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January 29, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-01-29

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, January 29, 1985

The Michigan Daily

I

Edie dmi tuntsa nigan
Edited and managed by students at.The University of Michigan

Horsey_

Vol. XCV, No. 98

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

"" WHY 18 MR(OKE --
ALWAYcS Ma
TO RUSH U590 0."

Editorial restriction

r... I'D SAY WE'RE
MWING ALOW
AT A NICE
KEPI

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT Harold
Shapiro has taken a small but
significant step toward inhibiting the
editorial independence of The
Michigan Daily.
A recent appointment to the Board
for Student Publications, a group of
students, professors, and professional
journalists that oversees the financial
affairs of this paper, was made in
violation of the rules designed to
protect that independence.
Regents' Bylaw 13.11 requires the
Daily's senior editors, working jointly
with the editors of the Ensian yearbook
and the Gargoyle humor magazine, to
submit a list of six nominees for the
professional position on the board.
Normally, this seat is filled by a person
with a background in journalism.
Preferably, the appointee is a Univer-
sity alumnus.
The most recent appointment to the
board was not, however, on the list of
editors' recommendations. Instead,
Guilty,
OF COURSE they were guilty.
Three of the 11 Progressive Student
Network members charged with
trespassing in a University laboratory
were found guilty on Thursday. They
were arrested last March during a sit-
in to protest Prof. George Haddad's
research which the group's studies had
shown to have applications to the
Phoenix missile system. Their senten-
ce has not yet been handed down.
There never was any doubt that they
were guilty of trespassing. A civil
disobedience action, such as the one
they undertook, entails breaking a law
in order to protest the larger wrong of
perpetuating the arms race. In this
case, trespassing was that law.
The point, however, was not whether
the protesters were guilty of
trespassing, but rather that under
great personal sacrifice they called at-
tention to some of the research on
campus that is contributing to the per-
petuation of the arms race.
Defense attorney Donald Koster
initially hoped to base his clients'
defense on the claim that they acted
under duress to put an end to the threat
posed by Haddad's research. The
prosecutor, however, filed for and was
granted an order banning the defense.
Koster then tried to claim that the
decision to invoke the trespassing act
could be made only by President
Shapiro who had been out of town and
unavailable during the sit-in. Koster
himself admitted in his closing
statement that the defense was purely
technical.
Even though the protesters were
aware of the consequences of their ac-
tions, it would have been just - in light
of their purpose - if they had been
found not guilty of trespassing.
Some of the research taking place on

the president ignored the recommen-
dations as well as the regental
guidelines in selecting a person to fill
the seat. Allowing the students in
charge of the Daily to determine these
nominations is crucial to the formation
of a balanced and effective board.
Although the president's office has
assured the editors that the appoin-
tment was the result of a procedural
mistake, there has yet been little ef-
fort to rectify the situation. Whether
unintentional or intentional, an ap-
pointment to this board without con-
sulting the Daily's editors constitutes a
threat to the traditional student control
of the Daily.
The board will hold its first meeting
in nine months tomorrow night.
Mistakes can happen, and if this ap-
pointment is merely an oversight by
the president's office, we hope Shapiro
will take steps to rectify the situaton
before an inappropriately constituted
board is allowed to meet.
but noble
campus has significant applications to
weapons systems. Increased weapons
technology heightens world tensions
and increases the likelihood that these
weapons will be used. Therefore,
research such as Haddad's poses an
indirect threat to the entire world.
The protesters' action is an inspiring
example of individuals working for the
betterment of all society. Now that
they have been found guilty of
trespassing, the rest of the community
must again ponder several personal
questions: How will a continued arms
race affect you? Do you feel comfor-
table while military research con-
tinues on campus? Do you have the
committment and generosity to
engage in civil disobedience to bring a
stop to that research?
There is an anecdote told about
Henry David Thoreau and Ralph
Waldo Emerson. Thoreau was in
prison for refusing to pay his taxes
during the Mexican-American War
when Emerson visited him and asked,
"Henry, why are you in here?"
Thoreau's reply was, "Why are you not
in here?"
Concerned community members are
in the same position as Emerson. They
have the example of the protesters' ac-
tion for inspiration, but must choose
some personal way to express outrage
at the research being conducted. Civil
disobedience is only the most extreme
of a number of different possibilities
for action. Others range from writing
letters to public officials, investigating
research contracts, to attending rallies
in support of other actions.
The action by the 11 PSN members
was a noble attempt to stop military
research on campus. Simultaneous
to praising those individuals who took
part in that action, members of the
University community should weigh
the issues and have the courage to act
upon them.

A

A

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'' ' % -

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Reagan supports Contra terrorism

4

To the Daily:
We are writing to express our
deep concern and distress over
the current policies and involy-
ment of the U.S. government in
Central America. The Reagan
Administration insists that U.S.
policy is "to promote democracy,
reform, and freedom; to support
economic development; to help
provide a security shield against
those ...who seek to spread
tyranny by force, and to support
dialogue and negotiation both
within and among the countries
of the region" (Statement of the
State Department, January 18,
printed in the New York Times,
January 19, 1985).
But consider the actions of the
U.S. government.
We are currently witnessing
increased U.S. military and
C.I.A. involvment in Central
America. U.S. troops train Hon-
duran military troops, U.S. ad-
visers work with Salvadoran
military, and C.I.A.agents repor-
tedly continue to advise "contra"
leaders on military tactics.
Although official U.S. aid to the
contras ended in 1984, questions
exist as to whether the U.S.
government is funneling aid to
the rebels through third party
countries, namely Honduras, El
Salvador, and Israel (New York
Times, January 13,1985).
As U.S. aid to rebels decreased
last year, these three countries
which receive significant
military and economic aid from
the U.S., have increased their aid
with Honduras becoming a major
supplier of ammunition, El
Salvador helping maintain the
contra's aircraft, and Israel
providing weapons and advice.
And now the Reagan Ad-
ministration wants to restore
direct aid to the contras. Is it the
policy of the U.S. government to
promote "democracy, reform,
and freedom" by providing
military aid to overthrow a
sovereign and fairly elected
government? (Despite Reagan
Administration rhetoric about
"Soviet-style sham" elections,
witnesses from many countries
reported the Nicaraguan elec-
tions to be a fair and democratic
process.)
The Reagan Administration
claims to support "dialogue and
negotiations," yet their actions
contradict their words. The U.S.
government yesterday suspen-
ded negotiations with Nicaragua
which can only hinder the
prospects for peace in the region
since the talks were intended to
resolve some of the conflicts
which prevented the acceptance
of the Contadora treaty. In ad-
dition, the U.S. withdrew from
the case currently under con-
sideration in the International
Court of Justice, an action which
shows a profound lack of respect
and understanding for the prin-

While the Reagan Ad-
ministration maintains that it is
supporting "freedom fighters,"
many Americans including our-
selves, believe that the aid to the
contras represents an act of
state-supported terrorism, the
kind which our government
publicly condemns. We continue
to hear of atrocities committed
against the people of Nicaragua
by the contras who kill, torture,
Daily is biased
To the Daily:
Again, freedom of speech is
under attack from those who
would decide what we can say or
hear. This time it is Brian Leiter
who wants to experiment with
.censorship by heckling conser-
vative speakers ("Speakers Wor-
th Disrupting," Daily, Jan. 21).
The heart of Leiter's argument
for disruption is that conser-
vatives have stifled policy
debate. By disrupting the
speeches of these individuals, the
public will know that there are
opposing views. This will create
questioning of established views
and, eventually, public debate.
The justification for disruption
assumes that the only way to gain
access to a public forum is
through this sort of tactic. This
assumption is false and reveals
the intolerance in Disruption.
Look at the most recent Disrup-
tion on campus. Leiter approves
of the blocking of CIA recruitment
presumably because the act for-
ces recognition of dissent to U.S.
policy in Central America.
However, dissent had already
been recognized in a far-reaching
public debate. In the press, in the
Congress, and in the presidential
election matters were discussed,
including the manual and harbor
minings. Public reaction was
mostly one of acquiescence to
Reagan policy. America hears,
but was largely not convinced by
liberal opinion. In light of the
recent elections, this can be said
about many issues.
Therein lies Leiter's problem.
His belief in his own
righteousness distorts reality. If
people don't agree with his ob-

burn, and dismember civilians.
Most of these barbarous acts are
committed against doctors and
other heath-care workers,
agraicultural workers, teachers,
community leaders, and others
whose only crime is working to
improve the quality of life of the
Nicaraguan people. The
mutilated bodies are often left in
the street for all to see,
suggesting that contra strategy is

to erode support for the San-
dinistas by acts of systematic
terrorism aimed at dissuading
others from participating in San-
dinista programs.
Is this the manner in which we
want the U.S. to influence world
politics?
- Kathryn L. Savoie
Michael L. Faigen'
January 29

to condone disrupting speakers

viously correct view, he thinks, it
is because they haven't heard the
argument. The undeniable fact is
that people have heard, but are
exercising their freedom to hold
opinions contrary to Leiter's. I
am not sure that Leiter approves
of this freedom.
What, then, will be the sole
result of Disruption? During
speeches, campus hecklers will
decide when I and the public have
heard enough of a certain
viewpoint, and that it's time for
me to be a captive audience for

theirs. Like all censors who wish
to control the communications of
ideas, the hecklers will believe
that they are acting in my best in-
terests in that I will grow to bet-
ter appreciate "reasonable and
sensible" ideas. The public does
not need anyone deciding what it
can listen to or when. All those
who value freedom of speech will
condemn this proposed en-
croachment on the rights of the
speaker and his audience.
-George Bueche
January 22

Company negligent over mail

AL 4V V
To the Daily:
Over the Christmas break our
mailboxes were broken into. The
Wilson White Company failed to
inform us of this crime. We are
all tenants of the company. The
Company also failed to inform us
that the post office had stopped
delivering our mail. Wilson White
has, without exception, never
contacted us with information
regarding this inconvenience. (In
fact the only contact the company
has initiated since Christmas
break is a memo telling us'about
how to renew our leases.) Most of
us are students; many of us exp-
ecting letters from prospective
employers or graduate schools,
or money from home to cover
living expenses.

v
We had to call Wilson White to
find out why our mail wasn't
being delivered. We were infor-
med the mailboxes had to be
fixed first and would be fixed
"soon." It has now been over
three weeks since we have
received any mail.
We want prospective tenants of
The Wilson White Company to
keep in mind, when they are co
sidering where to rent their apar-
tments for the fall, the negligence
of that company.
- Pamela A. Fernandez
Allison B. Salerno
Daniel R. Baker
Jackie Whitted
Grant Smith
Daniel Johnson
January 22

The Michigan Daily encourages input from
our readers. Letters should be typed, triple-
spaced, and sent to the Daily Opinion Wage, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

4

BLOOM COUNTY

by Berke Breathed

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Letters, articles, and editorial cartoons on the right side
of this nngp rpnrPCpnt the nnininn.v of the individual nifthnr

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