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December 03, 1974 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-12-03

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I

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

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Tuesday, December 3, 1974

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

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By GORDON ATCHESON
BECAUSE OF AN erroneous entry in
his academic records, a young man
has been systematically 'excluded from
private boarding schools and colleges but
was never given a chance to look at
the files or challenge the information.
He is not alone, although his case is
perhaps more dramatic and traumatic
than most.
When in the first grade, the boy hug-
ged another member of his baseball
team after the group won several games.
Noticing this, the physical education in-
structor made a note in school's re-
cords that the child "showed homosexual
tendencies."
Neither the student nor his parents
were aware such a comment had ever
been made, and even if they had re-
quested to see the file the remark
would have been omitted because it was
given in confidence.
The teacher's groundless assessment
followed the student throughout his ad-
olescence and hampered - if not strang-
led - his pursuits in many areas.
RECENTLY CONGRESS passed legis-
lation requiring educational institutions to
show students the files - confidential
and otherwise - that have been kept on
them throughout their school years.
The University, however, has seized
on a loophole in the law, which went
into effect last month, and may pre-
MyLa
By RICHARD MEYER my fo
AP Writer Aberdi
SAMUEL KOSTER, FORMER family
commander of the Americal batchni
Division no longer fights the cwho d
Viet Cong, but the Army. Be- but a f
cause of My Lai, the Army One
stripped him of a star. He wants curren
it back. Army.
George Young, former assist- abat
ant commander of the Ameri- Army'
cal Division, no longer fights agains
the Viet Cong, but the Army. "were
By keeping thousands of pages or un
of its My Lai investigation se- action
cret, he says, the Army is hurt-~ I
ing innocent men. He wants the comm
secrets released. with fa
Oran Henderson, former com- lations
mander of the 11th Brigade, forma
talks less about My Lai than Lt. (
the bicentennial. He works for the tin
Pennsylvania's B i c e n t e n- a cove
nial Commission. But the scars cre."
of My Lai are still there, he added
says. "It certainly keeps com- "Th
ing back." idence
Ernest Medina, former com- individ
mander of Charlie Company, unwitt
talks less about My Lai than presse
helicopters. "That's in the past, cident
and this is the present," he chain
says. Medina works for a heli-
copter company. AFT
M E D I N A, HENDERSON,
YOUNG and Koster were in the
chain of command above Lt.
William L. Calley Jr., when his
First Platoon massacred un-
armed civilians March 16, 1966,
in the Vietnamese hamlet of My
Lai 4. The Army counted 347
men, women and children slain
by Americans. Only Calley was
convicted of any crime - mur-
der in the killing of at least 22'
villagers. Calley, 31, was freed
on bail Nov. 8 after serving one-
third of a 1-year sentence. The
following week, the Army re-
leased some - but not all -
of its My Lai investigation.
The Army paroled Calley, ef-
fective last Wednesday, but is
appealing a Sept. 25 ruling by a<
federal judge in Columbus, Ga.,
overturning Calley's convic-
tion, in part because of preju-
dicial publicity. The appeal is

pending in the 5th Circuit Court appoin
of Appeals in New Orleans. The U. s.
investigation, conducted by a Point.
commission headed by now-re- he wa
tired Lt. Gen. William R. Peers, reassi
showed that knowledge of the militar
atrocity w a s widespread had h
throughout the Americal Divi- was ci
sion and its headquarters. adier+
his dis
FORMER MAJ. GEN. Samuel Based
W. Koster, retired from the Ar-

j

vent students from ever seeing certain
information, let alone questioning its
accuracy.
Under the law, schools have a 45-day
period in which to respond to requests
to look at the files. And the University
announced it will take every last day of
that time in hopes an amendments to
the measure will be approved.
Currently pending before the lame-
duck Congress, the amendment w o u I d
.allow schools to continue to keep secret
any information originally given in con-
fidence.
In taking this posture, the administra-
tion is obviously trying to pul a fast one.
It will be saved the embarrassment of
revealing potentially derogatory, de-
famitory, and inaccurate information to
the students.
AT PRESENT, the University w iI1
make available most data in a student's
file, yet counselor comments and teach-
er remarks in addition to certain test
scores are kept secret.
They will stay under wraps if the
amendment to the law is approved, as
apnears quite possible.
Those supporting the amendment argue
that any benefit obtained from certain
comments and recommendations would
be lost if they could not be made in
strict confidence. Apparently the sources
of the information would be afraid to
be "candid," if the material were ever
to get back to the subjects.
:The m

r nearly a year, lives in
een Lane, Md., with his
. Koster, 54, referred all
es to his lawyer, Neil Ka-
ick, in Washington, IDC.,
eclined to comment on all
few matters.
of the few was Koster's
t differences with the
He has taken action,
chnick said, to prove the
s administrative penalties
t him because of My Lai
materially in error and
just and that corrective
should be taken."
March of 1970, the Peers
ission had charged Koster
ailing to obey lawful regu-
and dereliction in per-
nce of his duties. ,
Gen. Peers was asked at
me whether there had been
r-up of the My Lai massa-
No," Peers said. But he
ere was testimony and ev-
to indicate that certain
duals, either wittingly or
ingly, by their action sup-
d information from the in-
from being passed up the
of command.
ER MY LAI, Koster was

Unfortunately, such arguments have
been more readily accepted than the in-
dividual's right to know.
In legal proceedings a defendent is
guaranteed the right to confront his or
her accuser under the sixth amendment
to the Constitution. Why then should a
citizen be denied the ability to check
information that could have as wide-
sweeping influence as academic records?
THE UNIVERSITY remains immove-
able on the matter and appears to be
making contingency plans just in case
the amendment to the present law fails
to win approval.
While several institutions, most not-
ably Harvard, purged student files of
controversial material, the University
ordered that the records be maintained
intact.
When the order was made, Vice Pres-
ident for Academic Affairs Frank Rhodes
indicated the records would not be de-
stroyed out of moral and ethical can-
cern. More likely it was done to save
the University some paperwork.
If the amendment were passed and the
University had already destroyed the
sensitive portions of the files, it wouild
be faced with the dificult task of re-
placing the information.
In addition, Rhodes left open the pos-
sibility that the Board of Regents might
reverse its current stand and dire.t the
departments to remove the confiderual
material from student files.
emories

Nixon on the stand: Merry Xmas

for 30 years of service, the de-
motion cost him about $3,300 a
year in retirement pay.
Kabatchnick said Koster has
asked the Army Board for Cor-
rection of Military- Records to
expunge his letter of censure;
void the revocation of his dis-
tinguished service award; show
that he served on extended duty
in the temporary grade of Major
General from 1971 to 1973; show
that he was selected for promo-
tiOn to the permanent grade of
Major General in 1971; and
show that he retired in Novem-
ber of 1973 in the grade of Major
General.
BRIG. GEN. GEORGE H.
Young Jr., 53, was charged un-
der the Uniform Code of Mili-
tary Justice with dereliction of
duty. Subsequently, the formal
charge was dropped, and he
was reprimanded administra-
tively and stripped of his dis-
tinguished service medal. He
asked the Army to reinstitute
the formal charge so he could
go to trial. The Army refused.
"I was disappointed," he said
in an interview. "I was inno-
cent. It was clear to me there
was a presumption of guilt, so
I retired."
Young read a lengthy state-
ment he had prepared recount-
ing his unsuccessful efforts to
obtain a court-martial. It said
he told then-Secretary of the
Army Stanley Resor the admin-
istrative action ,against him
"represented clearly a circum-
vention of the Uniform Code"
and was a dangerous precedent

li

E SHALL soon see if Judge Sirica
still views national events in their
proper perspective. He must choose
between a 11 o w i n g the Watergate
cover-up J u r o r s to go home for
Christmas, or locking them in a hotel
until January. Should he choose the
latter, Americans can usher in the
new y e a r by listening to the real
Nixon explain his involvement in the
nightmare of Watergate.
Tapes of actual incriminating presi-
dential dialog are wonderful, but they
can't be cross-examined. No one ex-
cept Dick knows when he was telling
the "truth" or just hamming it up
for the mike.. Perhaps he will want to
straighten out the record for pos-
terity.
Nixon hasn't told a big lie publicly
in a while, so he should be about
ready to tell a string of them, under
oath of course. And when he does
... RICHARD NIXON ARRESTED
FOR PERJURY, CLAIMS TRUTH IS
A V A L U E JUDGEMENT. Wouldn't
that be exciting? Now that Jerry
thinks he has a chance to return to
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in 1976, he
might be more hesitant about another
pardon. "B i n d i n g t h e nation's
wounds" was a thin concept the first
time around. Would anyone buy it
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Gordon Atcheson, Dan Biddle,
Cindy Hill, Rob Meachum, Jeff Ris-
tine, Judy Ruskin
Editorial Page: Marnie Heyn, Wayne
Johnson, Sue Wilhelm
Photo Technician: Ken Fink

THUS THE UNIVERSITY is prepared
in any event to keep certain parts of the
records from those people most directly
concerned and affected.
Once again the administration h a s
undertaken a wily tactic and the student
comes out on the losing end. That cer-
tain data about students shold remain
secret and any mistakes therein stand
uncorrected is simply wrong.
Obviously the best solution wiuld be
for the University to immediately open
its records in full compliance with the
spirit of the new federal law. But just as
obviously that is not going to happen.
- And the way it looks now, there isn't
a damn thing that can be done about
it.
Editor's note:
It seems th-t the best students can
hope for in this morass is that the
amendment will f-it and the University
will be forced to destroy co-fidentinl
file sections. The only way to prevent
the amendment's piss-ge in the inter-
ests of due pror'ess is for stidents and
their n'rerts to write the binm *'"'vks in
W-shington and Possibly offset the lob-
hving done by q-hool ,drnimstrators.
Their addresses: Rep. Mwrvin Esch,
Pm. 412 Cinon Blg.; Sen. Robert Grit-
fin, Rm. 353 Old Senate Bldg.; Sen. Phil-
]in Hrt, "'m. 253 Old Senate Bldg.;
Capitol Hill, Washi-gton DC 20515.

the second time?
RUT EVEN IF Nixon managed to tell
the whole truth, all the time, his
presence would not be wasted.
Imagine that s w e a t y lip working
overtime when he is asked if his crook
status has changed from 'not' to 'pos-
sibly.' If Dick contends that he has
suffered enough without jail then he
should convince America. We wouldn't
ask a former president to grovel, but
a simple, "I'm sorry," would be ap-
propriate.
Another inadequacy of the tapes is
their inability to shame supporters
like Julie and Rabbi Korpff out of
the public eye. Would Mike Douglas
allow Eva Braun to co-host for one
week? Gee Mike, Adolph wasn't really
all that bad, you know? He was kind,
generous, not at all like the news-
papers describe him.
Finally, Nixon might be able to say
something that could help the cases
of the swine he used for advisors. The
involvement of Haldeman, Ehrlich-
man and Mitchell in Operation In-
tercept at the Mexican border should
be sufficient cause for public whip-
ping and mutilation. However, they
are held for much less serious of-
fenses and should be allowed to prove
their innocence, if that is possible.
THE TWELVE jurors should demand
that they be sequestered through
the Christmas season while Nixon re-
covers. They can always show their
displeasure a b o u t the delay when
verdict time rolls around.
-WAYNE JOHNSON

ever indiscretion he commit-
ted."
On reflection, would he do
anything differently?
"I probably wouldn't have
volunteered to go back to Viet-
nam for a second tour . . . if I
could have known that was go-
ing to happen . . . I wouldn't
have done anything different as
far as the operation is concern-
ed, and at that particular time
I couldn't have done anything
different because, as I've stat-
ed, I didn't know this thing was
hannening."
"Of course, I only assumed
command the day before the
operation, on the morning of
the 15th . . .At that particular
time, I don't care how good of
a commander you are, you're
not looking for things like that."
WHAT HAVE THE AMERI-
CAN people learned from Viet-
nam?
"I think one of the biggest
things is the fact that the peo-
ple are going to take a better
look at the moral issue in any
future war.
Capt. Ernest Medina, a Mexi-
can - American career soldier,
was 33 when he was charged
with murder, involuntary man-
slaughter and assault. He was
tried,tacquitted and resigned
from the Army.
After returning to the United
States from Vietnam, he said,
he was on a list for promotion
and scheduled to spend a year
studying at the University of
Tampa. Then came the My Lai
disclosures.
"I had been king of the moun-
tain . . . the top of the trash
pile . . . and then it collapsed,"
he said.
CAPT. EUGENE M. KOTOUC
was 35 when he was charged on
March 10, 1970, with "assault,
maiming and murder of one sus-
pected enemy person, murder
of another, during their interro-
gation late in the day of about
16 March 1968." The maiming

e on
trtive reprimand for wht he
calls "failure to report of fail-
ure to detect a war crime. 'e
is now the adjutant at an arny
unit of about 15 soldiers at Van-
couver Barracks in Vancouver,
Washington.
"I think the guy got shafted,"
he said of Calley. "I am ex-
tremely happy he is now getting
out of jail.'
"War is an immoral thing,"
Johnson said. "If you're going
to commit the act of war, you
unleash the dogs. You don't go
over there to pat people on the
back and shake their hands . .
I have a tremendous problem
living with the fact there ever
was a Vietnam. But the people
over there fighting the war were
not the ones who made the de-
cision.
Paul Mlkeadlo, a 20 year old
PFC in Calley's platoon, was a
material witness against him.
He told of firing soire 70 shots
into squatting Vietnamese "be-
cause I felt like I was ordered
to do it." Meadlo lost part of a
leg the next morning when he
stepped on a land mine. "God
punished me," he said.
His lawyer, John Kesler, says
Meadlo is trying to live in ob-
scurity.
ESEQUIEL TORRES, 26, a
sergeant at My Lai, was charg-
ed with murder. The, charge
was dismissed. He was dis-
charged from the army in 1972.
He said he tried to join the
Texas National Guard but was
told he could not. Now he op-
erates a transmission and weld-
ing shop in Brownsville, Texas.
Colley?
"I'm glad he's free," Torres
said.
Kenneth Schiel, 27, a corpor-
al at My Lai was charged with
murder. The charge was dis-
missed. After his discharge
from the army, he earned a de-
gree in criminal justice at Bis-
cayne College in Florida. But
because of My Lai, he said he
was turned down when he tried
to become a policeman. Last
weekehe was laid off from his
job at a Chevrolet plant in Flint,'
Michigan and is now looking for
work.
Ron Ridenhouer, a Vietnam
veteran who told the secret of
My Lai in letters to Congress,
the president, the Pentagon, and
the State Department, is a free-

Mledina

ted commandant of the
Military Academy at West
But two years later, when
s charged, he requested
gnment "to separate the
ry academy" from what
appened. Ultimately, he
ensured, demoted to Brig-
General and stripped of
stinguished service medal.
on the usual allowances

Henderson

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which could "be used against
any man who would wear an
Army uniform . .."
He called for the release of all
testimony before the Peers
Commission. "Unless the other
testimony is declassified," he
said, "the innocent will go to
the grave still bearing the stig-
ma gained from the presump-
tion of guilt."
COL. ORAN K. HENDER-
SON, 55, a quiet Hoosier with 30
years of service and a chestful
of ribbons for valor, had been
recommended for promotion to
General when he was charged
with failing to obey regulations
requiring him to report what he
knew about My Lai, dereliction
of duty in willfully failing "to
conduct a proper and thorough
investigation," and lying under
oath about what had happened.

Koster

charge accused him of cutting
off a prisoner's finger with his
pocket knife.
My Lai, he said in an inter-
view at Ft. Riley, Kan., "has
been-the forefront of my life."
He was acquitted in 1971 -
but notified two years later that
he was being released from
active duty as a captain. The
Army told him he could stay on
as an enlisted man for another
2% years to be eligible for 20-
year retirement. He accused the

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lance writer in Arizona. Au-
brey Daniel, the captain who
prosecuted Calley is a member

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