicted is
an atrocious one, and there is
danger that if he is given his free-
dom he will commit another of
like character . . . . Mreover
where the constitutionality of an
Act is at issue, the likelihood is
not a proper circumstance to take
into consideration . . . For it is
deep-seated in our law that one
may take his chances and defy a
legislative act on constitutional
Supreme Court Justice would seem
to answer Colombo's allegations
and stipulations directly and
The Michigan Supreme Court
considered the "emergency appli-
cation" for a period of six full
weeks before handing down their
decision, which is reprinted here
in full:
"On order of the Court, the
emergency motion by defendant
and appellant for oral argument
on his application for leave to ap-
peal is considered, and. the same
is hereby DENIED. It is further
ordered that the emergency ap-
plication for leave to appeal from
the order of the Court of Appeals
denying bond is considered, and
the same is hereby DENIED, as
defendant ar1d appellant has failed
to persuade the court that he nas
a meritorious basis for appeal or
that the determination of the
Court of Appeals is clearly e -
Six of these so-called Justices-
Thomas Brennan, John Dethmers,
Harry F. Kelly, Eugene Black,

Thomas M. Kavanaugh, and Paul
L. Adams--concurred on the ma-
jority ruling, while only one---
Thomas Giles Kavanaugh, of Ann
Arbor--apears to have even read
the brief in support of the mo-
wait to be heard in the Federal
District Court in Detroit, the State
Department of Corrections, Gus
Harrison, Director, has sent me
500 miles north of Detroit, to the
Marquette Branch Prison where I
am effectively out of touch with
my attornies and anyone else who
can help me fight my case.
But the political aspects of ny
arrests,/ conviction, imprisonment
and transfer have been so blatant
that thousands of people have
been able to relate to the illegal
behavior of the so-called "law-
and-order" advpcates in the co'irts
and police stations, and each fu.-
ther move the state makes against
ne only serves to heighten the
contradictions inherent in the
system that has locked me up here
in the cold north country.
I may be in prison for a while,
but for every day I'm locked up
under these phony pretenses there
wil be more and more people ask-
ing more and more questions, won-
dering why and how and when and
knowing who is to blame for this
travesty of justice-Mr. Colombo
& the court conspiracy. And the
sooner the people become aware
of this conspiracy, the sooner it
will be replaced by a system better
suited to the needs of the people--
because the people deserve better
treatment than this. And they will
ge it.
All Power to the People! All
Justice to the People!


To the Editor:
I USED TO do s o in e Sunday
painting as a way of keeping sane.
Feeling a need to resume this hob-
by, I shopped around for art sup-
plies the other day. I found the
prices at the Discount Store to be
distinctly advantageous, with sav-
ings of 20 per cent and more. Se-
lection was good, attitude of the
sales clerks was outstanding, and
the rock music in the background
was not intolerable.
-Arthur M. Ross
Vice President
State Relation
and Planning
Oct. 7
Radicals and Mobe
To the Editor:
tober 9, 1969, Bruce Levine and
Steve Nissen criticize the antiwar
movement's popular front char-
acter. If the antiwar movement
really fit the distorted definition

rooves at SGC

Discount Store

of a popular front they give, their
reservations would be justified. A
popular front does "include as
many people and groups as possi-
ble" - but around goals which
each group can wholeheartedly
support, e.g., immediate with-
drawal of all U.S. troops f r o m
Vietnam. This is not accomplished
"by throwing all the various po-
litical positions together and cut-
ting off all the rough edges. In
order to eliminate dissension in
the ranks, the front unifies around
'lowest denominator' politics."
That strategy h a s plagued
American radical politics at times.
as in the Peace and Freedom con-
glorherations, which tried to sup-
press political differences. But the
antiwar movement h a s rejected
that pattern, and serves as an ex-
ample of how political differences
should be handled within a popu-
lar front. In 1967, the movement
was united only around the need
for independent mass actions and
the goal of ending the war. It was
divided on the question of nego-
tiations vs. withdrawal. The fight
over that political difference was

made through open political dis-
cussion within 1 o c a l antiwar
groups and at national conferenc-
es, and through competition be-
tween groups favoring different
lines. That healthy political fight
was won by the advocates of the
line which presented the only real
solution for Vietnam, self-deter-
mination through immediate with-
drawal of foreign troops f r o m
Vietnam. But all during that fight,
the unity of goals which did exist,
which makes a popular front pos-
sible, remained, and t h e move-
ment pulled off the New York and
Washington Mobilization in t h e
midst of that fight.
THE AUTHORS OF the editor-
ial admit that, "If the two groups
(radicals and liberal capitalists)
differed only in diagnosis, Mobe-
type unity would still be possi-
ble." They make t h e important
discrimination between differenc-
es in political line and differences
in prescription, which cannot be
maintained for long within pop-
ular fronts. They intelligently
perceive the attempt being made
by "corporate liberals" to chan-
nel t h e antiwar movement into
h a r m 1 e s s, reformist, capitalist
electoral politics. One wing of this
country's leadership has been try-
ing to use and divert the antiwar
movement for years.
But it is the movement t h a t
poses an alternative to capitalist
electoral deceit, that keeps mass-
es in the streets, that is gaining
at their expense. The Vietnam
Moratorium of October 15 has
changed in character through the
participation and leadership of the
radical antiwar movement, until
now it is predominantly a day of
militant, nationally coordinated
student strikes and mass demon-
strations, calling f o r immediate
withdrawal of U.S. troops. The lib-
erals want to use the Moratorium,
but they can't join it unless they
are willing to embrace its objec-
tively anti-imperialist demands.
Sure the Quenon's and Fleming's
sneak at ourraies.So d n Tom

tionary struggles around t h e
world. His analysis should tell him
that the task of paramount im-
portance today is to b u i I d the
movement that can force an end
to that war. It is the responsibility
of radicals to "announce their pol-
itics." Radicals in the antiwar
movement do so, and in so doing
offer the only cogent explanation
of America's refusal to heed the
w ill of its people on Vietnam.
Their politics spread through the
antiwar activists' ranks and their
numbers grow. Radicals who re-
treat from the point of struggle
at the first sight of a liberal. to
an office from which they c a n
"announce their politics," offer a
politics pf defeat.
-Andy Bustin
Ann Arbor Young
Socialist Alliance
Tenu re procedures
Dear Editor:
THOSE OF US investigating
tenure procedures of LSA h a v e
b e g u n to formulate various
specific proposals to encourage
more student in-put for such con-
siderations. Examples would be
considering e a e h man's course
evaluation along with his publish-
ing and establishing a channel for
letters of students regarding the
faculty member as a teacher. Such
feed-in would require circulation
of the names of faculty members
up for tenure. Because of the dif-
ficulty in gathering information
from the many departments and
because these particular proposals
lead to larger, more theoretical
questions, we are submitting this
letter to generate response.
Since tenure decisions involve
considerations of many facets of a
professor's activities, discussion of
tenure implies the question, "What
makes a good professor?" How do
we allow for differing needs and
talents? What is the order of pri-
orities for a professor at a uni-
versity like Michigan? How should

We ask faculty, students, and
administrators to respond to these
questions, through this column or
by leaving statements to our at-
tention in 1018 Angell Hall.
-Robert Marx
-Sanford Levy
-Ellen Aprill
BLS. recruitmnt
To the Editor:
YOUR ARTICLE on the law
school dated October 8 ends with
the sentence "The members of
the BLSA were also free to re-
cruit," the implication being that
the Law School made no efforts
to cooperate with the Black Law
Students Alliance in its efforts to
attract more and better students
to the Law School. Nothing could
be further from the truth. In
1968-1969 more than $1,500 was
spent by the law school in send-
ing eight students (all who ex-
pressed interest) to the following
schools: University of North Caro-
lina, North Carolina College,
Duke, Shaw, North Carolina
State, North Carolina A&T, Uni-
versity of North Carolina at
Greensboro, CCNY. Queens Col-
lege, Columbia, NYU, Hunter Col-
lege, University of San Francisco,
San Jose State, University of Cal-
ifornia at Berkeley, Stanford,
Fisk, Morehouse and the Atlanta
complex, and Howard.
The black law students were
free to select the schools th2y
visited but it was clear that they
had the financial support and co-
operation of the school through-
I LOOK FORWARD to working
on this year's recruitment e f f o r t
with the BLSA once the present
period of erroneous claims and
dramatization has.-passed.
-Matthew P. McCauley

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