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December 02, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-12-02

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Seventy-Sixth Year

The Greatest Crime'-a Frameup?

Where Opinions A Free 420 MAYNARD ST. ANN ABO, MICH
Truth Will prevail 2 ANR T. N IHR ia

Nrws PHONE: 764-0552

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

The Draft Reclassifications:
U' Defends Free Speech

HE UNIVERSITY yesterday stepped in-
to the controversy of draft board re-
classification and through its official
statement, reaffirmed the priority of civil
The University statement, by Vice-
Presidents Richard Cutler and Allan
Smith, said in part that "as educators,
we still believe the policy of student de-
ferment, as it has been administered in
the past, is a sound policy and should be
continued. In that light, satisfactory edu-
cational progress by the student is in
our judgment the controlling, if not the
sole factor on which student deferment
should be based. This we understand to
be the existing national policy. To intro-
duce other factors into the decision
makes possible either individual favor-
itism or individual punitive action, either
of which is clearly unwise and potentially
The University's statement stemmed
from the review and reclassification of
four University students because of their
participation in a civil disobedience dem-
onstration at the Ann Arbor draft board
October 15. .
Any criticism of the reclassification of
the protesting students on the basis of
their activities must focus on the Uni-
versal Military Training and Selective
Service Act of 1952. as amended from
1948, which (Section 12) precludes any
person or persons from hindering or in-
terrupting the administration of the laws
or regulations of selective service.
lates that all men aged 18 are eligible
for I-A classification, providing they meet
induction requirements, unless they con-
vince their local draft board that .it is
"in the national interest" to be classified
Therefore, if the local board believes
that it is not in the national interest
for a student to hold other than a I-A
classification, then-legally and theoret-
ically-it has the prerogative of with-
drawing his deferment.
In essence, the law of the land stipu-
lates that selective service classification
is on the basis of "national interest."
Colonel Arthur Holmes, the state selec-
tive service director, said last night that

"The entire selective service system is not
in any way contrary to peaceful demon-
stration, freedom of speech or the right
of personal thought."
Holmes noted that his function in the
review and reclassification of the stu-
dents was merely sending the Municipal
Court charges against the demonstrators
on to local draft boards. However, he did
add that the demonstration, as it was
conducted was in violation of the selec-
tive service act because it "obviously im-
peded the operations of the draft board."
IF."IMPEDING the workings of the draft
board" constitutes a violation of the
selective service act, then the natural
question concerns whether the demon-
strators did indeed impede the workings
of the draft board.
The fact is that visitors to the draft
board could have carried on business, ad-
mittedly with some inconvenience, but
encountering no effective obstacles,
should they have chosen to enlist or carry
on other selective service business.
In essence, the charge that the dem-
onstrators impeded the workings of the
draft board is a tedious and technical_
one, which shifts the real force of the
charge back to basic questions: Which
is more in the national interest, the
workings of the government, whether on
the subjective or technical level, or the
preservation of the freedom of expression
on an individual basis?
DISREGARDING either the merits or
distasteful effects of the draft board
demonstration, the national Bill of Rights
insures individuals freedom of expres-
sion. The Bill of Rights is sacred and is
not to be qualified or diluted with either
a subjective or arbitrary interpretation
of what is in the national interest. Stu-
dents are students regardless of their ac-
tivities and deserve selective service clas-
sification or reclassification on that fac-
tor alone.
That the University is recognizing this
fact will work to remind students and citi-
zens at large that the University of Mich-
igan, not to be confused with another
state institution, gives priority to the
right of individual freedom of expression.

HE "crime of the century" was
never committed.
That is the claim of Walter and
Miriam Schneir in their book on
the Rosenberg-Sobell trials, "In-
vitation to an Inquest."
The ramifications of their
charge-that the secret of the
atomic bomb was never stolen-
are obviously tremendous as they
discredit J. Edgar Hoover's FBI
and cast a dark shadow on the
nation's judicial process in times
of crisis.
Yet the Schneir's charge is not
idle propaganda or the accusation
of paranoids. Rather they have
substantially documented their
case to the point that reviewers
from such media as the Washing-
ton Evening Star, Newsweek and
the Nation agree there is a reason-
able doubt about the justice of
the Rosenberg-Sobell trial.
IN FACT the lawyers for Mor-
ton Sobell, who is now serving a
thirty-year prison sentence, have
announced that they will use the
Schneirs book as a main part of
their evidence in requesting a
hearing for a new trial.
The lawyers will point out that
Sobell was convicted to' thirty
years inwprison because he was
charged with being a member of
the conspiracy ring headed by
Rosenberg to steal atomic secrets,
although the government did not
prove that Sobell himself sold
atomic secrets.
The provisions of American law
dictate that if a person is a
member ofa "conspiracy" he is
culpable for the actions of any
member of that group in the at-
tempt to gain the desired ends.
If Sobell's lawyers could prove
that there was no conspiracy to
steal the secrets of the atomic
bomb, then Sobell would presum-
ably be a free man,
And the nonexistence of the
conspiracy is the Schneirs basic
the details of the case in the
context of the times. They claim
that many nations had the theo-
retical knowledge needed to build
an atomic bomb in the 1940's. The
big issue was whether the theory
could be carried into practice, and
the answer to the question was
not worth the enormous cost to
most nations.
The reason for this the Schneirs
explain, was that there was no

guarantee that the atomic bomb
was a practical possibility and
most nations were overstrained
during the war producing conven-
tional armaments..
However, the Schneirs say, the
United States was able to afford
the strain and went full steam
'ahead with the project after Ein-
stein convinced President Roose-
velt of the desirability of having
the bomb before the Nazis.
According to the Schneirs our
big secret-that the bomb was a
practical possibility-was let out
in Hiroshima and Nagasaki rather
than through any master thief.
When the United States learned
that the Soviet Union had the
bomb the postwar Red scare
reached new heights and the witch
hunts began. According to the
Schneirs, scapecoats were needed,
and the Rosenbergs and Sobel!
were perfect.
ACCORDING to the Schneirs
the opportunity to find scapecoats
presented itself when British
atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs con-
fessed to British authorities that
he had transmitted some infor-
mation on the atomic bomb to
Russia through a courier whose
name or face he did not recall.
Here was the golden opportunity
to uncover a "conspiracy" to steal
America's nuclear secrets.
The first member of the "con-
spiracy" uncovered by the FBI
was Harry Gold, a Philadelphia
chemist, who was supposed to be
the unknown courier in the Fuchs
From that point the alleged
links which lead to the conviction
of the Rosenbergs and Sobell
started to be uncovered, accord-
ing to the FBI, or fabricated, ac-
cording to the Schneirs.
The FBI claimed that after Gold
had gotten his information from
Fuchs in Sante Fe, he stopped off
in Albuquerque, where he con-
tacted David Greenglass, an Army
technician who worked at Los
Alamos and was the brother of
Ethel Rosenberg.
GREENGLASS, who testified
Julius Rosenberg had persuaded
him to spy for Russia, transmitted
to Gold sketches of the lens mold
of the atomic bomb and received
an envelope containing $500 ac-
cording to the FBI.
When Gold returned to New
York the FBI said he gave the
sketches to his Russian contact
who Gold later testified said, ac-

cording to Gold's testimony "the
information which I had received
from Greenglass was very valu-
To support its story the govern-
ment used two prime pieces of evi-
dence. One was Gold's Hilton
Hotel registration card for the
day he was allegedly in Albuquer-
que and the other was a bank
statement showing that Green-
glass opened an account with $400
shortly after Gold supposedly
came to town.
IN REPLY to the government,
the Schneirs first claim that the
Hilton Hotel registration card is
a forgery. They point to the fact
that the card is stamped June 3rd
on its face and is time stamped
June 4 on the back. Hotel officials
all agreed according to the
Schneirs that the time stamp is
the accurate record. But on June
4 Gold was no longer in town
according to his own testimony.
Furthermore the Schneirs assert
that the desk clerk's initials on
the June 4th card seemed to be
forged, according to a handwrit-
ing expert they consulted. The
reason a definitive opinion could
not be given by the handwriting
expert, the Schneirs claim, was
that the registration card pre-
sented in court was a photostat
rather than t he original.
SECONDLY, the Schneirs come
to the conclusion that the gov-
ernment's chief witness, Harry
Gold, was a habitual liar.
The Schneirs. discovered that
Gold directly conflicted his testi-
mony in the Rosenberg-Sobell
trial by writing in a statement
given to his lawyer months before
the trialhthat his Russian con-
tact "told me that the informa-
tion received (from David Green-
glass) was of no value."
In addition the authors found
that Gold's description of his ren-
dezvous with Greenglass was much
less precise in a conversation with
his lawyer well in advance of the
trial than in his court testimony
and sometimes conflicted with it.
There was also motivation. for
Greenglass to frame his sister and
.brother-in-law according to the
Schneirs. Greenglass had originally
been guilty of stealing some
uranium from the government for
sale on the black market. They
noted parenthetically that this
sale explains the sudden appear-
ance of the $400 in the Greenglass
bank account.

In an interview, Walter Schneir
says Greenglass got himself deeper
and deeper in trouble by unkown-
ingly confessing to have trans-
mitted the lens mold diagrams in
order to escape the uranium theft
rap. Once having confessed to
this capital crime, Schneir says,
Greenglass looked fordan out and
tried to make a deal to tarn
state's evidence.
At the worst, Schneir said.
Greenglass expected a year or two
in jail and at best a suspended
sentence. Instead he got fifteen
THERE ARE several major
questions to ask about the gov-
ernments and the Schneirs hand-
ling of the Rosenberg-Sobell trial.
In the first place one would have
imagined that if the FBI wished
to forge a hotel registration card
they could have done a pretty
good job of it.
Yet the Schneirs say that the
card is clearly a forgery.
Certainly they could have made
sure that the two sides of the
card had the same date on it and
that the handwriting of the desk
clerk on the card resembled that
of an authentic card. The fact
that it was not well done may
indicate that there was no fab-
Schneir, however, said that one
cannot work on the assumption
that the FBI is infallible, and it
is possible that they could have
muffed the forgery.
Furthermore, Schneir pointed
out that the card need not neces-
sarily have been forged by the
FBI. For example, he said it might
have been forged by a member
of the prosecutors in the case.
But then again the prosecuting
team, which included Roy Cohn,
was a pretty sharp crew. Forgery
itself is possibly not below: Cohn,
who was a McCarthy aid and has
been charged and cleared of jer-
jury in another case, but one
imagines he would have done a
good job.
FBI sent to Sobell's lawyers a
letter which says in reference to
the controversial registration
cards that "due to passage of time
these cards are no longer avail-
able." It would seem inconceivable
that the FBI would throw out its
prime piece of evidence in the
"crime of the century" when its

keeps its material on Ma Barker
Furthermore if Harry Gold was
such a liar and his testimony al-
ways conflicted why didn't the
Rosenberg's lawyer cut him down
in court?
Schneir admitted in his inter-
view that the defense attorney in
the case did make a lot of mis-
takes which are recognizable in
However, he said, one should
take into account the fact that
the defendants could not afford
to hire an expensive attorney, and
that there were few lawyers who
were familiar with federal law
who would have been willing to
defend the Rosenbergs and Sobell.
related a recent incident which
also casts some shadows upon the
role of the FBI in the case.
According to Schneir he was
invited to speak on his book on
the local NBC affiliate radio and
TV stations in Cleveland, but when
he arrived he found his appear-
ances cancelled.
It turned out that, according
to Schneir an ABC Cleveland af-
filiate said the FBI had called up
the Cleveland stations and had
asked them whether they had
invited Schneir to be on their
shows. Schneir labeled the calls
from the FBI as "subtle forms of
intimidation" even though no spe-
cific threats were conveyed.
THE QUESTIONS raised by the
Schneirs cannot and should not
be lightly dismissed. Doubt as to
the validity of the indictments of
the Rosenbergs are still held by
the American people and the
If the FBI can categorically
deny the allegations of the
Schneirs and other critics with
documentation well and good. If
on thehother hand they cannot
and the crime of the century
turns out to be the frameup of
the century, there should obviously
be a drastic overhauling of the
EITHER WAY, the case should
be reopened.,
The retort of one of the assis-
tant prosecutors in the trial,
James Kilshelner, as quoted by
Newsweek, "All I know is that
the book takes an antigovernment
position," is inadequate.
Sobell's attorneys' pleas should
be granted. The case should be



To Be Increased

The March on Washington

ALL OVER AMERICA thousands of stu-
dents, weary from long drives, cramp-
ed buses, and little sleep, have returned
to their respective campuses after at-
tending the March on Washington for
Peace in iVet Nam. The many adults who
swarmed into the nation's capitol to take
part in the protest are now back in their
homes and offices.
The signs they carried, ranging from
"Stop the Bombing!" to "Supervised Cease
Fire" have been discarded, and in the
place of Saturday morning's anticipation
has come Thursday's reflection and eval-
The thoughtful citizen who either par-
ticipated in or read about the Washington
march cannot help but ask himself if
such a demonstration accomplished any
good at all, particularly when he reads
in his newspaper two days later of Sec-
retary of Defense Robert S. McNamara's
statement that the Vietnamese war will
continue for a long time.
000 demonstrators have not caused
any significant changes in our govern-
ment's policy. But contrary to the pro-
testations of some critics, the march was
a success.
First, the great diversity in age, pro-
fessions and nationality of those who at-
tended the protest eradicated the popu-
lar notion that the protest movement is
composed solely of unshaven, barefoot
beatniks. In fact, according to the New
York Times, "There were more babies
than beatniks, more family groups than
folk song quartets."
People from all walks of life participat-
ed in the march and proved by their at-
tendance that the desire to change U.S.
policy is not monopolized by a small per-
centage of students but is shared by re-
gnrMahlpeitipn fro'm all ovr the c'ounf-

policies. Criticism of present U.S. tactics
concerned U.S. refusal to recognize and
negotiate with the NLF and its bombing
raids on North Viet Nam, which some pro-
testors termed illegal since Congress has
never made a formal declaration of war.
THE CITIZEN must admit-regardless
of whether he agrees with the protes-
tors-that an event like the Washington
march stimulates thought and discus-
sion, without which a free society cannot
The third reason the march was a
success concerns President Johnson's fre-
quent statement that although he sup-
ports the right of the minority to dissent,
mass protests of governmental policy like
the Washington march can be greatly
misinterpreted and distorted by the Com-
munists to their own advantage.
He has pointed out that Communist
news agencies frequently generalize and
overestimate the percentage of people ac-
tually participating in protests.
But by the very fact of its existence,
the Washington march exemplified a
more important factor to the rest of the
world; that America truly believes in and
practices the rights set forth in its Con-
stitution, that it does not pay lip service
to such phrases as "freedom of speech."
More than anything else, the Washington
march proved that the U.S. government.
supports .and puts into effect the rights it
advocates for others.
For those who still are skeptical about
the beneficial effects of last Saturday's
march, the release of two captured Amer-
ican soldiers by the Viet Cong on behalf
of the marchers was in itself enough to
make the trip to Washington of some

F -'
. a
- (
. , uc
11 d #
. As my stand-in, Bob, in the next scene you get scalped
and run over by a stampede! ... What would
I do without you?"
Schutze 's Corner: New Left

WASHINGTON-As usual now-
adays, the Johnson adminis-
tration will no doubt take its
time telling the country what has
just been decided in Saigon. But
it is already pretty clear that big
decisions were taken by Secretary
of Defense Robert McNamara, and
one may guess what they were.
The topic of the Saigon discus-
sions was not limited, as gener-
ally reported, to the increasing
NorthrVietnamese invasion of
South Viet Nam. In the very
front of Secretary McNamara's
talks with the front line leaders,
beyond any question, was the mas-
sive offensive which Gen. West-
moreland has long planned for
about this time.
The kickoff date of end Novem-
ber-beginning December was im-
posed by Gen. Westmoreland's
need to get all his new air units
in place and all his ground forces
combat-tested before really going
to work in deadly earnest. A sin-
gle figure conveys the best idea
of the intensification of effort that
has long been planned.
In brief, aerial bombing was
and is, scheduled to increase from
an average of 10,000 tons of bombs
dropped per month to a vertigin-
ous average of 40,000 tons. The
idea, quite clearly, is to use air
bombing to the utmost to make
the Viet Cong and North Vietna-
mese-fortified jungle and swamp
retreats absolutely untenable as
places of refuge.
course, penetrate these places of
refuge as well, as they did in the
Ia Drang Valley battle. And when
the enemy isnot being attacked
on the ground he is to be ham-
mered every day, and night and
day, from the air.
The question remains, how far
this grim but potentially effec-
tive program has had to be modi-
fied by the invasion of the South
by additional divisions of North
Vietnamese regular troops. Three
divisions are in now. One more is
pretty generally expected. Two or
even three more are not impossi-
Any program for a general of-
fensive must, of course, be based
on assumed superiority of force.
For instance, Gen. Westmoreland
can hardly plan Ito attack the Do

on the expected arrival of more
North Vietnamese regulars.
At that time, besides one South
Korean division, Gen. Westmore-
land already had under his com-
mand, or on the way, the equiv-
alent of four American divisions.
THE DETAILS of the request
President Johnson approved has
never been revealed, but t is
reasonable to suppose that a fifth
American division was then allo-
cated to South Viet Nam.
In view of what has happened
it is now reasonable to suppose
that Gen. Westmoreland's future
total of Americans has again been
raised, to six in all.
Six divisions are the force which
the armed services are now cap-
able of committing to action in
Viet Nam, without paring com-
mitments elsewhere or reducing
the strategic reserve below the
danger point.
The best measure of Secretary
McNamara's really titanic achieve-
ment is the fact that the United
States can now put into the field
a force of this size without call-
ing up National Guard or reserve
If more than six divisions are
required in the future, a call up
of Guard and reserve units will
then become necessary. But this
seems unlikely simply because the
Communist supply lines, being lim-
ited, in turn impose rather se-
vere limitations on the number
of North Vietnamese troops that
can be deployed in the South.
THAT SUGGESTS the nature of
,the second decision that one may
guess was taken in Saigon. Brief-
ly, the Viet Cong and North Viet-
namese in the South are certain-
ly getting food and perhaps re-
ceiving some other supplies across
the Cambodian border. But that is
the smallest part of the problem.
The main supply and infiltra-
tion route, the Ho Chi Minh Trail,
f,.^m No,-th Viet Nam into
Laos, then south inside Laos and
finally west into South Viet Nam.
It is now a good guess, there-
fore, that the Ho Chi Minh Trail
will be directly attacked with the
tacit consent of the courageous
Laotian prime minister, Prince
Souvanna Phouma.
In flagrant breach of treaty,



'HIS IS the first of three in-
credibly definitive articles
dealing with the new left. Today's
topic is "the unobjectives of new
left unpolitics" or "you're only
young once."_
The new left realized early in
the game that it needed to adopt
a platform, a series of goals
bravely toward which unswerving-
ly it could selflessly strive on-

SOME OTHER members of the
hierarchy suggested that the new
left adopt more modest objectives
like "pick up the beer cans in
Fred McFutchy's back yard," or
"no more writing dirty on the
bathroom wall." Most of the mem-
bership was vaguely uneasy about
adopting these slogans. As one
fellow expressed it, the challenging
magnitude of the movement's in-

some ungoals instead. Something.
like 'utopia or bust,' or 'Banish
Bad Bigotry,' or 'one pie in the
sky is better than two socks in
the eye'."
THE NEW LEFT went wild.
With a platform of unobjectives
like that," the new left reasoned
chucklingly," we can live it up
and go to meetings and never


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