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December 06, 1980 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-06

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OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, December 6, 1980

The Michigan Doily

Rob a bank? Sure-if you're

an informant

The phones were ringing off their hooks
yesterday at the local FBI office as dozens of
informers, criminals, police officers, and even
priests called in with urgent questions.
I was in the waiting room browsing through
the "Wanted" posters, looking for anyone I
might know, when the local FBI Chief stumbled
out of his office.
"OH, I CAN'T stand it anymore," the Chief

Witticisms
By Howard Witt

the telephone again. Here, read them for your-
self."
I took a copy of the guidelines. Sure enough, I
read, informers can commit crimes and the
FBI will help protect them from prosecution,
as long as the crimes are not violent.
THE CHIEF CAME back into the waiting
room. "That was Benny the Fox, one of our
more reliable informants. He just got arrested
for passing $100,000 worth of bad checks and
wanted to know if I could get him off the hook."
"That's terrible. What did you tell him?" I
asked.
"Oh; I told him it was fine and asked the
police to drop the charges."
"But how is that crime justified for law en-
forcement purposes?" I inquired in amazement.
"SIMPLE," THE CHIEF told me. "There's
a clause in these great new guidelines that says
we can permit informers to engage in criminal
activity if their cover is in danger of being
blown. Benny explained that he had to forge the
checks on a dare from his criminal friends to
prove he wasn't chicken."4
"Gee, that's just... uh. . . great," I fum-
bled. "Listen," I said, "I have a question about
these new guidelines."
"Shoot," the Chief smiled.,
"About this part that defines when it is all
right for the FBI to use clergymen, lawyers,
physicians, and journalists as informers. It
says the Bureau must not urge such informers
to breach any 'legal obligations of confiden-

tiality,' but it can accept an offer of privileged
information if rejecting the offer would lead to
severe property damage or physical injury to
any person. Just what does all this mish-mash
mean?" I questioned.
THE CHIEF SAT forward. "Good question,"
he said. "Suppose a priest calls -up with
some-(Ring, ring) Oh, I've got to get that
phone. Why don't you come with me into my of-
fice?"
We walked into the office and the Chief
picked up the phone.
"Hello? Why, hello Father Patrick!" the
chief greeted. He smiled and winked at me in
speak-of-the-devil fashion.
"Yes, I understand, Father. I know you
really want our special informant payoff for
giving us that tip you heard in confession. But
you know I can't take that privileged infor-
mation unless not taking it would lead to
damage or injury to someone. What's that?
Your mother said she would die of disappoin-'
tment if you don't get the payoff money? Well,
sure, that's good enough. I'll take the tip; hold
on and I'll give you my secretary."
THE CHIEF CONNECTED the call, sat
back, and looked quite pleased.
"These guidelines are really wonderful," he
beamed.
The phone rang again, and the Chief reached
for it. "Hello? Hey there, Scarface! How's the -
wife? Great. What? Of course you can rob that
bank-you've been doing good work for us

lately. But remember, we can't protect you for'
violent crimes, so use a toy pistol. Bye."
"Now wait a minute!" I blurted. "You just
told some criminal he could rob a bank. What's
going on here? What happened to law and or-
der? What happened to the rights of victims?
What happened to civil liberties?"
"RELAX, RELAX," the Chief soothed.
"We've got everything under control. You don't
think we let just any informant commit any old
crime, do you? Of course not. We carefully
check each informant's record before ap-
proving any crimes. (Ring, ring) You just wat-
ch on this next call."
The Chief answered the phone. "Hey,
Mugsy-we haven't heard from you in a while.
You want to steal a car? Well, wait a
minute-let me check your record. Hmmm. Uh
oh. You're way behind on your tip quota, Mugs.
If you want that car, you'll have to give us three
narcotics tips. Okay, great. We'll be expecting
them. Bye."
,The Chief turned to me. "See, I told you.
We're not just letting criminals off the hook for
nothing."
THE INTERCOM buzzed. "Chief," the
secretary shouted, "Police Sergeant Murphy is
on the line. He says they just caught a vandal
and they want to check if he is approved."
"Thanks, Bea," the Chief said. "Hello,
Sergeant Murphy. I-now calm down,
Sergeant. Don't be so irate. I know it's a lot of
trouble to call the FBI every time you catch a.

criminal to check if he is cleared, but we've all
got to follow these new guidelines. Now, I'd be
glad to check on this vandal for you. Let's
see. . . Nope, I don't have any record of him.
He's not one of ours. Go ahead and book him.
What's that? He just got away?Now, look Mur-
phy, I don't have to take that kind of abuse
from you. It's not my fault if he wouldn't sit and
wait to be checked!" The Chief slammed down
the phone in disgust.
"You know," he said to me, "it's impatient
cops like him that make you hate the police."
"WELL, CERTAINLY he had a right to be
upset," I offered. "I mean, he lost a criminal
while he was on the phone with you."
The Chief started thinking. "You do have a
point," he mused: "Maybe we need tQ devise
some sort of identification system for our ap-
proved informants. Why, yes-that's it! We'll
give them all special ID cards-no, wait,
special FBI badges! In little leather wallets!
That way when the police catch them, they can
whip out their badges and yell, 'FBI!'
I left the office, sadly depressed, as the Chief
was dialing up Washington to propose his new
plan.
Ho ward Witt is the co-editor of the
Daily's Opinion page. His column nor-
mally appears on Tuesdays, but he was
especially inspired yesterday and just
couldn't wait that long.

wailed. "The damn phones just haven't stopped
ringing since the Justice Department approved
those new guidelines on Thursday."
Looking up from Number Eight Most Wan-
ted, I queried the Chief. "What new guidelines
are those, Chief?"
"Haven't you heard?" the Chief asked in sur-
prise. "These new rules say that FBI informers
can participate in crimes if a Federal Bureau
of Investigation supervisor has determined the
crimes are justified for law enforcement pur-
poses. It really is a great idea, a real boon for
our informer program. (Ring, ring) Oh, there's

a .

die nIdsaU aiy
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Clarifying facts in
PL0-Israel dispute

Higgins

I

Vol. XCI, No. 77

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

M b
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Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

LA
hop
Amids
" warning
at the
At a me
editors
N acknowl
not main
ced toJ
drastic b
Althou
addition
and that'
accept s
granted
area wh

Milliken is on our sideC
kST THERE is a glimmer of Amid what seems to be a growing
e. trend toward blind slashes in gover-
t the constant threats and nment, Milliken has realized the essen-
s of severe financial cutbaeks tial fact that high quality public
University, Gov. William education is vital to society. In fact,
has offered:a little optimism, Milliken said that higher education is "a
eting with college newspaper high priority for his administration.
Thursday, Milliken Milliken further said that if the
edged that the University can- Micno fuesithatithe
itain high standards if it is for- economy continues its apparent tur-
further endure a series of naround improvement, it could mean a
furtger c dugradual restoration of some University
udget cuts. . funds cut during the current recession.
gh Milliken pointed out that
al cuts could not be avoided This sort of intelligent approach to
the University would have to financial hard times is encouraging
ome program losses, he also amid the current era of the Tisch's and
that "higher education is an the Headlee's. We can only hope that it
here we've cut too deeply." will prevail.

A step forward for transit

CONGRESS HAS taken a signifi-
cant - if overdue - step toward
energy independence for the United
States. The House of Representatives
Thursday approved a record $22 billion
in aid to improve public transit. The
bill, which now awaits only minor
compromises with Senate leaders in
committee, will provide funding based
on the number of riders rather than on
the population of the transit district,
the traditional index. This incentive
will spur cities to develop more ef-
ficient and convenient transit
programs to encourage more patrons.
The bill will also encourage the con-
struction and development of rail
systems and assist in the expansion of
existing transit programs.

The bill has been widely lauded by
local public transit officials and has
earned the praise of the American
Public Transit Association. Secretary
of Transportation Neil Goldschmidt
called the bill "an important step in the
nation's effort to get commuters out of
their cars and onto public transpor-
tation."
In the end, this measure will mean a
significant step toward a dramatic im-
provement in this country's almost
pathetic mass transit system. It is an
indication that Congress has finally
acknowledged that practical, efficient
mass transportation must be a cor-
nerstone in any effective government
policy that is to reduce America's
dependence on foreign energy sources.

To the Daily:
Gina Aranki has misconstrued
several facts in her letter of
December 3 on the Palestinian
issue. I have attempted to correct
these misstatements with a sense
of historical perspective.
Miss Aranki's first error lies in
her belief that the problem began
"with the formation of the State
of Israel," in 1948. For all prac-
tical purposes, the rebirth of
Israel and consequent
displacement of indigenous
Palestinians had its roots in the
holocaust of Nazi Germany. The
survivors able to escape this con-
flagration desperately tried
fleeing to countries such as
Rumania, Bolivia,
Czechoslovakia, and Austria,
mostly to no avail. Others tried
sailing for Israel on board old,
dilapidated ships like the Struma,
Milos, and Patria. Many of those
lucky enough to arrive safely
were ordered back by the British
or imprisoned on Cyprus for the
duration of World War II. The un-
fortunates didn't make it. The
Patria was blown up with more
than two hundred passengers on
board, and the Struma sank while
being escorted by a British
destroyer. All aboard drowned.
The cause of this suffering was
the British White Paper, the Peel
Commission, the Morrison Plan,
and the Bevin Plan. All were in-
terrelated and -maintained
British dominance over the
Mideast for the sake of Her
Majesty's Empire. When the
British (not thePalestinians) did
allow Jews into what was to
become Israel, it was a token
75,000, 2,500 of whom were "un-
fortunate German Jews" during
1944.
The root cause of many
problems in the Mideast is direc-
tly attributable to British inter-
ference and manipulation of the
White Paper. The Arabs had no
reason to kill Jews, and likewise
the Jews had no interest in killing
Arabs. However, under the direc-
tion of British Generals like
Glubb Pasha in Transjordan, the
Arabs were trained, equipped,
A differe
To the Daily:

and eventually led into attacking
the Jews, who at that time were
"getting out of hand."
Menachem Begin, the former
leader of Irgun Zvai Leumi (not
the Hagannah or Stern Group),
was keeping the British oc-
cupation forces tied down in their
own "security zones." Contrary
to popular opinion, civilians were
never the target of attacks by the
Irgun. Indeed, the underground
was so successful in fighting the
British army that the military
government"feared for their own
lives, traveling only during
daylight in armed convoys. Even
so, the Irgun frequently raided
British army camps and military
convoys, in search of weapons
and munitions for use on other
missions. The most famous of
these was the raid on the military
fortress at Acre.
Miss Aranki equates the
Palestine Liberation
SOrganization with the Irgun, but,
this is hardly possible. Although
the goals of both organizations
were similar, their tactics were
not. The PLO does not believe in
attacking military targets as the
Irgun did. Instead, their heroic
commandos choose to attack
Israeli schools filled with
children, women in private
homes, and buses traveling along
the highway. Nor does the PLO
have much love for their fellow
Palestinians. Several moderate,
but outspoken, Palestinian
mayors of West Bank towns have
already been assassinated by the
PLO. It therefore appears at this
time that negotiations with the
PLO would be self-defeating for
Israel. The PLO has failed to of-
fer any compromises, and will
therefore not receive any.
Despite my own personal
,loyalties, I am willing to admit
that there is plenty of blame to go
around for everyone. Not to
realize this is simply naivete.
Any problem this deeply rooted
and complex tends to become not
black and white, but rather fuzzy
and gray.
-Joseph P. Garfunkel
December 5
n t version
And go to Macomb in defeat

r A

0-4 */1
-.,~s""',4ra.?'

CARTERS 6GROWTH IN OFFICEi.

'Date rape' not uncommon

t l l 'iii ...

To the Daily:
Carol Ann Mithers describes
date rape in the November issue
of Mademoiselle. In the article
she relates an incident in which a
college woman, working at a
hamburger stand one summer,
was invited by a male customer
to come over to his apartment af-
ter work to listen to a record that
he had been telling her about.
According to Mithers, the girl
considered the customer to be a
"nice guy" who was a regular she
had gotten to know pretty well.
However, once at his apartment,
after turning up the phonograph
really loud, he grabbed her,
saying that she'd better not fight
unless she wanted to lose some
teeth.
She adds that there is really no
protection against date rape, no
way to know that a friendly in-
vitation to listen to a record will
lead to something more, that the
"nice" boy who takes his date
home after an evening out will
decide that he wants sex and will
get it.
Ann Arbor is unsafe for women.
By the Public Interest Group in
Michigan's conservative
l _ a- ..a a n * i a ..sar an

One-third occur between the
hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. And,
contrary to many people's
beliefs, 45 percent of the rapists
are known by the victim.
A recent survey taken of a
cross-section of nearly 200 Univer-
sity women revealed several
rather surprising findings. First,
only 14 percent of those surveyed
felt that women who are raped or
physically assaulted knew their
assailants; second, only 30 per-
cent ever felt the need to be
cautious about being alone with
an acquaintance or someone they
considered to be a friend; and
third, nearly half of those sur-
veyed never walked with any
protective devices when alone.
We are asking the women of
Ann Arbor to THINK TWICE
about walking alone at night;
about accepting invitations alone
to the apartment or home of a
mere acquaintance. We *are
asking the women of Ann Aber to
THINK TWICE about rape before
they are the next victim.
-Kathy Christopher
Larry Clarke
Sally Eibert
Julie Miller
Ce a

ODE TO THE TIRED STUDENT
(to the tune of "Another One
Bites the Dust")
Another grade bites the dust
Another grade bites the dust
And another one bombed, and
another one bombed
Another grade bites the dust
Hey, will I bomb this too?
Another one bites the dust

Another grade bites the dust
Another grade bites the dust
Hey, will your grades slip too?
Another one bites the dust
Tab, cookies, Ovaltine
I live on these, if you know what
I mean.
Anything to get my caffeine
On go the pounds, I'm no longer
lean

i"--""

a1 Is Im lmII

® M m l U1! I -t -= ; r -

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