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November 16, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-16

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 16, 1990
Ott 3rdmijun 1ailU
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
U.S. v. CNN
High court should support press over fair trial

convict deposed Panamanian dictator
Manuel Noriega may soon end unsuc-
cessfully with the recent decision of a
Florida District Court in Miami. Last
Friday, Judge William Hoeveler
ordered a federal investigation into
recorded audio tapes of conversations
between Noriega and his aides and de-
fense attorney team. Hoeveler also
banned the Cable News Network
(CNN) from broadcasting the tapes,
because he said they threaten Noriega's
right to a fair trial with an impartial
Noriega has been detained at a
prison outside Miami since his capture
last December. Like other inmates, he
must notify guards if he wants to use
the telephone, and all calls are moni-
tored. Frank Rubino, Noriega's chief
attorney, claims that government offi-
cials improperly recorded some of
these phone conversations, including a
discussion about Noriega's trial strat-
egy. Justice Department officials deny
any wrongdoing, though government
eavesdropping - perhaps not illegal
- could jeopardize the case against the
former dictator.
The fact that the tapes exist, argues
Rubino, is a violation of the Sixth
Amendment and its implied attor-
ney/client privilege. The Sixth
Amendment requires that a criminal
cannot have a fair trial without an attor-
ney, nor can a criminal have fair repre-
sentation if someone violates the crimi-
nal's privacy with the attorney. Only
the criminal can waive this confidence
of security. If CNN plays the tapes,
they may expose confidential privileges
between an attorney and client.
"The court may be leaning toward
favoring attorney/client privilege, based
on Friday's decision," commented
Joan Lowenstein, LSA Adjunct Com-
munications Lecturer.
CNN has not broadcast the conver-
sations between Noriega and his legal
team, and until the network does, Ru-
bino's argument does not apply. Judge
Hoeveler must reverse his decision and
allow CNN to show the tapes to the
However, the issue surpasses
CNN's right to broadcast a thirty-sec-
ond videotape on the 6 p.m. news. The
case brings to question the conflict
between First Amendment rights to free
speech and access to information and
Sixth Amendment rights to a fair trial.
When the media releases
"incriminating" or "convincing" evi-
dence, it may affect the opinions of

potential jurors. The question, then, is
whether or not a criminal can be
granted a fair trial if potential jurors na-
tionwide have continually heard or seen
only one side of the case.
History points to the fact that the
courts know they can find fair jurors
for any trial, regardless of what the
media has told them. For this reason,
freedom of the press has traditionally
been supported over the right to a fair
Therefore, the courts have been re-
luctant to issue "gag orders" -deci-
sions mandating that the press not pub-
lish or broadcast something. For ex-
ample, the courts ruled that the under-
cover tapes used to incriminate Marion
Barry were legal, and thus did not issue
a "gag order" during the Washington
D.C. mayor's trial. According to the
courts, Barry's Sixth Amendment
rights were still protected.
The court decision in the case of the
Pentagon Papers in the early 1970's is
perhaps CNN's biggest ally. In that
case, the court ruled that the defense
had not convinced the court that the is-
sue was one of national security - the
only constitutional justification for
prior restraint. Thus, the press had the
right to publish the classified informa-
tion it had obtained. Certainly Nor-
iega's phone calls from prison do not
represent a threat to United States' na-
tional security.
During the Oliver North trial, ABC
television aired a report after which
they said anyone who had seen the
segment would not be able to serve as a
juror for the trial. In this case, as in the
case of the Pentagon Papers, the courts
ruled in favor of the press.
In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled
that prior restraint - prohibiting the
dissemination of information by the
press because of perceived dangers -
was one of the most serious First
Amendment violations. Judge Hoeveler
must find a way other than prior re-
straint to ensure Noriega a fair trial and
impartial jury - banning CNN from
airing the tapes is clearly prior restraint.
The United States' effort to convict
Noriega on federal drug trafficking
charges cannot be jeopardized because
the government recorded his phone
conversations. There is no issue of na-
tional security involved.
If the government succeeds in en-
joining CNN from broadcasting the
tapes through prior restraint, a danger-
ous precedent will be set - one that
breaches the integrity of the First

.4_' r 0
Teach-In will analyze Gulf situation~

By Bert Hornback
and Tom Weiskopf
"What's a Teach-In?" Twenty-give
years ago we were all asking that question.
Frithjof Bergmann and a couple of col-
leagues had just called a Teach-In for 7
p.m. Friday night.
It was March 1965. The Vietnam War
was still small, but growing rapidly. And
we were all sitting here, doing very little
to stop it.
That first Teach-In lasted 12 hours.
Some 3000 of us went to school from 7
p.m. Friday evening until 7 a.m. Saturday
morning, to learn about our war.
Our classes that night taught us about
the history of Southeast Asia, about its
culture, about its colonization by Western
nations. They gave us a chance to discuss
why we were there, and how we got there,
and what we could do to get us out.
That first Teach-In served as a catalyst
for anti-war activity on campus, and more
and more Teach-Ins began to spread the
word rapidly all across America.
The war in the Persian Gulf hasn't
started yet. But our government is ready to
start it, eager to get the first shots fired so
we can...
So we can what? Does anybody know
what we expect to accomplish by means
of this war? After three months of con-
fused talk from a confused administration,
does anybody know why 210,000 Ameri-
cans - soon to be 400,000 - are in
Saudi Arabia?
Do we need that many troops to protect
Hornback is a Professor of English and
Wesskopf is a Professor of Economics.

the Saudis from attack? Hardly. We're told
we need to be prepared for offensive ac-
tion. But why? To protect oil fields by
bombing them? To restore to his rightful
throne a minor but very rich little despot?
To defeat out earlier friend and ally, Sad-
dam Hussein?
Or do we need to "use force" against
Iraq to show the world our strength and re-
solve? To prove our president's manhood?
It's very confusing. In the midst of all

To act to stop this war, however, we
need to know as fully as we can what's
going on, in Washington and in the Gulf.
And that is the purpose of the Teach-In. {
The Teach-In will open at 7 p.m. in.
Angell Auditoritum B with a major ad-
dress by an expert on the Persian Gulf, the
Hon. James Akins - long a foreign ser-
vice officer in the Middle East, United
States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from

Do we need that many troops to protect the Saudis
from attack? Hardly. We're told we need to be
prepared for offensive action. But why? To protect oil
fields by bombing them? To restore to his rightful
throne a minor but very rich little despot? To defeat
out earlier friend and ally, Saddam Hussein?

the confusion, most of us can't see the
genuine issues for all the false ones. Some
of us are reduced to cynicism.
That's why a group of faculty have
called another Teach-In, for this Sunday
evening. It's depressing to realize that
we're back where we were 25 years ago.
But the world is now a more dangerous
place than it has been in many decades; we
are on the brink of what could be a most
stupid and hideous war.
So there's work to do. This time we
want to stop the disaster before it happens,
before several hundred thousand people -
most of them Arabs, most of the rest poor
Americans, and a hugely disproportionate
number of those Black Americans - get

1973 to 1975, and now an independents
foreign policy consultant in Washington.
Following Mr. Akins' address twelve
different classes will be offered (in hour-,
long time slots from 8 p.m. to midnight);
on topics ranging from "The History of
the Middle East" to "Oil" to "Who Will
Fight OUr War." The formats of these
classes will vary, but all will encourage.
serious, thoughtful discussion. And if we
do things right, that discussion will con-
tinue long after the Teach-In is over.
At midnight we will all reconvene in
Auditorium B, to discuss briefly what we,
have been learning, and what kinds of
things we might do next. Come and join:
us, while we still have time to act. '

Flush the Pipes

:Beware of'Dog'

Should students have a python in the dorm?

your bones, but four-foot pythons will
never hurt you. At least that is what the
owners of that now-infamous reptile
claim as they keep a vigil, waiting for
their slithering serpent to return from
its week-long adventure through the
ventilator system of Couzens Hall.
Students at Couzens now find them-
selves at the mercy of Dog, the snake.
He winds his way through the pipes,
watching and waiting for the perfect
opportunity to victimize some innocent
student. No one knows for sure where
he will next emerge, but some students
are absolutely panic-stricken.
This whole slithery situation brings
attention to the debate over which pets
should be allowed in the dorms. Dogs,
pigs, armadillos, and pythons are
completely unacceptable, but fish
should be allowed (except barracudas,
sharks, and piranhas). In addition, stu-
dents should act responsibly, respect
their neighbors, and not bring an alliga-
tor or a chimpanzee to school with
Rumors persist to this day that bats,

those lovable, winged, Transylvanian
bloodsuckers, still loom in the attics of
some of the residence halls, waiting for
the day when they can make Alfred
Hitchcock's prophesy come true and
fling themselves down on the diag at
noon one day.
So what animals, legal or not, can
be found within this campus jungle?
Can we expect Marlon Perkins to show
up one day on the hill with a camera
crew, looking for rare species of ro-
dents? He might try looking at the next
MSA or regents meeting, but as for the
residence halls, who knows. Neverthe-
less, this saga of Dog, the missing
Python at Couzens, forces us to make
November "Animal Awareness Month"
at the University.
For the rest of you at Couzens who
are terrified to walk the halls for fear
that you could be swallowed whole by
the voracious viper, don't blame the
owners of the beast. They were just
trying to make their room a little more
like home.

To the Daily:
During the past month, I and the 1,100
or so residents have noticed the continuous
discoloration of the hot and cold water
throughout Markley. I first noticed the wa-
ter turning shades of brown and red in the
bathroom sinks and subsequently the rust
stains on the shower walls and floor. Resi-
dents on other hallways have seen the
same in the toilets.
So far, the actions taken by the resi-
dents have been complaints to the front
desk, (possibly to environmental services),
and several petitions by Markley Council.
At one point, it was announced that it
was unsafe to use the washing machines.
The problem was apparently (visually)
fixed by either filters of bleaching the wa-
ter, but as of recently the discoloration
was back.
I have heard rumors that a similar
problem arose at Michigan State Univer-
sity, and after a complaint by an affected
student, the state threatened to shut down
the dorm until it was fixed.
I drink a lot of water and, last week,
bought bottled water for the first time,
rather than drink whatever has infested our
pipes. (I now have an idea what it must be
like, on a lesser scale, for our troops in
the Middle East to drink water.) Markley
is open all year round, so there never
seems to be any good time to shut down
the building for necessary annual repairs.
I have heard that our building director
wishes to close Markley this coming
summer, but that will do us little good. I
wonder if we can sue the residence hall

phone Books." First, our office regretted
the necessity of not collecting phonebooks
this year as we had done the previous two
years. Part of our disappointment in hav-
ing to make this decision was the fact that
the phonebooks are an excellent "gateway"
Because they are large, conspicuous,
and can lead people to participate in the
many other ongoing and expanding recy-
cling programs that the University oper-
ates, it would certainly be in the interest
of the University to expend the relatively
high price in collecting and recycling these
Unfortunately, unlike the last two
years when we were able to find a market
(albeit scarcely), it wouldn't make any
sense to separate telephone books, only to
watch them go into a landfill anyway.
In addition, assuming that we would
have collected roughly 30 tons of phone-
books, this would amount to, at most, 3
percent of our overall paper recovery pro-
jection of 1100 tons for the 1990 -1991
fiscal year (which we expect to exceed).
The decision to collect or not collect
phonebooks will continue to take place
year-by-year based on the marketability of
this product. We are already exploring sev-
eral options that might allow us to collect
them again next year.
There is, however, a step that can be
taken now. Our experience over the last
two years of collecting phonebooks, has
demonstrated convincingly that a signifi-
cant percentage of the books collected had
never been distributed throughout the
We know this because of the large

University has right
to deputize its police
To the Daily:
In recent days, there has been much
discussion over what activities and proce.
dures the University has the right to su-
pervise. The one thing most of the people
involved in these arguments forget is that
the University is a branch of the State of
That means that every citizen has the
right to elect a regent to (however badly)
assure that their tax dollars go where they
want them spent. Having students elect
the regents would deprive many citizens of
their right to influence the disposition' of
their tax dollars.
It means that the University can have a
police force if it wants, because the State
of Michigan has the legal authority to cre-
ate armed police forces, which are re-
stricted by other laws.
And it means that, if the public likes,
it can create a code to insure that the stu-
dents who receive their tax dollars to sub-
sidize their education adhere to minimal
standards of decency.
If you can't accept these facts, then I
challenge anyone to find a private school
that can deliver the same education at the
same price. If you can't -- and I doubt
you can - then face up to the debt you
owe Michigan's people.
Jason Larke

-" 0 > ,


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