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September 24, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-24

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eije 3rirtgan Datig
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Peace Pilgrim's Progress
by lynn wener

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News 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.



Trying to forget My Lai

IT SHOULD BE HARD to forget the
murder of 102 people.
They were unarmed civilians - men,
women and children. The people of My
Lai were massacred, victims of men cut
loose from humanity by the terror of
It should be hard to forget the My Lai
massacre of 102 people, except for Amer-
icans. For Americans, it seems, the mas-
sacre is hard to remember.
At the time, the revelation that U.S.
troops had committed atrocities in the
name of America, justice and democracy
shook the country.
Twenty-five soldiers were charged in the
Mar. 15, 1968 incidents - 12 with partici-
pating in the slaughter, 12 with covering
it up and one with both.
IN THE COURSE of two years, time and
the Army began to whittle away at
the list. Five of the 13 soldiers accused of
assault and murder were court-martialed.
Charges against the others were even-
tually dismissed.
With the acquittal Wednesday of Capt.
Ernest Medina, the company commander
of the troops at My Lai, four of the, five
tried to date have been acquitted.
Medina had been charged originally
with the premeditated murder of at least
100 civilians, the murders of a woman and
a small boy, and two counts of assault
against a prisoner.
By order of the military judge, the
charge of murdering 100 civilians w a s
reduced to involuntary manslaughter,
and the charge of murdering the child
was dismissed.
IT TOOK the jury 57 minutes to con-
sider the final charges of murdering
the woman; assaulting a prisoner by
shooting twice over his head, and, being
aware of the mass killings as they occur-
red, declining to halt them.
Only Lt. William Calley, leader of the
infantry platoon that made the assault,
Editorial Staff
Executive Editor Managing Editor
' STEVE KOPPMAN .. Editorial Page Editor
RICK PERLOFP .. Associate Editorial Page Editor
PAT MAHONEY .. .Assistant Editorial Page Editor
LYNN WEINER Associate Managing Editor
LARRY LEMPERT.A......Associate Managing Editor
ANITA CRONE.... .. Arts Edito-
JIM IRWIN....................Associate Arts Editor
JANET FREY . ...... . Personnel Director
ROBERT CONROW ..P Books Editor
JIM JUDKIS......Photography Edito t
Business Staff
JAMES M. STOREY, Business Manager
Advertising Manager Sales Manager
JOHN SOMMERS ............Finance Manager
ANDY GOLDING .. . .. Circulation Manager
Sports Staff
MORT NOVECK, Sports Editor
JIM KEVRA, Executive Sports Editor
RICK CORNFELD Associate Sports Edito
TERRI FOUCHEY Contributing Sports Ed 0
BETSY MAHON ........ Senior Night Editor

was convicted of actually murdering 22
civilians at the South Vietnamese hamlet.
The nation reacted with such shock to
the My Lai massacre that an equal and
almost opposite reaction followed the one,
and only, conviction.
Calley was dubbed a hero by his s u p-
porters; the .anti-war movement, w h i I e
applauding the conviction, recognized
him as a scapegoat for the crimes of oth-
ers in higher echelons of the military and
the government.
In August, the Army reduced Calley's
life sentence to 20 years at hard labor.
The case still awaits further review by
two military courts and finally by Presi-
dent Nixon. Even as it stands, Calley will
be eligible for parole in six or seven
charged with attempts at whitewash-
ing the My Lai slaughter has dwindled
from 13 to one. Only Col. Oran Henderson
is still on trial for failing to report and
investigate the killings and for later ly-
ing, about them before an official board
of inquiry.
No one denies that there was a mas-
sacre at My Lai. Yet the record points
only to Calley, not to a nation that has
allowed an immoral war to continue, not
to commanding officers who gave orders
to search and destroy, not to generals
who methodically covered up the m o s t
shocking event in American history since
the Indians were cheated of their lives
and land.
With the reliable, non-polluting deter-
gent of Time, America is trying to wash
the "damn spot" of My Lai off its hands.
And America may succeed, as cases are
dropped, charges tempered, sentences re-
THEN AGAIN, we may be walking at
night, wringing our hands for years
to come. Because it's hard to forget the
murder of 102 people - harder than most
Americans now believe.
Associate Managing Editor
"LAST SATURDAY," began the letter to
the editor in the New York Post, "in
an otherwise excellent editorial, you in-
sist that Justice Hugo Black's successor
must be a man of stature, dignity and
The letter was from none other than
Dorothy Schiff, publisher of the Post, and
she went on: "What an opportunity you
have given Mr. Nixon to appoint to our
highest court a highly qualified woman,
thus proving himself to be less of a male
chauvinist than our own Editorial Page
That was a reference to James Wechs
ler, who said yesterday, "I thought her
note livened things up"
Sept. 22

SHE IS ageless, nameless, home-
She is clothed in navy blue -
tunic, slacks, and well-worn gym
shoes - and she wears a mes-
sage on her body.
"Peace Pilgrim" is stitched on
the front, "25,000 miles on foot
for world peace" on the back.
She was here Wednesday, in
the midst of her now 18-year
walking pilgrimage, and she spoke
of ,"inner" and "outer" peace.
Outer peace describes a world
without war. Inner peace evolves
when one lives "with the empha-
sis on giving and not getting." The
two require each other.
PEACE PILGRIM is a vibrant
woman. White-haired, with large,
pale blue eyes, she exudes char-
isma. She is "old." perhaps 75 or
80. Her energy, she says, "comes
with inner peace."
She has walked the breadth of
the country to spread her mes-
sage. She is a free spirit - unen-
cumbered by things or close per-
sonal ties, she says. She carries
her worldly possessions in h e r
tunic - letters, a comb, a tooth-
brush, and a ball-point pen.
She once owned material

geles. When she left, she says,
she "left no one behind w h o
would worry about me." Her ac-
cent is a blend of regions separat-
ed by 3,000 miles.
She arrived in Ann Arbor after
visiting Kalamazoo and Jackson,
and today she is in Detroit. Next
week she will be somewhere in
Peace Pilgrim has a "magic
formula" for resolving and avoid-
ing conflict. "It is this," she of-
fers. "Hhave as your objective the
resolving of the conflict - n o t
the gaining of advantage," and
"be concerned that you do not
offend - not that you are not of-
Although she speaks harshly of
political parties and politicians,
she has a fundamental faith in
the electoral process. She admits,
however, that she is not registered
to vote.
"I used to vote," she says, abut
when I began the pilgrimage, I
sort of retired from voting."
WILL SHE EVER retire from
"Only when peace comes to the
She has her inner peace, and her
blue gym shoes. But for outer
peace, the road seems to stretch
mighty far,

-Daily-Robert Wargo


goods, she remembers. A car, a
house, money. She had achieved
''success'' in the eyes of society.
But, she says, "My life was full
of things, not happiness or mean-
And, after a 15-year "prepara-
tion period" of inner peace, she
began to wander in 1953.
SHE DATES her life from this
"spiritual awakening."
She' carries no money or cloth-
ing, and reliesncompletely on oth-
ers for food and shelter.
"I don't think of food until its
offered," she says. "Once I fast-
ed 45 days."
"I start off in the morning, and
often don't know where I'll be that
night. Three-fourth of the time
I'm given a bed by strangers."
She walks an average of 25
miles a day, and has walked as
much as 50. She makes vague
long-range plans geared towards
the seasons. She treks north in
the summer and south in the

winter - but she often makes ap-
pointments in specific towns.
Here, she stayed as a guest of
the Rev. Edgar Edward at Guild
Peace Pilgrim has a general
schedule arranged until 1977. She
plans to be back in Ann Arbor
sometime in late summer, 1976.
"After you've found inner peace,
you have unshakable faith, a
deep, abiding happiness." she says.
She is confident she will see outer
peace in her lifetime.
Times have changed, she ob-
serves. "When I began, I was but
a voice in thewilderness. B tt
now, people have seen the folly
of war."
"I've watched the youth awak-
ening," she adds. "The rebellion
against false values - pollution,
war, materialism - and t h e
search for inner peace."
"They have begun to recog-
nize the 'opposites', she says. "We
are taught to be kind, but order-
ed to kill and maim. We are
taught to be generous, but told

that to grab and to take is to be
a success."
SHE REFUSES to speak of her
past, saying she has left it far
behind. She admits only that she
was born in a small town, and
began her journey from Los An-


-Daily-Robert Wargo

videre: est Uredere
AEC propaganda: Selling a nuclear testI

During the preliminary phase of the Milrow public
relations effort-policy did not permit confirming that
a nuclear test would be detonated on Amchitka. Public
statements were framed in such language as "deter-
mining the feasibility of Amchitka for possible use in
underground nuclear testing."
T HIS SURPRISINGLY candid statement comes from
an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) report on the
agency's public relations efforts preceding an under-
ground nuclear test in the Aleutians on October 2, 1969.
Called Milrow, the test was a forerunner of Cannikin,
another test on Amchitka scheduled for early next
month. With a force of five megatons (five million tons
of TNT), Cannikin is the largest underground weapons
test ever scheduled by the United States.
To prepare for underground blasts though, the AEC
does more than consult nuclear engineers. For months
before the test, a sophisticated public relations operation
is conducted to minimize opposition and encourage favor-
able news media reactions.
Later a detailed evaluation of the program is made.
One such report was found this summer by the General
Accounting Office during an investigation of the Milrow
test requested by Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska).
For the AEC, the Amchitka Public Affairs program
was a smashing success.
Nineteen newsmen covered the test from the site.
Two were allowed on the island while the rest remained
.on the carrier Princeton, to which personnel evacuated
from the island were taken. After detonation, newsmen
were carried by helicopter to Amchitka.
STARTING AT 9 a.m. on the day of the test, over 250
people, included nearly 100 invited guests, witnessed the
preparations and the actual detonation in the Public
Information Center at the Anchorage Westward Hotel,
1400 miles from the site. Attendance remained on a
"Standing Room Only" basis until 2 p.m. when the
formal program was completed. Reporters were later
given interviews with scientists in the program and sum-
maries on seismology, ecology, containment and radia-
tion monitoring.
For five hours, the AEC had a captive audience in the
Information Center, where, as the agency's report points
out, "it was possible to impress the guests-all leaders
of the community-with the care taken in nuclear test-
ing, and the extent of AEC safetyaprograms."

SUPPORT FOR THE AEC from Alaskan newspapers
was almost unanimous after the test. With the excep-
tion of The Andhorage Daily News, the report claims
that 'the AEC was credited with doing a good job .
Several newspapers published editorials ridiculing the
pre-event campaign of fear conducted by test opponents
and suggesting the AEC had earned the confidence of
the public."
This success in the Amchitka Public Affairs program
was the culmination of almost three years of work. The
first announcement of the test was made on Dec. 20,
Three months earlier, however, Henry G. Vermillion,
director of the AEC's Office of Public Affairs, discussed
possible opposition to the test with then Alaska Gov.
William Egan.
Until October 1969, the AEC conducted a public re-
lations campaign to encourage support for the test among
government officials and minimize public opposition.
Alaska's Congressional delegation and state officials
were given information "on a continuing basis, when-
ever there was a change of personnel in these positions
and whenever new developments made additional brief-
ings advisable."
Since the AEC felt that possible injury to the sa
otters around Amchitka "might provide the most serious
problem in connection with the Amchitka program", a
documentary film was made on a sea otter transfer pro-
gram. During 1968, distribution was limited to Alaska.
In 1969, a "public information type film was edited,
printed and made available for widespread general
use." Widespread publicity of the sea otter program and
"hundreds of showings of the sea otter film in Alaska,"
the AEC report says, "appeared effective in convincing
the public that . . . the Amchitka sea otters would not be
placed in jeopardy."
Until June 1969 the AEC refused to confirm that a
test was planned on Amchitka. For two and a half years
the public was told only that the feasibility of using the
island for a test was being studied.
During the last 80 days before the test, an intensive
effort was made to win public support for Milrow. Free
exhibit space was obtained at Alaska's two largest fairs
to show displays on Amchitka's archaeology and nuclear
testing. Thousands of AEC publications were distributed.
Altogether the agency estimates it reached 50,000 people
at the two fairs.

by pat mahoney1
IN ANCHORAGE, the Alaskan Office of Information
was opened. Schools and organizations were invited to ask
the office for movies, slides, briefings and conferences
on AEC activities. Newspapers in Kodiak, Juneau and
Fairbanks cooperated in making the sea otter film avail-
able to the public.
At the beginning of August, 15 Alaskan newspaper,
television and radio reporters took what was planned as
a 12-hour trip to Amchitka. Bad weather delayed a land-
ing on the island and the trip actually lasted 40
hours, but the AEC report points out this worked to the
agency's "advantage since it provided many hours of
extra time for briefings, individual interviews and be-
coming better acquainted with the newsmen."
Even one of the AEC's supporters in Congress was
eager to get favorable coverage of the Milrow test. Early
in September a Seattle newsman asked to be allowed
to cover the underground blast from an aircraft carrier
that would be near the island at blast time. At the
reconimendation of Rep. Chet Holifield (D-Calif.), news-
men were allowed on the carrier. Holifield also arranged
for two reporters to be on the island at the time blast.
During an Anchorage press conference shortly before the
blast, Holifield strongly supported the AEC test pro-
gram and its safety precautions.
HOLIFIELD IS chairman of the Joint Committee on
Atomic Energy. His close cooperation with the agency
he supposedly helps to regulate hampers any Con-
gressional attempt to exert some control over the AEC.
While details of the AEC's promotion efforts for the
Cannikin test this year have not surfaced, it seems un-
likely that the agency's tactics have changed. When
public hearings were held in May, the AEC flew dozens
of officials to Alaska. In July, about 60 Alaskan legisla-
tors, civic leaders and reporters were given a glamorous
all-expense trip to Las Vegas by the AEC.
CONGRESS, however, seems unaware of or unwilling
to do anything about the AEC's promotion operation.
Opposition to Cannikin has become so strong that a ban
on the test, "unless the President gives his direct ap-
proval" was inserted in an appropriations bill passed
Wednesday by Congress. No matter what decision the
President reaches, though, the AEC's well-oiled propa-
ganda machine will remain intact.


j J jiL.7711 ..
'V ('V I
Z , .


r r

Letters to The Daily: Taylor recall dispute



To The Daily:
BY NOW many students know
of the drive to recall Brad Taylor
from SGC for his "friendly wit-
ness" testimony before the House
Internal Security Committee.
They have heard how he malign-
ed individuals and groups involved
in the Peoples' Peace Treaty con-
ference, and may have noticed
how Taylor's story keeps chang-
ing as new facts or more atten-
tion to old ones force him to es-
calate the level of deceit. Rather
than go over the substance of his

Wilson, was also subpoenaed by
HISC - he was glad to comply
and they were glad to play host
to him.
For Taylor, too, the order was
a formality: this we know because
he provided much more informa-
tion than the law or the subpoena
required (even lying when t h a t
went over well), and providing
photographs he didn't take and
still refuses to account for. A
photograph is as good as a name.
and many students at the confer-
ence may be haunted for years by
TT ",r cqanrnu e raiim that the

former Un-American Activities
Committee is quite another. Tay-
lor objects to our once using the
phrase "Conspiratorial Right,"'
which we hereby withdraw as mis-
leading, but HISC and its agents
are nothing more than a perm-
anent conspiracy against the Bil)
of Rights.
A final point: In a reckless at-
tempt to divert attention from
his own acts, Taylor accuses the
Recall Committee of plotting "to
further their own political ambi-
tions by stealing his SGC seat
for themselves." For one who will-

appointive seat. If we are haras-
sed, we will announce this pub-
licly, and the voters may decide
if Taylor, who says what he did
is "no big deal," has changed his
ways since subjecting Brian
Spears, Robert Williams and oth-
ers to harrassment and anxiety.
If in fact none of us run for
SGC, chalk it up as one more
gratuitous lie from a master of
past deceit.
-The Committee to Recall
Brad Taylor
Sept. 20

sonable eating places in town. (I
recommend their lime shakes).
Also I think you might have
mentioned a horror to come: an-
other copy of Gino's nearing com-
pletion under its brash red roof
on the corner of State and Wash-
ington. Not only will this place
continue the familiar Gino's tra-
dition of greasy chicken and soggy
fries but as we gulp down these
treats we can reflect that this new
Gino's occupies the site of a Civil
War house (set off by lawn, flow-
ers and trees) that a delay in the
enactment of Michigan Preserva-

-MRHUer., ice --N7 x 1% TV V-1


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