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February 13, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-02-13

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lettersletters lettersletters lettersletl

To The Daily:
AS THE PERSON who arranged
the February 6 debate on nuclear
energy sponsored by PIRGIM and,
as the head of PIRGIM's nuclear
energy project, I should like to
respond to Fred Schneider's let-
ter which appeared in the Daily on
February 8th.
It is true, as Mr. Schneider Ftat-
es, that the four participating de-
baters all support a moratorium
on nuclear energy. This, however,
did not hinder the debaters who
defended nuclear energy from ac-
curately presenting the propon-
ent's viewpoint.
He claims that the debate wzvs
the most lopsided, one-sided arau-
ment against nuclear power he has
ever seen. Yet, many of the argu-
ments of nuclear energy propon-
ents were embodied in the speech-
es of the two debaters who oppos-
ed a nuclear moratorium, the ques-
tion about which the debate cent-
For example, the debaters noted
that the results of a study con-
ducted by Dr. Ernest Sternglass,
which established a correlation be-
tween radiation emitted from a
nuclear processing plant in Color-
ado and the infant mortality rate
in the plant's vicinity, could not
be reproduced by other scientists.
They also mentioned that S*ern-
glass's explanation for the differ-
ences between the results of his
and subsequent studies was weak,
IN ADDITION, the debaters in-
veighed against the findings of Drs.
Tamplin and Gofman in the same
manner that nuclear proponents do.
They noted that Gofman and
Tamplin upped their estimates on
the number of extra cancer deaths
to be expected each year because
of nuclear power generation from
30,000 to 60,000 and eventuall-y to
96,000 without changing the original
In addition, the debaters noted,
as nuclear proponents frequenUtiv
do, that Gofman and Tamplin used
radiation levels in their calcni.i-
tions that exceed by several hund-
red times the levels to which a
normally functioning reactor sub
jects the general public.
Such evidence would hardly be
mentioned in a lopsided debate to
which Mr. Schneider alludes. And,
I could cite more examples of ar-
guments which nuclear proponents
use that the debaters arguing
against the moratorium question
also used.
MR. SCHNEIDER claims that
,the debaters had little idea of
what they were talking about. The
debaters, however, who constitute

part of the U of M debate team
and who have run both sides of
the nuclear question at collegiate
debates for the past year, have file
card cases loaded with file cards
containing quotes from the many
articles which they have read in
the course of preparing their nuc-
lear energy case.
The debaters though, did n o t
document the specific sources they
used during the course of Wednes-
day's debate upon my request. I
felt that citing references would
interfere with the fluidity ofeach
speech. In light of Mr. Schneid-
er's charge, as well as a com-
ment by one other student in the
audience, I must admit that I er-
red on this point.
Finally, Mr. Schneider charges
that "the debaters arguing f o r
nuclear power baroiy touched on
the outer surface of why nuclear
power is necessary and practical."
These debaters, however, system-
atically outlined the problems with
other alternative energy sources
and then stated that the alterna-
tives cannot replace the 30 per cent
of the power needs whic nuclear
power can supply by 2000. Without
it, we face a massive energy cris-
der's charge that the debate was
lopsided is unwarranted. He s u g-
gests that we set up a "true" de-
bate. I insist that we had a true
debate. But, there is a grave need
for further dissemination- of ir-
formation on the nuclear energy
issue. PIRGIM plans to sponsor
lectures and speeches in the future
featuring professors from the Uni-
versity's nuclear engineering and
physics department.
-Jeff Weiss
February 8
To The Daily:
fully support the truckers who are
peacefully striking. The, are strik-
ing for you as well as themselves.
Do you realize that the 6 per cent
freight rate surcharge would not
cost the oil companies one penny?
You the consumer would be paying
for that increase directly from your
wallets every time you made a pur-
Why do the truck drivers want
oil company financial statements
made public? So everyone can see
that when they cry "rolhack would
be counter-productive" they are ly-
ing throuh their teeth. And who are
transmitting these lies to us? None
other than our represen atives in
It is this group of men who are
trying to do what the general pub-
lic was unable to do - fncco the

To The Daily:
IN YOUR Feb. 7 editorial which
would seem to be a veiled jibe at
the "Stop Exxon" demonstration of
the past week, The Daily has hit
new lows of political analysis.
Throwing around such phrases as
"scapegoat mania", "schoolboy
who desperately denies his own
guilt," and "who-dunnit-ism", The
Daily implies that the energy crisis
is really the result of a "current
of self-seekingness that reigns as
the American Way," that we are
all equally to blame for this cris-
is. While decrying the v e n a 1
greed of the oil companies, T h e
Daily considers it just another
manifestation of some general
American greed.
May I suggest that The Daily
has missed the point? It would, of
course, be wrong to blame the
whole thing on the oil companies
as a somehow thoroughly depraved
breed of money-grubbing fiends.
But the point is, and this is the
point the demonstration tried to
make (unsuccessfully perhaps), is

that this is nothing new under cap-
That there is ample oil in the
ground to meet all present and
near-future needs has been well
documented. But when any capital-
ist finds that he cannot make a
"reasoable" profit on an ;nvest-
ment, he doesn't invest. rhe o4
companies are not basically dif-
ferent; caught in a profit squeeze,
they hold back on deliveries and
on refinery building, and voila, a
shortage! And if you :an silence
the environmentalists at the sanme
time, so much the better.
OF COURSE America'5 fuel con-
sumption is too high. But who pro-
moted such an idiotic rate of fuel
consumption in the first place? In
fact this wastefulaess constitutes
to a large degree the "good life',
the carrot that the promoters of
the system hold out in front of
working people.
While a 500 cubic inch V-8 Chevy
or a thirty-foot "re.reational ve-
hicle" may seem the heigh: o1'
ecological stupidity to the envi.on-
mentally-conscious college student,
for many Americans such conspic-

uo's consumption is the only form
of fulfillment in a workaday world.
With this outlet denied them, in
counterposition to the soaring pro-
fits they see the oil companies
reaping all around, is it any won-
der that people should feel be-
trayed and angry?
Where The Daily goes wrong, ul-
timately, is in its refusal to re-
cognize distinctions of class. Any
invocation to "all Americans, to
alter their life styles inevitably ig-
nores the concrete facts of Amer-
ican life which Qtrongly influe ice
classes of people to act in parti-
cular ways - in this case to con-
sume energy.
Of course the energy consump-
tion patterns in the U.S. are ir-
rational, but until the system is
changed they will remain so. Invo-
cations to ".all Americans" serve
the system very well by tehing
people that they have only them-
selves to blame for their problems,
and getting them to accept oppres-
sion willingly, instead of acting
to overthrow it.
-Steve Cohen
Feb. 7

L Publishe~rs-Bal
syndicate, 1974

94c Sfr4iazn PBafl
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552



Editorial Staff
Editor in Chief
Managing Editors
SUE STEPHENSON...............Feature Editor
MARNIE HEYN ................ Editorial Director
CINDY HILL ....................... Executive Editor
KENNETH FINK ...... ...........Arts Editor
TONY SCHWARTZ.........,...... Sunday Editor

News: Gordon Atcheson, Dan Biddle, Judy
Ruskin, Jim Schuster
Arts Page: Ken Fink
Editorial Page: P a u I Haskins, Marnie
Photo Technicians: David Margolick, Al-
lison Ruttan

The unresolved tragedy

ONDECEMBER 8, 1972, United Air-
lines Flight 553 from Washington,
D.C. destined for Midway Airport, Chi-
cago, Illinois, crashed. One of the un-
fortunate victims aboard that plane was
the wife of Watergate conspirator E.
Howard Hunt.
The public was told that the causes
of the crash were purely accidental and
due to nothing more than undeliberate
negligence and mechanical malfunctions.
This was all the information that was
revealed to the public through the es-
tablishment media, and as far as the
public at large was concerned, the mat-
ter was closed.
However, there were further private
investigations concerning the crash con-
ducted by the Citizens Committee to'
Clean up the Courts, whom under the
guidance of their chairman, Sherman
Skolnick, have uncovered a mass of
heretofore unpublicized information that
raised many new questions surrounding
the crash.
THE COMMITTEE tTO Clean up the
Courts, a non-profit public interest
group, helped gather evidence that led
to the conviction of ex-Illinois Governor
Otto Kerner, on charges of bribery and
perjury. They also assisted in the inves-
tigation of the Illinois Supreme Court in
1969 which led to the resignations of half
the Illinois Supreme Court.

she had ten-thousand dollars on her at
the time of the crash.
Skolnick contends that besides this
amount she also had forty-thousand dol-
lars traceable to Watergate spy Bernard
Barker, and upwards of two-million dol-
lars in American Express money orders.
Ralph Blodgett and James W. Krueger,
attorneys for the Northern Natural Gas
Company, were mentioned to be car-
rying documents revealing that then-
Attorney General John Mitchell dropped
anti-trust charges against El Paso Nat-
ural Gas Company (a competitor of Nor-
thern Natural) and at the same time ob-
tained a stock interest in El Paso Natur-
al Gas Company.
sabotage as brought out by Skolnick are:
* The airplane needed its instru-
ments since the visibility was only one
to two miles that day, and the cloud
ceiling varied from 400 to 600 feet. A
major radio navigational instrument, the
airport outer marker stopped working
as flight 553 approached Midway Air-
* The plane's altimeter would not
work under 3400 feet.
* The plane approached at too great
a speed for safety.
0 The approach controller admitted
he forget to give the flight approach
clearance. The crew of flight 553 thought
they were in a holding pattern.

government to work for the people
and not the oil companme:. Give
the truckers your support. It may
be your only chance to transfer
the cost of this contrived energy1
crisis to the oil companie and fatt
politicians who are their spores-
-Mrs. Elaine Wedge '68
Feb. 9
To The Daily:
ON JAN. 26, the first anniver-I
sary of the signing of the Vietnam
Peace Agreement, the Indochina
Peace Council held a teach-in on
the present situation in Indochina.
Workshops were held on the topics
of Vietnam today; Thailand, Cam-
bodia, and Laos; peace agreement
violations; and possible action to
take. Speakers included p e o p I e
from the Indochina Solidarity Com-
mission, the Vietnam Veterans
Against the War, the Coalition to
Stop Funding the War; and U of M
faculty members John Whitmore,
Tom Weisskopf and Marilyn Young.
The program was very interesting
and informative.
The Daily assigned a reporter t
cover the program, but he never
showed up. Calling the Daily of-
fice that night no answer w a s
found on the other end of the line.
When I got in touch with the City
Desk Editor, he apologized and
informed me the absent staffer was
severely reprimanded. I told the
editor I had taken notes and could
compose a story for the next
(Tuesday, Jan. 29) edition. He
thanked me, but said it was old
IT IS not old news to most Amer-
icans that the War in Vietnam con-
tinues; that the Thieu government,
which is really a puppet of the
U.S. and would fall without its sup-
port, has constantly and flagrant-
ly violated the terms of the cease-
fire. On Dec. 30, 1973 Thieu can-
celled the general election called
for in the treaty. On Jan. 4 of
this year Thieu ordered an attack
on the Provisional Revolutionary
Government (referred to in most
American media sources as the
Viet Cong" or "Communists").
There are 20,000 U.S. military per-
sonnel in disguise in South Viet-
Thieu's government continues ex-
treme repressive measures against
the people. It is illegal to be in-
dependent in Saigon-government
controlled areas. It is illegal to
publicly support peace in a country
which has known only war for the
past thirty years. Many political
prisoners have been arrested and
are being tortured by Thieu's gov-
ernment. Martial law remains in
effect in Saigon.
THE BASIC U.S. foreign policy
of neo-colonialism in Suth Viet-
nam and the rest of Indochina has
not changed, only the tactics and
the color of the bodies have. Most
Americans do not undersand the
peace agreement, they think the
war is over. This is not 'old news'
for the majority.
On Feb. 25 Don Luce, who was
in South Vietnam with the Inter-
national Volunteers Service an~d
revisited the country in 1972, will
be speaking on campus as a guest
of the Department of Southeast Is-
ian Studies and The Indochina

peace tax
To The Daily:
COUNTY Commissioner Eliza-
beth Taylor, by refusing to pay
taxes which go for military pur-
poses, is in the forefront of con-
scientious objectors to war. She is
seeking to establish that this is her
right under our Constitution's guar-
antee of freedom of religion.
She is by no means alone in her
stand. Military expenditures con-
tinue to mount, and throughout the
United States, thousands of p. r-
sons are refusing to pay part or
all of their Federal income taxes.
Tens of thousands are refusing to
pay the Federal phone tax, wmich
was explicitly levied to help fin-
ance escalation of the war in Viet-
nam. Many of these people donate
or lend the amount of their refused
war taxes to "alternative funds"
which help finance scholarships, co-
operative movements, medical clin-
ics, emergency aid to the poor, and
organizations which help promote
human welfare. (The local alterna-
tive fund is: The Ann Arbor Life
Priorities Fund, P.O. Box 5S_+, Ann
Arbor, Mich., 48107).
Recently, in a case involving two
Philadelphia Quakers, a U.S. 'us-
trict Court set a major precedent.
The Court enjoined he Government
from collecting 51.6 per cent (the
"military portion") of Federnl 'in-
come tax from two employees of
the American Friends Service
Committee through the withhold-
ing method because this violated
the "free exercise of their relig-
ion" (N.Y. Times, 1/5/74, p. 21).
THE LONG tradition of recogniz-
ing religiously-based conscientious
objection to war, developed and
expanded by the U.S. Supreme
Court, is now being applied only to
men of draft -age. This tradition
should be expanded to gave all tax-
payers who are conscientiously op-
posed to participation in war a
legal alternative to paying taxes
for military purposes.
The World Peace Tax Fund Act,
H.R. 7053, introduced by Repre-
sentatives Ronald V. Dellums and
Benjamin S. Rosenthal and 10 oth-
er members of Congress t-ncluding
Representatives Conyers and Diggs
of Michigan) would amend t h e
Internal Revenue Code to establish
such an "alternative fund ' within
the Federal government. Tax mon-
ey directed by conscientious objec-
tors into the World Peace Tax
Fund (i.e. the "military portion"
of their taxes) would be used to
help build a peaceful socie' y, and
to foster non-violent methods of re-
solving international dispute.
You can ask your Congressman,
Marvin Esch, for a copy of the
Bill. Other information -s available
from the World Peace Tax Fund
Steering Committee, P.O. Box 1447,
Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48106
-David R. Bassett
Chairman - Worl: Peace
Tax Fund Steering

To The Daily:
"I BELIEVE THE time h a s
come to bring that investigation
and the other investigations on this
matter to an end. One year of Wat-
ergate is enough." (Richard Nix-
on, Jan. 30, 1974).
Is one year of Watergate enough?
No way. On May 9, 1973 Nixon
said: "I will simply say t you
tonight . . . Attorney General, El-
liot Richardson, and the special

three more years?

"They imply that it may have been in the best interests
of the Committee to Re-elect the President, or some
government officials including the President, to have
this plane sabotaged."
r' 'F rrr r .,. nr{{ fr f r, a ".raaar.+-arFa ' fkgYl.
.. i:": i;:... r .{. ar ...a. F} %i r+. : f}sfdi. rr . . f

ledge? According to the Citizens Com-
mittee, there was a well-conceived cov-
er-up to mask the supposed sabotage.
Skolnick's major points are:
0 There were over two hundred F.B.I
and D.-I.A. (Defence Intelligence Ag-
ency) agents at the scene of the crash
before or immediately after it occurred.
They arrived before the fire depart-
ment, who were at the scene one min-
ute after the crash occurred. The F.B.I.
refused the police or ambulances access
to the crash-area, only allowing the
firemen through. The F.B.I. later con-
firmed they had fifty agents at the scene
shortly after the crash.
* On December 9, 1972, one day after
the crash, White House Aide Egil Krogh
Jr., who was just convicted in connec-
tion with the Ellsberg breakin, was ap-
'pointed Under-Secretary of Transporta-
tion, supervising the National Transpor-
tation Safety Board and the Federal
Aviation Administration, the two agen-
cies supposedly going to investigate the
crash of flight 553.
* On December 19, 1972, Whitehouse
Deputy Assistant to the President and
Secretary to the Cabinet, Alexander P.
Butterfield (the man who revealed the
presence of the Watergate tapes) was
appointed the new head of the Federal

Board hearings on the crash of flight 553
refused Skolnick to present his testi-
mony and documentation at the initial
hearings on February 27, 1973. Skolnick
sued the Chairwoman for this refusal.
Eventually, at reopened hearings, June
13-14, 1973, Skolnick produced thirteen
hundred pages of documentation and
five witnesses. Skolnick admitted he had
stolen a copy of the government file on
the crash of flight 553 and was using the
State's evidence against them.
These are the facts accumulated by
the Committee to Clean up the Courts.
The validity of the information mention-
ed is in our opinion, uncertain.
However, there are many grave ques-
tions raised, questions which need to be
answered one way or another. Why has
there not been more coverage of this in
the major media? Why has the Senate
Watergate Committee shied away from
this matter? Senator Ervin, in a per-
sonal letter, told Skolnick that his com-
mittee is powerless to investigte the
matter. Why did the National Transpor-
tation Safety Board initially refuse Mr.
Skolnick's testimony? It is every citi-
zen's right to be heard.
Skepticism and cynicism concerning
this topic are only natural. This whole
plot is almost beyond comprehension,
-t-1-.,. c -k .- flint nnp ,m rpn na fl n VPO

prosecutor that he will appoint in
this case will have the total co-
operation of the executive branch
of this government . ..
Where was that cooperation? The
invoking of executive privilege, the
deliberate disobeying of c o u r t
orders, and the obstruction of Ijus-
tice are not the types of coopera-
tion that the American people de-
If the erased Watergate tape,
which John Dean says implicated
the President, and which N i x o n
claims would have cleared him, if
Nixon was right they why didn't
he create an uproar when the evi-
dence that would of "cleared him"
was destroyed?
As far as the historic statement,
"I am not a crook," why doesn'r
Nixon release the information that
he says will clear him? The answer
to that is easily seen by answering
the following question.
WHERE ARE Spiro Agnew. John
Mitchell, Maurice Stans, John Ehr-
lichman, Bob Haldeman, Egil
Krogh, John Dean, Alexander But-
terfield, David Young, G. Gordon
Liddy, E. Howart Hunt, the Water-
gate team, the plumbers, and Rose
Mary Woods? Everyone of them
is either in jail, -r 'irder crininal
investigation. One year of Water
gate has not clean-ed out the hoxie
So the question s not "one ye-,r
of Watergate is enot.gh," rather it
is 5 years and 18 mminutes is too
-Guy Cavallo, '75
President of the College
Young Democrats

r.";"". lrYd...........r..- .....
The amount of information the com-
mittee has compiled on the crash is
enormous. Their contention is that
there were upwards of twelve people
connected one way or another with Wat-
ergate on that flight, and they imply
that it may have been in the best inter-
ests of the Campaign to Re-elect the
President, or some government' officials
including the President to have this
plane sabotaged.
According to Skolnick, the possible mo-
tives for the sabotage of flight 553 are
obvious. Mrs. E. Howard Hunt was al-

0 A propeller plane was steered im-
mediately in front of them.
0 No-one warned the plane it had
drifted outside the outer marker.
* In violation of regulations, the air-
port was working two planes for the
same runway at the same time, 553 and
the propeller plane.
# In the last five minutes of the
flight, the copilot and. second officer
were flying the plane which supports
the contention that the pilot was dead
or disabled due to cyanide poisoning or
other foul play. The plane's pilot, Cap-
tain Whitehouse, and six other passen-

Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), Rm 353, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.

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