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January 20, 1983 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-20

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Page 2-Thursday, January 20, 1983-The Michigan Daily
Abscam attorneys say feds lied,

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Two federal
attorneys who worked on Abscam say
Justice Department officials deceived
them throughout the undercover
operation by telling them targets made
incriminating statements when they
haq not, newly released documents
Other materials obtained by The
Associated Press in a Freedom of In-
formation Act suit detail claims that
key. Abscam officials gave "demon-
strably false statements" at a court
hearing in Washington.
Among those targeted, at least in
part, because of the misrepresentations
were Penthouse magazine publisher
Bob Guccione; former Sen. Harrison A.
Williams Jr. (D-N.J.), and Kenneth
MacDonald, former vice chairman of
the New Jersey Casino Control Com-

mission, the two attorneys asserted in
previously secret debriefings with
superiors in 1981.
Guccione was never charged in Ab-
scam, but Williams and six House
members were convicted of bribery-
conspiracy charges. MacDonald main-
tained his innocence until he died of
cancer a month before his trial.
Robert Weir and Edward Plaza, two
assistant U.S. attorneys from New Jer-
sey, told superiors that in Abscam's
early stages they often found that other
working on the probe had overstated
In many cases, the two attorneys
said, taped conversations they checked
did not back claims that potential
targets had been caught in corrupt acts
or incriminating statements.. Other
times, they said, tapes of supposedly

key conversations were inaudible.
"These were the operative facts very
early on in Abscam - that all of these
things had taken place, all of these dif-
ferent people had committed these dif-
ferent corrupt acts," Plaza told Justice
Department superiors in 1981.
"You'd read a transcript and there'd
be a discussin about 'When I saw you
yesterday' . . . We'd say 'Can we get
that particular tape? . . . later on, you'd
hear that there wasn't any tape," ac-
cording to Plaza.
Plaza, now in private legal practice,
and Weir, still a government
prosecutor, contended Thomas Puccio,
chief prosecutor at four Abscam trials
in Brookly, and two of his assistants
were among those who misled them.
Plaza and Weir also accused Abscam
operative Mel Weinberg; Irv Nathan, a
private attorney who was deputy chief
of the Justice Department's criminal

divisin during Abscam; and FBI agent
John Goode, who supervised Weinberg
of making false statements before a
hearing for former Rep. John Jenrette,
Plaza and Weir said Nathan and
Goode had erred in court testimony by
saying that Weinberg was carefully
supervised, that only minor conver-
sations were not recorded and that
allegations Weinberg extracted gifts
from targets were fully investigated.
Nathan, Goode and Weinberg denied
in testimony before congressional
hearings that they made false
statements in court.
The most serious allegations of
misinformation involved the Mac-
Donald case, according to the
documents and testimony previously
made public during trials and court

City tries to keep
transients from parks


You'ire Needed
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Ask Peace Corps volunteers why their ingenuity and flexibility
are as vital as their degrees. They'll tell you they are helping
the world's poorest peoples attain self sufficiency in the areas
of food production, energy conservation, education, economic
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the rewords of hands on career experience overseas. They'll
tell you it's the toughest job you'll ever love.
January 18th,19th and 20th.
Interviews at Career Placement &
Sign up today.
Detroit Office: 1-226-7928

On almost any day of the week there
are a couple of people "camping out" in
Liberty Plaza park on the corner of
Liberty and Division streets. Vern Har-
tenburg doesn't like that.
In fact, Hartenburg thinks these
"street people" filling the Liberty
Plaza and other city parks are keeping
Homemade Soup & Sandwich $1.00
Friday, January 21
RICHARD CLEAVER, Secrefary for
Peace Education, A.F.S.C.,
Michigan Area:
Guild House, 802 Monroe

other citizens away from Ann Arbor's
public areas. Hartenburg, the city's
superintendent of parks, believes more
should be done to eliminate this "un-
desirable activity" in Ann Arbor parks.
THE PARKS Advisory Commission
agrees: Tuesday night the commission
passed an ordinance calling on City
Council to post more prohibitive signs
in the problem park areas. Council will
probably discuss the matter next month
and the issue will most certainly be con-
Councilmember Joyce Chesbrough
(R-Fifth Ward) said children have been
chased from the parks and that "street
people" should not be allowed to stay at
the expense of others. "There are ac-
cepted rules of behavior that people
must obey," she said.
Chesbrough added, however, that she
does not know if the proposal will make
a difference in people's behavior. "I
think we have to take the word of the
people enforcing our laws."
BUT OTHER councilmembers say
they are against stricter enforcement
of the park laws. "I think the
regulation is attempting to cover people
and not activities," said Leslie Morris
(D-Second Ward). "We can't make
rules against people sitting on park
The Ann Arbor Police Department
brought the sign recommendation to
the commission to make it easier to en-
force the law.
The parks officially close at midnight
and people should be kept out after that
time, Ann Arbor Police Department
Major Robert Whitaker said..

Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press international reports
Reagan promises to reduce
deficit with 1984 budget plan
WASHINGTON -President Reagan neared completion of a 1984 budget
plan yesterday as his treasury secretary promised deficits of under $200
billion for the next three years and another senior aide vowed a return to
black ink by the end of the decade.
Other administration officials said next year's deficit will approximate
$190 billion, a record budget gap.
With pressure building among business leaders and congressional
Republicans for major deficit reductions, adminstration officials said the
president was expected to approve a long-range budget course showing a
path of declining red ink that would fall below $1 billion by 1988. That would
be Reagan's last year in office should he seek and win a second term.
White House counselor Edwin Meese said Reagan would propose in his
State of the Union message to Congress next week "a series of measures"
that will produce a balanced budget by the end of the 1980s. Reagan had once
promised to produce a balanced budget by this year.
Arms control chief vows
U.S. will risk nuclear war
WASHINGTON -. President Reagan's new arms control chief has
declared that American strategic policy must convince the Soviet Union that
"the United States would indeed risk nuclear escalation" to counter
aggression against European allies or PersianGulf interests.
"In other words, U.S. strategic forces do not exist solely to deter a Soviet
nuclear attack or an attack against the United States itself," Kenneth
Adelman wrote in a 1981 article.
"Rather, they are intended to support a range of U.S. foreign policy goals,
including the commitment to preserve Western Europe and even parts of the
Persian Gulf against overt aggression," he said.
Adelman, named to succeed the ousted Eugene V. Rostow as head of the
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, called for new and better offensive
nuclear weapons and outlined a strategy that would target Soviet command
centers and the bunkers where Moscow's leaders would take refuge.
He advocated improved U.S. spy satellites and other kinds of intelligence-
gathering systems as well as a lew ground-based American missile, such as
the MX now under development, and new strategic bombers and nuclear
League favors abortion rights
WASHINGTON - The national League of Women Voters, after years of
avoiding a stance on the issue of abortion, announced yesterday it officially
supports American women's right to have the operation ending pregnancy.
"The League of Women Voters believes that public policy in a pluralistic
society must affirm Lhe constitutional right of the individual to make
reproductive choices," a league statement said.
League president Dorothy S. Ridings said the league is not endorsing abor-
tion itself. "This is not a statement that implies moral approval or disap-
proval of the procedure of abortion," she said in an interview.
Instead, she said, the league believes that the government should leave the
question of abortion and other matters dealing with reproduction to the con-
science of each person.
League officials said the organization's board adopted the position at a
meeting Tuesday, almost 10 years after the U.S. Supreme Court returned its
decision legalizing abortion in most situations.
High Court OKs tough gun law
WASHINGTON - Use of a gun or other deadly weapon while committing a
crime can be treated as a separate offense and punished with extra time in
prison, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
By a 7-2 vote, the justices reinstated a Missouri "armed criminal action"
law imposing separate prison sentences of at least three years on those who
use deadly weapons in their crimes.
Many state legislators have enacted similar laws, viewed by some as a
form of gun control.
Missouri courts had struck down the state's law, ruling that it violates the
Constitution's protection against double jeopardy. But the nation's highest
court disagreed.
"Where, as here, a legislature specifically authorizes cumulative punish-
ment under two statutes, regardless of whether those two statutes proscribe'
the same conduct ..'. the trial court or jury may impose cumulative punish-
ment," Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote for the court.
Because yesterday's opinion is based on a constitutional interpretation, it
applies to both state and federal prosecutions as long as some law
specifically provides for tacked-on sentences.
Doctors blast courtroom shrinks
WASHINGTON - Reacting to the uproar after John Hinckley's acquittal
on ground of insanity, the American Psychiatric Association said yesterday
that courts should stop asking psychiatrists to testify whether a defendant
was sane or insane, responsible or not responsible.
It also recommended that when psychiatry can do no more for people
found innocent by reason of insanity - people who might be dangerous still
- they "should be transferred to the most appropriate non-hospital
facility," rather than being released.

Conflicting testimony dominated the trial of Hinckley, who did not deny
that he shot President Reagan and three other men in March of 1981.
Many people were shocked at the Hinckley verdict. There were calls for
abolishing the insanity defense and the APA decided to study the issue. Its
statement did not address Hinckley's trial or treatment.
&be A Itchtgun 1 aItl
Vol. XCIII, No. 90
Thursday, January 20, 1983










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