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October 23, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-23

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

friday morning
The growing dissent in our armed forces
by dalliel zwerdling

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.




A judicious solution

WITH WHAT IS becoming almost cycli-
cal regularity, the Committee on a
Permanent Judiciary (COPJ) has swung
again from an apparent compromise to
an apparent impasse. Ever since they be-
gan meeting early in the summer, the
committee, composed of administrators,
faculty members, students and two Re-
gents, has been debating a wide variety
of possible forms for a campus judiciary.
Not surprisingly, the simplest, fairest
and most radical solution has never been
seriously considered by COPJ: to forget
about a campus judiciary and leave all
cases up to the civil courts.
COPJ, by its very existence, precludes
consideration of such a move. Its search
for a campus judiciary is a tacit endorse-
ment that students-are some sort of legal
and social freaks, .set apart from society
at large and singled out for special treat-
ment not accorded the larger constit-
In the case of a campus judiciary, the
question extends beyond the familiar is-
sue of double jeopardy. For even if that
conflict were somehow resolved, the fact
would remain that students are subject
to sanctions which do not exist for non-
In all fairness, the entire fault for this
situation cannot be laid at the door of the
University administration, although it
ultimately ends up there. The general
public still sees the university as a surro-
gate parent responsible for the morals,
conduct and thinking of its students.
N AND FIFTEEN years ago, cases of
student misconduct were limited'
mainly to cheating, plagarism, and sim-
ilar academic offenses, clearly in t h e
University's purview. But with the advent
of the '60s, student misconduct in the uni-
versity setting began to shade into civil
disobedience and the University failed to
draw a line between matters which were
strictly its own concern and those which
affected the rest of society as well.
The result now is that the public is
clamouring for university administrations
to clamp down on student demonstrators,
and without questioning the appropriate-
ness of that role, the universities are at-
tempting to comply. Now, before we are
saddled with a compromise judiciary no
one really likes, that question should be
DESPITE THE inequities now existing
in the civil courts, most of the ques-

tions of impartiality and legitimacy now
raised concerning a campus judiciary
would be eliminated if cases were sent to
the courts.
Regardless of its final form, a campus
judiciary is subject to gross political
influence simply because its members are
drawn from the very groups which have
an immediate political interest in the
outcome of the case. While the hearing
officer concept offers the possibility of
impartiality ,reports from other schools
where it has been used indicate that poli-
tical considerations tend to influence the
selection of the hearing officer.
The legitimacy of the civil courts is
already established, and they operate un-
der clearly defined rules of procedure.
The Legislature of this state has pro-
vided the University administration with
enough legislation to enable them to use
the civil courts when dealing with student
And thus, despite the problems which
plague the legal system of this country,
the civil courts offer a viable arena for
both administration and student in fight-
ing their legal battles.
And it should be pointed out to students
hesitant to face the real world of civil
court that appeal procedures allow a de-
fendant much more protection in. civil
courts than with a campus judiciary.
From a campus judiciary ,the only appeal
is to the President - hardly a desirable
IF STUDENTS are not going to pay more
than lip service to their demands to
be treated as first-class citizens, then the
campus judiciary must go. Just as they
deserve the credit for draging the univer-
sities into the real world, so should they
accept the consequences of that action.
It is virtually impossible for a campus
judiciary not to become someone's kan-
garoo, and even an impartial one would
still smack of "separate but equal" and
"in loco parentis." Aside from purely
academic offenses, there is no justifica-
tion for a separate set of rules and courts
for students.
COPJ should issue a one-sentence re-
port, "We recommend that there be no
campus judiciary," and disband itself,
Associate Managing Editor

(First of a two part-series)
ROWING DISSENT in the armed forces poses one
of the most significant threats to Richard Nixon's
security when he sleeps at night. That goes for the
security of the entire nation as well, when you consider
that the well-being of our corporations, our foreign
investments, our domestic institutions and the whole
United States government rests on a comfortable tacit
assumption that young, dedicated men across the country
are polishing their rifles and waiting with steel nerve
to enforce the American will.
But now comes the Presidio mutiny, all the GI radical
coffeehouses and underground newspapers mushrooming
around military bases, and thousands of battle soldiers
smoking dope. You don't read much about them because
the Pentagon keeps the news quiet.
Perhaps even more significant: the solid officer
hierarchy is starting to crack. It started with the Con-
cerned Officers Movement (CM), a Washington-based
antiwar group formed after last November's moratorium
and the first organization to give officers a public plat-
form against the Indochina war and Pentagon policies.
Since the beginning of the summer, COM has been
spreading tentacles to bases across the country. It's up-
setting top Pentagon brass.
COM was original called Officers Resistance, but the
name was discarded as too radical. It didn't arouse much
publicity or concern util July, when the Navy premature-
ly discharged the Secretary of the Navy's two top intel-
ligence briefing officers, who admitted belonging to the
antiwar group. Since then, press coverage has spread
the COM name, letters are pouring in from officers
stationed around the world, and chapters are forming
in Norfolk, Pensacola, San Diego, and Grand Forks Air
Base, home of the beloved ABM.

moderate Americans and the higher reaches of the
So far, COM functions as little more than a weekly
political discussion group which meets in one of the of-
ficer's apartments (that's how Lenin got started). COM
members have been publishing newsletters (the first
declared that "the officer corps is not part of a silent
majority") and they're trying to raise funds to purchase
a full-page ad in the New York Times to proclaim COM's
existence to the nation.
COM members are considering sending active duty
officers to speak with community groups and to seek
support from Congressmen and retired officers. Imagine
hitting the local Rotary Club and Elks Lodge with a
Mari~e colonel who wants immediate out in Indochina.
That's not the American Pentagon speaking. And, once
they get a bit more security, the concerned officers want
to confront issues beyond the war, like internal military
"Let's eliminate officer clubs, separate messes, and
subservient practices like saluting," suggests one COM
TO THE PENTAGON, any kind of dissent poses a
dangerous threat. Defense Department regulations for-
bid service personnel from lobbying "in combination" or
publicly complaining about specific grievances-that
would aply to COM members taking any stand as a group
on military or political issues-and from conduct "pre-
judicial" to good order and discipline.
The Pentagon is worried, all right, but it's trying
desperately to kill COM behind its back while facing the
outside world with a blissful smile. I wandered around
the Pentagon recently, down halls plastered with old
posters inviting young men to fight in tropical South
America or the mystic Far East, trying to discover just
what the big brass think about growing officer dissent.
They're anxious to pretend COM doesn't exist. In-
ternal officers told me that they haven't even heard of
COM, then without blinking added that so far, they
haven't taken any disciplinary action against COM mem-
bers. That's not true. Three weeks ago, five officers
from COM stood outside an Episcopal Church not far from
the White House and told TV cameras and newspaper
reporters why they believe they have a right and a duty
to dissent. The next days, Navy ensian Robert Brown,
who has been working under a top security "Q" clearance
on nuclear power projects with Admiral Rickover, was
fired. Within a week, Army Major Alan Braverman was
"persuaded" to resign from his post at Walter Reed
Medical Center,
MY MOST ENLIGHTENING interview was with Navy
spokesman Capt. W. S. Busik. He said: to get the record
straight, the United States Navy does not acknowledge
that an organization called the Concerned Officers Move-
ment exists. "Now, we have been talking to some con-
cerned individuals," Busik said. "We need to talk to them
to give them guidance. Otherwise, they'll get in trouble
if they don't know the rules of the game."
Busik and I played a paranoid hide and seek. I quickly
learned that every time I mentioned "COM," I should
qualify my question with "if such an organization did
in fact exist" Busik would then begin his answer by say-
ng that no organization does in fact exist, but if it did ...
Finally, peek-a-boo: Busik offered me proof that officers
of the United States military are not organizing to dis-
sent. "I've asked some officers for a COM membership
list," he said, "and they say they don't have one."
Anyway, Busick finally said, COM members represent
only a very small smattering of the service. He opened
up and offered a candid last warning. "If COM keeps
going in the direction they have been, we'll have to take.

account," Busik said. "It's one thing for individuals to
express their private opinion, but when they go public
and take advantage of the unform, it's another."
LET'S GIVE SOME credit to the Navy: they're
handling this hot potato with some strategic cool. In-
stead of court martialing COM members and raising
a stink, Naval brass are quietly discharging them. Routine
business. That's what happened to the two intelligence
briefers in July. When the Secretary of the Navy dis-
covered his top intelligence men belonged to an antiwar
organization, he transferred them to routine jobs in a
division which didn't have any job openings.
Not surprisingly, the two officers were quickly dis-
charged along with 1200 other nonessential personnel to
facilitate budget cuts. The Navy insists that the officers'


any means. It doesn't

you would call a radical group, by
flatly oppose the military estab-

COM membership had nothing to do with their dis-
charge. "They set themselves up for it," Busik told me,
however. He argues that if the officers hadn't joined
COM in the first place, they wouldn't have been trans
ferred to insignificant jobs and consequently wouldn't
have been dumped.
THE BIG QUESTION which keeps COM from ex-
panding its organizing and political activities-and keeps
timid dissenters from joining in the first place-is how
far military officers can go in their dissent and still
remain within the protective limits of the Frst Amend-
ment. The group has considered asking a federal court
to issue a declaratory judgment defining the rights of
officers and all servicemen to speak their minds in public.
The organization's lawyers, the Washington firm of
Arnold and Porter, is ready to file suit but some of the
officers who first planned it have either been transferred
or persuaded to drop the case.
COM isn't a powerful 'group by any means, and its
membership is tiny when compared to the gigantic
military octopus. But for the first time, it's giving officers
the courage to dissent.
From bases around the world, COM members in Wash-
ington are receiving letters from lone officers who have
kept their protests simmering inside of them and now feel
ready to confront the military. COM claims it keeps con-
tact with some sympathizers at top levels of the military,
big brass who works in positions too sensitive to jeop-
ardize now by associating with the organization.
"Most officers are afraid to stand up and say What
they believe," Lehman says. "And for good reason. If
you're a career officer, it's suicide."
(Next Week: thousands of GI's are deserting, ap-
plying for inservice CO's-or shooting their officers
in the back.


Illustrations by Rivers/Atlantic

lishment-that's the business, after all, which gives
COM officers their livelihood-but it does oppose current
military policies and wants to agitate for military re-
form. COM wants to functon purely as an officers' organ-
ization, unaffiliated with GI groups which are generally
more radical.
"Officers have a unique position which should be
used to advantage," says Navy Lt. Phil Lehman. a COM
organizer discharged early this summer. "We want to
convey to Middle America that there are people very
much against the war, whose loyalty can't be impugned."
COM's tactics and rhetoric will stay moderate. "We
can't indulge in rhetoric like 'smash the brass' and 'off
the pigs,'" Lehman told me. "We want to influence

On separatism and the crisis in


Child care demands:
The establishment fails again

"TUT WHAT has higher priority t h a n
children?" an angry voice from the
audience asked the Regents during the
open hearings last Thursday. From the
back of the room, another voice respond-
ed to the query: "Guns!"
The eight month old issue of child care
at the University was once against raised
at last week's open meeting by the Child
Care Action Group. The group had pre-
sented a similar demand - a free 24-hour
center jointly funded by the University
and Ann Arbor communities - six months
After the child care group presented
their demands they asked for regental
response. But the Regents sat quietly and
asked no questions. President Fleming
explained the Regents silence. "T h e y
haven't had time to fully consider your
proposals," he said, mentioning the all-
day sessions they had been attending. Ex-
pressing his own views on the proposals,
Fleming said that child care, "however
desirable a service", would require a very
substantial addition of funding - an
addition the University could not meet.
The following afternoon the Regents
delivered their verdict - a rejection of
the demands. Though describing the pro-
posal as "laudable," Regent William Cud-
lip explained the Board's action: "It is
simply a case of no resources for this fine
purpose." The meeting then passed on to
more important matters - distribution
of trusts, faculty appointments, commit-
tee reports ...
The day before he Regents made their
decision, Fleming argued for more time to

asked for., their experience was not
drawn upon. President Fleming must have
provided all the information upon which
the Regents based their decision. T h e
future of child care was decided in a
closed session with only one side repre-
It appears very evident that 'neither a
complete, thorough nor fair investigation
into the proposal was made. The plan in-
cluded a joint University-city funding. A
call to Mayor Robert Harris's office re-
vealed that no attempt was made by Re-
gents to test the feasibility of this aspect
of the proposal. Both Fleming and the
Regents cited lack of facilities, yet at the
same meeting they discussed plans on
what to do with guest rooms in the Mich-
igan Union.
Currently the Union is loosing money
on its hotel facilities, and the Regents dis-
cussed plans to use these rooms for office
space or student housing. Both are legi-
timate uses for the space, but couldn't
this extra space also be utilized as a start
for a child care center?
IT IS NOT because the University is
so short on space that the child
care proposal was rejected, but rather
the University's set of priorities which
puts child care at the bottom - if even
on the list. As for funding shortages, the
Regents consistently say that students
are always asking for more money to do
this or that, but certainly students' re-
quests are minimal in comparison to ad-
ministrators and various departments re-
quests for funding of their pet projects.
"It is obvious that nothing we say will

Daily Guest Writer
TUESDAY'S FISHBOWL RALLY protesting the im-
position by the Canadian government of the War
Measures Act was a tantalizing event for many of
Canadians on campus, in part because the circumstances
surrounding the enactment have elicited from virtually
every citizen of that country a highly emotional reaction
of some sort, andtalso because nationalists from across
the border tend to view American pronouncements on
such issues with a critical and sometimes hostile eye.
The rally's first speaker was in fact a Canadian-
Mark Van der Hout-and although in the pastwIhave
been in considerable agreement with much of what he
has had to say about other issues, I thought that some
aspects of his analysis were somewhat confused, and
that the factual underpinnings for his explanations
surprisingly inaccurate.
He began wisely by distinguishing between recent
terrorist activities and the French-Canadian separatist
movement as a whole, and in this light he dwelt on some
of the legitimate bases of that movement. But he seemed
at the same time to narrow the focus of blame for the
oppression of French-Canadians too much in a single
THERE ARE to my mind three sources of the plight
of French Canada: the supremacy and discriminatory
practices of the English speaking sector of the population,
especially in Quebec; the oppressiveness of the controllers
of capital in general; and the dominance until recently
of a traditionally oriented French-Canadian elite.
Van der Hout seemed to focus primarily on the first,

or at least he implied that the capital factor and the
English factor were completely coterminous. He pointed
with justification to the marked income differentials
of English and French Quebecers, and he indicated some
of the specific instances of French-Canadian powerless-
ness in the face of English power. But then he proceeded
to point to the role of the federal government in con-
tinuing that level of inequity, drawing in the main on
mythical facts and misleading implications. For example,
he attributed the very small number of low income
housing developments in Montreal, as compared to Eng-
lish-speaking Toronto, to federal discrimination. While
it is true that Ottawa contributes funds to such projects,
it merely responds to initiatives taken by local and pro-
vincial authorities. The fault, therefore, lies within
THE THIRD FACTOR impending the emergence o'
French-Canada lies wholly within it. Until the late 1950',,
considerable power in Quebec was wielded by a traditional
French-Canadian elite more concerned with the health
of the institutionalized church and with the maintenance
of their own seats of power than with the need for more
widespread educational opportunities and for more posi-
tive governmental activities in the promotion of social
I sympathize with the Quebec separatist movement,
but the danger in failing to distinguish the various roots
underlying the ongoing crisis of Canadian federalism is
that separatism may be regarded as a panacea, even
though by itself it answers only the first of the aspects
of the problem cited above. As Robert Frost once wrote,

"Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling
in or walling out."
The specific focus of Tuesday's rally was on the War
Measures Act. The handbill distributed in conjunction
with the meeting seemed, like Van der Hout, to dis-
tinguish between the terrorism of the past weeks and
the separatist movement, but the federal government's
action was linked by it to the latter, not the former. It
was claimed in fact that the enactment was designed
to repress all radical activity in Canada.
IT SHOULD be kept in mind that the government
is ostensibly dealing only with the Front for the Libera-
tion of Quebec, an organization that by no stretch of
the imagination encompasses the entire separatist move-
ment, and that the government would have to specify
any criteria for the making of arrestsbeyond affilliation
with that organization, and would have to lay such spe-
cification before Parliament. Above all it should be made
clear that while the Act does admittedly contain the
potential for near dictatorship and full martial law, its
application needn't be so extensive.
I am not saying that I suppdrt the government's
action completely-and certainly I am no great admirer
of Pierre Trudeau-but I am nevertheless mindful that
the spectre of political assassination is an entirely new
phenomenon in Canada. In that light, I am willing to
suspend judgement of the government for what it has
done for a little while longer. And I think that Americans
who wistfully look north to find comfort in the possibility
that there exist in Canada a regime as horrendous as the
Nixon -administration and its predecessor might well
temper their accusations-at least for the moment.


4 .

George H.

Brown Jr.,


s trikes



To The Daily:
THE DAILY has recently taken
issue with the fact that a number
of U.S. corporations with opera-
tions in South Africa are actively
recruiting on campus. I assume
that those who oppose this re-
cruiting sincerely believe that they

trying to "escape" into South
Africa to work in the mines there.
If South Africa is a huge con-
centration camp, then it surely
must be the only one in the world
where hundreds of thousands are
forever clamoring to get in.

IN VIEW of the fact that racial
and ethnic problems have not yet
been adequately solved anywhere
in the world, who can really say
that the South Africans do not
have a viable alternative? Is the
tribal slaughter in the Congo and
Nigeria such an alternative?

the first to be deprived of their
opportunity to prosper.
-George H. Brown, Jr. '71
Oct. 17
To The Daily:
IN THE OCT. 13 Daily Mr.

Let me assure Mr. Schneck that
life under foreign military occu-
pation is fully as onerous and
humiliating for these Palestinian
Arabs as such a situation has ever
been throughout history. Even a
nodding acquaintance with the
recent history of Palestine will re-

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