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June 10, 1971 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-06-10

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Page Eight


Thursday, Jne 10,1971

Journalists concede
'defeats' in Vietnam

Dispatch News Service
SAIGON - The last two jour-
nalists walked out of the 101st
Airmobile Division at Phu Bai
last month, and like other jour-
nalists before them, conceded de-
feat in covering Operation Lam
Son 720.
President Thieu and General
Abrams announced the com-
mencement of Lam San 720, a
major joint Vietnamese - Amer-
ican operation into the A Shau
Valley and vicinity, on April 13.
But correspondents hastening to
the area heard a different story
from 101st official sources, head-
ed by Captain Isaac Conerly, the
division's Information Officer.
The operation had not yet begun,
he claimed, and American partic-
ipation had been limited to 5-man
reconnaissance squads.
Unofficial sources, however,
confirmed that at least one
American battalion of approxi-
mately 500 men, the 1st Battalion,
327th Regiment of the 101st Divi-
sion had raided the southern part
of the A Shau Valley during the
first days of the operation. Other
U.S. battalions were believed in-
The 101st employed a numb'r

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of strategems to ninimize the
gulf between the official woil
and inconvenient facts. "Escort
officers" were assigned to ac-
company the press contingent
everywhere. Four officers and
one NCO were assigned to fewer
than a dozen journalists at any
one time.
The primary function of these
escort officers was to preven
newsmen from conversing freel'
with soldiers. The escort als,
served to keep the command
fully informed of the correspon-
dents' activities and even to
monitor reporters' phone calls
into Saigon. At night when the
escort was reduced, it proved im-
possible to place a telephone call.
One UPI writer, after trying
vainly to make a call for near-
ly an hour, was told by a Da-
Nang Tandem line operator,
"I'm not allowed to put calls
through for the press at tis
Transportation was selective-
ly administered by the 101st.
Though there were over 400 heli-
copters assigned to the division,
on most days none could be spar-
ed for the press. When a heli-
copter was available, there were
severe restrictions placed on the
areas that could be visited.
Another tactic of the 101st's in-
formation office was to be highly

cooperative in transporting the
press to places that had nothing
to do with Operation Lam Son
720. One afternoon was wasted
when the press contingent was
dispatched to Fire Base Bas-
togne. Bastogne had no direct
relationship with Lam Son 720,
although to get there the press
helicopter passed another fire
base that was the primary stag-
ing area for American troops in
the operation. Another morning
was lost when transportation,
delayed several times, was final-
ly cancelled outright. Conerly
promptly suggested the press
spend the day covering a military
awards ceremony.
Spokesmen for the 101st con-
sistently acknowledged security
was not the reason for the cen-
sorship surrounding Lam Son 720.
The operation was conceived as a
series of small, quick airborne
raids, lasting perhaps one to two
days, in search of supply caches,
Still, correspondents were for-
bidden to report even on missions
already completed under threat
of loss of accreditation. Report-
ers were not allowed to accom-
pany raids, though stories could
not have been filed until the raid
was completed and the troops
C Copyright 1971, Dispatch News
Service International.


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WASHINGTON () - Presi-
dent Nixon, who has promised
more top federal jobs for women,
is considering a woman lawyer
for the $38,000-a year post of
general counsel to the National
Labor Relations Board.
She is Betty Southard Murphy,
a Washington lawyer from Cin-
cinnati who has served as an
NLRB attorney.
Three men now or formerly
connected with the NLRB are
known to be contenders:
-Thomas Roumell, former re-
gional director of NLRB offices
in Detroit and now a Michigan
Circuit Court judge.
-Richard Burress, a Nebras-
kan who has been deputy assist-
ant general counsel at NLRB and
is now deputy counsel to the
President in the White House,
-Eugene G. Goslee, now
NLRB's solicitor.
The vacancy to be filled is the
post now held by Arnold Ordman,
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whose term expires late this
This is one of the major gov-
ernment job vacancies Nixon had
under consideration when he told
his June 1 news conference that
he .would have more job break-
throughs for women.
No woman has ever been
named to a post as general coun-
sel of such an important gov-
ernment agency. It is an influ-
ential position with over 1,500
employes under the general
Murphy's candidacy is backed
by a home-state Republican sen-
ator, Robert A. Taft, Jr. "The
chances look very good," said
a spokesman in Taft's office.
Murphy is a member of the
Washington law firm of Wilson,
Woods and Villalon. She is a
graduate of Ohio State University
and American University Law
School and has represented both
management and labor for her
law firm.



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