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February 24, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-02-24

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eSfiaun DaiI
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan



Braying the Pentagon's


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.



Fleming and heis police

AS THE FUSS subsides over the regental
"alteration" of the Office of Student
Services' policy on job recruiting by cor-
porations coitplicit in racist and sexist
activities, two other important issues re-'
main for the University community to
First there is the entire issue of the
openness in which such meetings are
held and secondly ,and perhaps more im-
portantly, there is the question of the
use of police officers as a means of curb-
ing dissent within the University.
A 1969 ruling of Atty. Gen. Frank Kelley
stated that the governing boards of state
institutions must conduct official busi-
ness at open meetings; yet the locked
doors of the Administration Bldg. last
week surely constitute a clear violation
of the spirit, if not the letter, of that
President Fleming, fearing disruption,
attempted to circumvent the law by im-
plementing a "pass". rrequirement for
admission to the meeting.
While this policy might have been con-
sidered defensible if properly administ-
ered, the actual manner in which t h e
pass policy was instituted was not. Stu-
dents and members of the public were
not advised that such a policy was in
existence prior to the. meeting; and no
information as to where and when such
passes were available was disseminated to
the University community by the office
of the president. Upon arrival at the
meeting many found that without prev-
iously-obtained passes they were barred
from witnessing the supposedly open Re-
gents meeting.
To further heighten the frustration
of those wishing to attend the meeting,
the lobby of the Administration Bldg.
was visibly full of police officers and Uni-
versity security personnel. When several
of those outside the building eventually
attempted to enter through a side door
these was a scuffle and two arrests re-
THE EVENTS that occurred last Friday
were highly predictable, however.
Though one might suggest that if a
building is occupied, or large numbers of
students congregate in front of the Ad-
ministration Bldg., police action becomes
essential, that misses the point. The rea-
sons why students must resort to such
tactics comes as a result of their general
impotence within the Univerity's system
of governance. Consequently, their sup-
pression by police is, in a sense, limiting
their dissent.
Two cases present themselves when
Fleming has used police against students
after legitimate attempts to influence
decision-making failed to elicit positive
response from the University.

In Sept., 1969 107 students sitting in at
the LSA Bldg. were forcibly arrested. The
students were protesting regental re-
fusal to establish a student-faculty con-
trolled bookstore. And they had done so
for nearly a month, more peacefully at
first - discussing their demands with the
Regents and pointing to a student refer-
endum in which a clear majority had vot-
ed for a student-controlled bookstore.
But the administration arrogantly ig-
nored the student drive, until the ooccu-
pation of the LSA Bldg.
A second example was the demonstra-
tion last March outside the Administra-
tiol Bldg. by the Black Action Movement
(BAM). BAM and its supporters
w e r e demanding increased minority
group enrollment at the University, b u t
their demands were turned down at the
meeting. They had presented their de-
mands in weeks prior to the meeting -
discussing the matter with Fleming and
the Regents, but in vain. Thus a demon-
stration was the only recourse, and alert-
ed by the University, police arrested four
persons - all black.
THERE HAVE ALSO been cases where
the summoning of police has result-
ed in the exacerbation of the existing
At a protest last year against the use
of University-subsidized placement fa-
cilities by the General Electric Corp. --
involved in the manufacture of war ma-
terial used against Vietnamese and in
business - with South Africa's apartheid
government - the arrival of police re-
sulted in a riot which ended with .a dozen
arrests. The protests had been peaceful
until police began to take video-tape pic-
tures of the protesters.
A FINAL consequence of using police on
campus, with the chaos virtually in-
herent in the decision to use their serv-
ices, is the creation of mistrust and fear
of students by members of the public.
Distorted and over-dramatized, coverage
of student protest by the more irrespon-
sible elements of the press combined with
the willingness and eagerness of many
politicians to make political hay out of
the situation has taken its toll also.
Such are the consequences which police
intervention brings. And clearly the fault
lies with Fleming. If he would concede
genuine power to make decisions to the
students at the University,' there would
never be a need for our campus to re-
semble a battlefield. So far he has not,
and he promises no change in his orienta-
tion. The response of students to this
policy should not surprise him.

Third in a five-part series
WASHINGTON - Throughout 1970, America's sym-
pathy instinctively went out to the wives and families
of the missing and captured men.
During the year, millions of Americans signed
petitions asking Hanoi to stop mistreating the captured
men. Hundreds of thousands of letters were mailed to
Communist capitols around the world urging officials to
pressure Hanoi into implementing all of the provisions
of the Geneva Convention.
Most of the Senate and more than 400 of the 435
members of the House expressed dismay and outrage over
the treatment of United States prisoners. The Post
Office issued a special stamp commemorating their cap-
tivity. Wives and mothers of the missing and captured
men formed groups and clubs around the nation - with.
a national office in Washington - demanding that the
Nixon Administration do all it could for their men.
Bumper stickers said: "Don't Let Them Be Forgotten."
A poll conducted by Gallup International showed
that most Americans who had heard about the treat-
ment of prisoners inside North Vietnam believed they
were being tortured and beaten, receiving poor care and
medical attention, and were not allowed to communicate
with their families. Only seven percen of those queried
thought the Aemrican prisoners were "treated well," while
33 percent said they were sure that the Vietnamese had
killed prisoners.
The Administration seemed to have little to do with
these impromptu outpourings. By early 1971, military
men were angrily rejecting the notion that the pub-
licity over the prisoner issue was in any way aimed at
public opinion.
YET, SHORTLY after the decision to go public
was made in May, 1969, newsmen were told and wrote
that Secretary Laird and other officials believed the
prisoner issue coulld be used to turn world opinion
against Hanoi: it would "deflect some of the heat" over
Vietnam from the U.S. to North Vietnam.
In addition, there is a great deal of evidence -
made available privately to me by wives and mothers
- the the government had far more to do with creating
the cast amount of publicity over the prisoner issue
than it has acknowledged.
In fact, the Pentagon's attitude toward the wives
and mothers - particularly those whose men are listed
as missing - can be described as a dual one: it is both
extremely considerate and extremely purposeful.
On details sueh as pay and allowances, the military
- aided by sympathetic Congressmen - has been anx-
ious to ease the situation for the suffering families of
The prisoners' famiiles have been provided with
extended GI education and home loan benefits, a chance
to invest unlimited savings at 10 per cent interpst. (other
families may invest up to $10,000), and special per-
mission to utilize military transportation when avail-
MOST WIVES and parents have had nothing but
the highest praise for the military's tact in initially in-
forming them of their new status. All four services have
special personnel sections dealing with the missing and
captured families, and each family is provided the name

of an officer or whom they can call for personal help
or comfort.
Most of the family members, especially the wives,
share their husband's love of the service. Anti-war de-
monstrators are anathema to the families and difficult
for the wives and mothers to understand. The families
are loath to do or say anyhing publicly that could hurt
their pilot's careers.
The women, by and large, have one major point of
view in common: they will do whatever the Pentagon
tells them to.
The Pentagon began asking them to do things since
shortly after the May news conference making the POW
issue public. On July 25, Air Force wives were told of a
relaxing of policy regarding newspaper interviews with
the next of kin.
"As you may have been aware," a private letter to
them said, "such interviews were discouraged in the past.
However, our government now believes that more pub-
licity concerning the plight of our missing in action and
captured members and their families may result in
better treatment for American prisoners and their even-
tual release."
Those family members who wanted to speak out
were advised to call on the information office of the Air
Force for help, because the men there can "offer guid-
ance as to what can be expected during the interview and
how it can be most effectively handled."
THE RESULTS. of the policy were quickly apparent
as stories began appearing around the country about
wives and mothers "breaking their self-imposed si-'
lence," as one newspaper said, to speak out on Hanoi's
treatment of their men.
To dramatize their plight, the wives - armed with
the Frishman account of inhumanity inside N o r t h
Vietnamese prisons - began making a series of around-
the-world trips seeking support and information. The
trips, initiated by the women themselves, were usually
financed by local newspapers, television stations, or civic
There is no direct evidence that the Pentagon or
any other federal agency initiated the first few trips over-
seas or financed any of them, but the Pentagon
certainly attempted to encourage such trips.
On October 7, 1969, Air Force wives received another
private letter from the service, discussing the Paris trips.
"Although the government does not feel this pro-
cedure is proper in view of he existence of established
channels for exchange of such information," the Air
Force letter said, "we do not intend to stand in the way
of any family members who might decide to travel to
Paris." The next paragraph told wives how to apply for
passports and offered to assist them with military ad-
visers while in Paris.
Wives whose husbands were shot down over, Laos
were urged to write the North Vietnamese and say only
that he was "downed by North Vietnamese forces in
Southeast Asia." The reason, said the Air Force, was
that such an approach would "thus (avoid) forcing the
North Vietnamese to admit their' involvement in the
complex Laotian situation." At the time, of course, it was
the United States which was refusing to acknowledge
that American bombers were operating at will inside
The family's pressure on the North Vietnamese at


Paris tied in neatly with the Administration's posture
at the peace talks. On Dec. 6, 1969, Ambassador Lodge
left his post in Paris and a few days later President
Nixon, in what the North construed to be a deliberate
downgrading of the meetings, named career diplomat
Philip C. Habib to head the American delegation.
Habib, obviously acting under instructions from
Washington, elevated the prisoner issue at the weekly
meetings to the top of the American agenda. Among
other things, he attacked Hanoi's refusal to provide a
list of the men captured. It was a valid criticism; many
strong anti-war leaders inside the United States could
not understand why Hanoi refused to provide such lists,
although its refusal was consistent with its adamant
legal p o s i t i o n that none of the provisions of the
Geneva Convention was applicable.
The wives and mothers were a handy asset for the
American war of words, yet the' Administration could
never be direct about it. Family members were often as-
sisted by French-speaking wives of embassy members,
and lunched with military aides to the embassy. Others
told how, before going back home, they planned to stop
off in Washington for a "debriefing" by officials. One
father of a prisoner said the embassy even mimeograph-
ed a statement he had written for the press.
AS THE PUBLIC relations drive for better treatment
of the American prisoners grew in late 1969, so did the
efforts of the Pentagon to broaden the involvement of
the families. That fall, Air Force family members were
carefully told in private letters that the service was being
urged by Congressmen and Senators for lists of con-
stituents whose sons or husbands were missing or cap-
tured in North Vietnam.
"If you desire that your name and address be made
available to your Senator or Representative upon his
request, it will not be necessary for you to advise us of
your decision," said an Air Force letter. "However, should
you prefer to maintain your anonymity, we ask that you
notify us of this in writing by 24 October 1969 (seven-
teen days after the date of the letter). In the case of
those whom we have not heard from by that datewe will
assume that their permission has been given."
In November, the Air Force letters included advice
for the family members on how tq give interviews with
"It is suggested that the best way to handle the
interview is to use a humanitarian approach, e.g., my
children and I are required to bear additional anxieties
because the enemy refuses to release welfare information
concerning my husband: this is in violation of the
Geneva Convention"
Wives were told that, it "would be in your best
interest not to discuss the situation in terms of national
policy or politics as relates to our involovement in South-
east Asia. The rationale for this recommendation is that
policy and politics are not germaine to the disregard of
the Geneva Convention by the enemy."
There is no record that any wife ever publicly pro-
tested over the Pentagon's efforts to encourage them to
participate in the public debate: most of the women
simply had taken the Frishman account of torture at
face value and were desperate to do anything that could
help their men.
WHAT FEW FACTS were available were inevitably
exaggerated. Thus one wife, Mrs. Ivan Appleby, in the
midst of an around-the-world trip in early 1970, told a
group of skeptical English journalists that prisoners in
North Vietnam had been hung to walls, h a d t h e i r
fingernails pulled out, their knuckles broken and re-
broken, and kept in solitary confinement for years.
Mr. William Tschudy of Virginia Beach, Virginia;
told a magazine writen that "in some places they just
dig holes in the ground and drop them (the prisoners)
in. They throw food down to them, and let them live
there in their own waste."
@ Reporters News Service






Ignoring women's courses

UNDERGRADUATE, graduate and fac-
ulty women from all over the Mid-
west met in Chicago last weekend to dis-
cuss the future of women's education
about women.
And the information that came to light
there showed that the University, despite
its "affirmative action plan" for women,
has made less of an attempt than several
other schools to include courses dealing
with 'women in its curriculum.
While curricula at most schools are de-
ficient in this respect, some schools at
least appear to be making efforts. For ex-
ample, entire curricula are devoted to wo-
men at San Diego and Cornell. The State
University of New York at Buffalo has a
huge introductory course, including a
section for mature women, as well as half
a dozen more specialized advanced cours-
All of these are working closely with
women's liberation groups in their cities.
Yet the University, supposedly an inno-
vator among the.nation's schools of high-
er education, has a mere sprinkling of
courses in women.
A FEW OF the things that have been
left out:
Women Authors
Roles of women in Literature
Shakespeare's women
Women in the Media

History of Women's Liberation
History of women in America
World History of women
Women in primative cultures
Cave women
Sociology of women
Women and capitalism
Philosophy of women's oppression
History of women artists
Women and the law
The list is endless. There is a v a s t
amount that has b e e n totally ignored.
The invisible woman is nowhere to be
seen in most textbooks, courses, and de-
There is so much that is still unknown
about women. Research is just beginning
to unearth the true roles t h a t women
have played from the frontier days of
American history. What is known of wo-
men in the past, present and future is
not widely available or taught. Most re-
mains to be learned.
(TILL, THE University is expending no
effort in this area. If the University
were committed to a serious attempt to
respond to the sentiment and education-
al desires of its students and society, it is
difficult to see how it could fail to con-
sider committing money and facilities for

Creating a radical women's studies program

To The Daily:
years of school one would get the
impression that one half (actual-
ly 51 per cent) of the population
ING in building this nation. Our
textbooks, our teachers, o u r
courses very rarely spend any
time talking about the role women
have played, in our nation and
throughout the world. We a r e
lucky to see even a paragraph de-
voted to the womens suffrage
movement, even in the more lib-
eral texts.
Long before women's suffrage
the women in this country were
active, both in the sweatshops of
this nation and fighting for free-
dom for other oppressed groups.
Do they think we can be satisfied
by being told that behind every
great man there is a woman? I'm
afraid that just won't do any long-

History is the history of the white
male. Psychology is the normality
of the white male. Sociology talks
about the nuclear family - an
oppressive institution for women.
The list is endless.
ONE WAY to make our educa-
tion relevant to us as women, as
well as raise the consciousness of
the men around us, is to demand
the University establish a women's
studies program, under the con-
trol of women students. Courses
on women, and on what vomen
have contributed to society are
long overdue.
Women's studies programs at
other universities (Cornell, S a n
Diego, and American University)
can give us models to work with,
but clearly we have to establish a
program particular to the needs
and wishes of women students at
Michigan. Here are some of the
ideas that have been talked about:

-The program or t h e center
could possibly coordinate general
academic counseling f o r women
(to end the University policy of
pushing women into certain fields
such as English and psychology
and away from the technical
We would hope that University
women will come up with many
other ideas for developing a com-
plete, radical women studies pro-
SURE THERE a r e many de-
mands and issues that women can
bring up in relation to their fight
f o r a womens studies program.
Won't we need free 24-hour day
care for the children of new wo-
men faculty that we will be hir -
ing? (as well as women students
taking the courses?) We might al-
so feel we need many of the class-
es taught at night to make it
possible for working women to at-

by women students, taught by wo-
men faculty) will not be an easy
task. As with every other legiti-
mate student demand, the Uni-
versity does not listen until we be-
gin to yell. Then they tell us thcy
have no money. No money for in-
creased black enrollment, no mon-
ey for the AFSCME workers, no
money for day care, and no mon-
ey for housing.
Well, we believe the University
has orcangget the money or all
these things, and that it has the
social responsibility and rabliga-
tion to do so. It chooses right now
to spend its money in other -xays.
For women to win a meaningful
and relevant womens studies pro-
gram we will have to build mass,
visable support.
-Nancy Wechsler '71
Highest contempt
To The Daily:

Because of your attempt to cre-
ate another "faggot issue" trying
to set one oppressed community
against another I must regard you
with the highest contempt possi-
ble and charge you with complic-
ity along with the University in
attempting to polarize the pro-
gressive forces of this community.
We recognize the importance of
some of the issues being raised by
Women's Liberation and the Gay
Liberation Front and encourage
them to intensify their struggles.
However, our quest is to make a
Revolution, a Black Revolution in-
volving the reshaping of the prior-
ities and values of the black com-
We want our men to be men, to
be warriors! We want our women
to bear our children and to give
us love and inspiration to fight on
- for this is as Allah intended.
Your attempt to change the issue
raises the question as to whether


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