The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 12, 1989 - Page 5
WASHINGTON (AP) - Oliver
North defended his honor and his ef-
forts on behalf of the Nicaraguan
Contras yesterday against a fusillade
of suggestions from the prosecutor
that he violated the code he was
taught at the Naval Academy.
"At the U.S. Naval Academy you
would have been kicked out for
this?" Prosecutor John Keker asked
at one point.
"In the U.S. Naval Academy no-
body taught me to run a covert
operation," North retorted. Nor about
"political warfare going on in
Washington in 1983-1986."
"Did you take courses... and learn
what was meant by lawful and un-
lawful?" asked Keker of the witness.
Said North: "I don't believe I
have ever received an unlawful or-
On specific matters North:
-Denied he tried to help his asso-
ciate, Richard Secord, make a half
million dollars by renting a ship to
the CIA, which turned out not to be
interested in the offer.
-Said he was merely following
orders when he drafted a letter to
Congress denying involvement in
helping the Contras at a time when
official aid was barred.
BY LAURA COHN
Today's journalistic ethics leave
something to be desired, said pan-
elists in a forum last night. David
Gergen, managing editor of U.S.
News and World Report, and Lee
Bollinger, the dean of the Michigan
Law School, spoke to 100 people at
"Today's press decides for itself
what it should publish and what it
shouldn't," said Bollinger, who ob-
served that the media is continually
expanding its First Amendment
Bollinger said the relationship
between press and law ethics is
complicated. To amend the situation,
Gergen said the press should identify
the structure of their ethics.
"We in the press ought to be
more willing to discuss what's
printed than we are. There's a kind of
'live and let live' attitude among
journalists today. You will rarely see
a paper criticizing a network," Ger-
Gergen said our culture is much
more open than it used to be, and
there has been a resulting
"explosion" of the press. He thinks
this development parallels the ac-
tions of the lawyers and lobbyists in
"To print or not to print: that -is
the dilemma," said Gergen. "There
was a time when members of the
press were run-of-the-mill, middle
class people. Today some of us
make more than the average lawyer."
Gergen said the increase in status
of journalism is because of the "hot
competition" and the rise of inves-
"We are a much more open cul-
ture now, and the press has more
power. If the president is in the hos-
pital, every iota of his condition is
published. You wouldn't see that
happening twenty years ago," said
He also supported the right to
privacy of people in the public eye.
Gergen said he feels that unless a
discovery has a direct influence on
the position, it should not be pub-
lished. Gergen suggested that if a
person has friends in the press, life
could be much easier. If John Tower
had contacts in the press, Gergen
said, the controversy over him would
never have received so much play.
"Frankly, it's driving some good
people out of politics. We have to
realize that they're human. We in
journalism know all this gossip. If
we know, should we tell the read-
ers?," he said.
David Gergen, managing editor of U.S. News and World Report, speaks to about one hundred people on
"Press Ethics and the First Amendment" last night in Hutchins Hall. Lee Bollinger, left, dean of'
Michigan Law School, also spoke.
denies bribery charge
TOKYO (AP) - Prime Minister
Noboru Takeshita yesterday ac-
knowledged receiving about $1 mil-
lion from a company at the center of
a major bribery scandal, but he said
the funds were only donations and
Takeshita's comments at a meet-
ing of the Parliament budget com-
mittee reversed statements made pre-
viously before Parliament, when he
denied ever receiving funds from Re-
cruit Co., an information and pub-
Recent disclosures of Takeshita's
financial links to Recruit and its
subsidiaries prompted the prime
minister to speak formally about his
role in the stock profiteering and
bribery scandal, which has involved
about 160 politicians, businesspeo-
ple, and bureaucrats.
"I am feeling political and moral
responsibilities very strongly,"
Takeshita said yesterday. "I think it
is important to settle this matter
legally and politically."
He said that between 1985 and
1987 Recruit donated 130 million
yen (about $1 million) to his politi-
cal support groups in donations and
purchases of fund-raising party tick-
ets. Japanese law allows a company
the size of Recruit to make political
donations of $114,000 a year.
Takeshita said the funds were
handled strictly as political donations
and denied opposition claims that
they were bribes.
"Political donations are indis-
pensable elements for vital political
activities, which are said to be the
foundation on a democratic society,"
he said. "But the widespread Recruit
scandal and my position as a prime
minister no longer allow me to
speak in such general terms."
Opposition lawmaker Kanji
Kawasaki of the Japan Socialist
Party asked Takeshita what his un-'
derstanding of Recruit's intentions
was when he accepted the money.
Takeshita replied: "I am not in a
position of telling the intent of an-
other party's political donations."
He also denied any personal in-
volvement in transactions of bar-
gain-priced unlisted shares in Re-
cruit's real estate subsidiary by his
personal secretary and a relative. The
transactions produced about
$200,000 in profits when the share
price soared after over-the-counter
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