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November 18, 2009 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-11-18

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 3A

Ex-Detroit mayor
resumes testimony
An attorney for Compuware Corp.
Chairman and CEO Peter Karmanos
testified yesterday that ex-Detroit
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick did not
sign a promissorynote on a $240,000
loan until IRS and federal agents
asked to see the documents.
Kilpatrick received an initial
$150,000 payment on the loan from
Karmanos and three other top busi-
ness executives Feb. 4, but only
signed a document about paying
them back following the Aug.10 visit
by agents, lawyer Dan Follis said.
Karmanos had forgotten to get
the notes signed. Follis said he sent
the documents by overnight delivery
to Kilpatrick, who was on business in
Philadelphia, to get his signature.
"The promissorynotes were draft-
ed from the very beginning," Follis
said under questioning by Assistant
Wayne County Prosecutor Athina
Siringas. "When I found out they
werent signed, I had them signed."
day of Kilpatrick's restitution hear-
ing. Wayne County Circuit Court
Judge David Groner adjourned tes-
timonyuntil Wednesday afternoon.
Kilpatrick wants Groner to reduce
his $6,000 monthly payments to the
city to $3,000.
Granholm plans to
Merge management,
technology offices
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Gran-
holm wants to consolidate more state
government departments.
Granholm on Tuesday announced
plans to merge the Department of
Management and Budget with the
Department of Information Tech-
The move would form a single
department to further integrate
information technology with the
state's other administrative services.
The department would be led by
Kenneth Theis (TYSE), who cur-
rently leads the state's information
technology department.
-Department of Management and
Budget Director Lisa Webb Sharpe
this week was appointed as a senior
vice president with Lansing Com-
munity College.
The state had 20 departments
in 2003 but Granholm has started
moves to reduce the total to 15.
2010 Ford Fusion
named Motor Trend
car of the year
The Ford Fusion is Motor Trend
magazine's car of the year.
The 2010 Fusion beat out 22 com-
petitors, including the redesigned
Toyota Prius, the BMW 7-Series and
the Chevrolet Camaro.
Motor Trend says the mid-size
Fusion offers good performance,
comfort and fuel-efficiency. It
praised Ford Motor Co. for offer-
ing several versions of the Fusion,

including a fuel-efficient hybrid and
a sporty version with a V-6 engine.
The magazine chooses the car of
the year after extensive road testing.
To compete, cars had to be new or
significantly upgraded for the 2010
Slovakia to add 250
troops Afghanistan
Slovakia pledged about 250 extra
soldiers to the NATO-led force in
Afghanistan yesterday, the first of
what British Prime Minister Gor-
don Brown said would be a series of
international reinforcements.
The central European country
will double the size of its 246-strong
contingent in Afghanistan, Slovak
Prime Minister Robert Fico said in a
joint statement with Brown follow-
ing talks in the British capital.
Brown, who has said he is lobby-
ing allies in Europe and elsewhere
for as many as 5,000 extra soldiers,
welcomed the news and said that
more such announcements were on
"We will be approaching other
countries and I believe that, includ-
ing Britain, maybe 10 countries will
be prepared to give extra support in
Afghanistan," he said.
NATO's Secretary-General
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in the Scot-
tish city of Edinburgh yesterday for
an address to the group's parliamen-
tary assembly,has so far steered clear
of saying how many extra reinforce-
ments the trans-Atlantic alliance
was willing to send to Afghanistan.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports

Pakistan army
uproots Taliban

Obama officials
calls action
crucial to success
in Afghanistan
(AP) - A school the army says
churned out suicide bombers
now lies in ruins. Soldiers patrol
towns once ruled by militants
who gave refuge to al-Qaida.
Left behind are bundles of terror
manuals, extremist propaganda
and boxes of ammunition and
Pakistan's latest offensive
close to the Afghan border has
uprooted Taliban militants from
long-held sanctuaries, an action
the Obama administration says is
crucial to success in Afghanistan
amid surging violence against
U.S. troops.
But questions remain over
whether the insurgents have
slipped away into the mountains
of South Waziristan or beyond
to fight another day as they have
done before in the region. Also
unclear is whether the army will
push its assault into other areas
in the northwest where the U.S.
says commanders responsible for
much of the Afghan insurgency
are based.
The army ferried reporters

by helicopter to parts of South
Waziristan yesterday, the only.
way media can visit the remote
and sparsely populated region.
Humanitarian workers are also
banned, meaning there have
been few, if any, independent
accounts from the battlefield.
Reporters were shown Ladha
and Sararogha towns, which
were both militant hubs before
the offensive started in mid-
October. Commanders said
Pakistani troops have retaken
most population centers, roads
and strategic high ground in
the region but that insurgents
remain in parts of the country-
"The terrorists declared this
region would be the graveyard
of the Pakistani army, but we
proved them otherwise," said
Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas.
As well as being the strong-
hold of the Taliban, Pakistan's
deadliest militant network,
South Waziristan has long been
a refuge for al-Qaida leaders who
fled here following the U.S. inva-
sion of Afghanistan in late 2001.
It's considered a possible hiding
place for Osama bin Laden.
The army has tried three
times since 2004 to defeat the
Taliban here, but each attempt
ended in negotiated truces after
the military suffered heavy

From Page 1A
sity's General Counsel.
But Rorro said that the executive
board was not forced to make any
particular decision by administra-
tion officials.
"We got a message from the
General Counsel's office telling us.
maybe you shouldn't meet with this
person," Rorro said. "We each indi-
vidually chose not to meet with him
based on what the General Coun-
sel's office said."
MSA President Abhishek Mah-
anti said that Smith was overly
persistent about setting up a meet-
ing after he had been told that the
executive board did not want to
meet with him.
Mahanti added that he didn't
know why the General Counsel
advised executive board not to
speak with Smith, but speculated
that it was because of his aggressive
approach to setting up a meeting.
Sayed told the assembly she
exchanged e-mails with Smith and
talked to him over the phone. She
said that their conversation elevat-
ed to include issues that were out of
the control of MSA.
"It came to a point where we
were discussing things like what
can be done about the DPS commit-
tee's bylaws," Sayed said. "These
are things that are out of my con-
trol, out of exec's control."
Mahanti said he was aware of
Smith's correspondence with Sayed,
but did not think that Smith would be
able to offer productive commentary
on the issue ofstudentrepresentatives
onthe DPS Oversight Committee.
"That's what our role is to appoint
people to committees that are
elected by the assembly," Mahanti
said. "And it's so core that it took
me aback that somebody who was

calling 30 times a day, e-mailing
30 times a day would actually have
anything to say about that process."
But since hearing Smith speak at
the meeting, Mahanti said he has
changed his opinion of him.
"After listening to him speak and
after seeing his demeanor, my opin-
ion has changed, and this is some-
thing that we will definitely look
into now," he said.
Mahanti said the assembly will
examine the option of changing the
process of appointing students to
the DPS Oversight Committee, but
he is not optimistic about student
interest ina campus-wide vote.
"With something like DPS stu-
dent oversight, I don't know how
much student interest there is but
it's something that we are going to
definitely consider and see if we
can change that process," he said.
The MSA executive board made
the decision not to meet with Smith
without notification of the MSA
representatives, according to Pub-
lic Health Rep. Hamdan Yousuf.
Yousuf said he is worried the
assembly willbecome controlled by
the University's administration.
"Our speaker has made some
very disturbing allegations," he
said. "I think we should be cautious
about becoming just an arm of the
Yousuf and Engineering Rep. Pat
Pannuto invited Smith to speak to
the assembly last night. Pannuto
said that Monday's article in The
Michigan Daily about the DPS
Oversight Committee was what
spurred the invitation.
Pannuto said thathe was also curi-
ous to see what Smith had to say after
reading communications between
the executive board and Smith on the
comments section of the online ver-
sion of the Daily article.
In a comment, Smith posted a
series of e-mails he exchanged with

Sayed and the MSA Program Manag-
er and Advisor Anika Awai-Williams.
"It's modestly distressing that
someone wanted to come speak to
the assembly and was shut down,
particularly as Hamdan brought
up, by a University administrator
almost," Pannuto said.
In his address to the assembly,
Smith discussed many of his con-
cerns surrounding the committee.
According to Smith, because the
University employs DPS officers, they
are not adequately responding to the
to what benefits the administration.
"They're acting more like bounc-
ers than they are professional
police officers," he said during his
address to the assembly.
Smith said at the meeting that he
thinks the committee isn't comply-
ing with the law because the stu-
dent representatives are appointed
by MSA instead of elected by the
One independent lawyer quoted
in the Daily's article interpreted the
state law by saying, "(The statute)
Sayed disagreed, though, saying
MSA follows the rules.
"I was asked the question
whether MSA liaisons are correct-
ly appointed, the answer is 'yes,'
Sayed said.
Smith told MSA representatives
that they should demand that DPS
respond to the needs of the commu-
nity, not just the University adminis-
"If you don't tell the regents, if
you don't tell President (Mary Sue)
Coleman that this is important to
you, then essentially it's killed by
neglect," Smith said.
- Suzanne Jacobs
contributed to this report.

From Page 1A
same page.
A May 2009 Gallup Poll found
that 69 percent of American adults
- including 58 percent of conser-
vatives - were in favor of allow-
ing openly gay men and women to
serve in the military.
When asked why he believed
Obama has yet to address the pol-
icy, David Halperin, 'professor of
the history and theory of sexuality,
said that while a number of mili-
tary leaders have recently spoken
out against the ban, the president
may seek further support on the
"It maybe that Obama is waiting
until enough such people provide
him with cover," he said.
Jonathan Marwil, professor of
history, pointed out that although
a majority of Americans favor a
repeal, the president must care-
fully measure both the benefit and
detriment of lifting the ban as well
as the personal political costs of
the decision.
If Obama moves forward with a
repeal, not only will he be follow-
ing through on one of his campaign
promises, but he would also please
gay rights advocates. On the other
hand, he would be feeding into a
long-standing criticism employed
by Republicans that Democrats
are soft on national security and
hostile toward military forces and
Marwil also noted that if Obama
were to fight for the repeal of "don't
ask, don't tell," he would likely face
opposition from the military for
the remainder of his time in office.
"He would have the (military)
on his case the rest of his adminis-
tration," Marwil said. "He'd never
get out from under it."
Marwil went on to say that the
greatest ramification Obama faces
in doing nothing is disappointing,
even angering, many of his sup-
"They're already angry with
him over some things," he said.
By choosing not to act on the ban,
Obama risks the possibility that
these former supporters "will
make his life hard."
Given both sets of potential
implications, Marwil said Obama's
decision would ultimately boil
down to whether he believes the
majority of Americans who sup-
port the repeal can shield himfrom
the backlash.
Marwil noted that among those
who claim to support the repeal,
many might disagree with him on
other issues, which limits the extent
to which they can "protect him."
"What benefits does he get from
the very vocal minority?" he asked.
Either way, "there'll be a certain
fallout, and he'll have to measure
whether or not it's worth the fall-
out," Marwil said. "There's always
a downside of doing something like
this where you know you have peo-
ple who are pretty strongly against
what you're trying to do."
Though Obama has vowed. to
allow gays to serve openly in the
military, he has been criticized for
not providing a timeline for doing
so. Halperin noted that Obama's

inaction thus far may be an attempt
to avoid making the same mistakes
as Clinton in terms of gay rights.
He said Clinton came into
office under the assumption that
he would face minimal opposi-
tion to his promise to allow gays to
serve openly. Clinton "intended to
change (the policy) with the stroke
of a pen," Halperin said.
Obama, on the other hand,
doesn't operate under the same
impression; he knows that the sup-
port of Congress, and not simply
his signature, is needed to ulti-
mately change the law.
It is this acknowledgement of
the limits of presidential power
that lead David Winter, professor
of psychology and expert in the
study of human motivation and
the motives of political leaders, to
believe Obama "won't fall on his
face the way Clinton did about gays
in the military."
Those who oppose the repeal
believe that allowing gays to serve
openly would cause irreparable
damage to the organization and
structure of the military.
Marwil said that the strongest
argument for the continuation of
"don't ask, don't tell" is one based
on discipline and conflict. If gays
were allowed to serve openly in
the military, he said, a pre-existing
prejudice might be openly dis-
played, leading an already-vulnera-
ble population to face potential risk.
Marwil cited this as "a clear and
present danger in the military,"
and recalled the situation in Viet-
nam in the mid-1970s to emphasize
why top officials in the military
might be hesitant to repeal the ban.
He said Vietnam was the first
war America fought with a truly
integrated army, and during the
last few years of the war, the mili-
tary experienced an "extraordi-
nary collapse of discipline" as a
result of intense racial violence.
Though he said that level of
racial conflict has faded, it has
taken several generations to reach
the point of "enlightenment," and
the army worries that on the issue
of gays in the military, the same
acceptance does not yet exist.
Marwil outlined an inevitable
concern of the military. He said if
they "allow openly gay and lesbian
people to behave as straight people
do, there would inevitably be con-
"That's the worst thing that
could happen to the army, the
breakdown of internal discipline,"
he said.
A former senior Pentagon offi-
cial told The Washington Times
for a Nov. 2 article that Marine
Corps Commandant Gen. James
T. Conway was a vocal opponent
of repealing the policy. While Con-
way's spokesman would not con-
firm this, he told the Times that
with the Marines fighting in Iraq
and Afghanistan, "our focus should
not be drawn away from those pri-
But Winter said the priorities
of opponents of the repeal may be
misguided. According to the Center
for American Progress, more than
300 Arabic and Farsi linguists have
been forced out of the army because
of the policy. Winter noted that
these dismissals of crucial military

personnel in the face of "don't ask,
don't tell" are actually "demonstra-
tively harming the war effort" and
have "cost the army dearly."
"Maybe (proponents of the
policy) don't really care about the
war effort or think it's important
to have people who speak the lan-
guage of the countries we're
dealing with," he said.
He went on to say that given
the fact that almost all of the
United States' military allies
have allowed gays and lesbi-
ans in their militaries for a
long time with minimal conse-
quences, there is no precedent
to suggest that America's armed
forces would fall apart with the
introduction of open homosex-
"Absolutely none of the
alleged consequences, whether
it be moral readiness, the fanta-
sies of folks, absolutely none of
that has come to pass," he said.
Halperin echoed this senti-
ment. He said, "there's no such
military ban in Australia, or in
Israel, or in France or Britain, or
many of the major world pow-
ers, so it's not at all clear why we
think this would have an effect
in the U.S. when it hasn't had a
destructive effect in any other
He noted that Great Brit-
ain - the culture he believes
to be closest to that of America
in terms of homophobia - was
forced to change its ban on gays
in the military by the European
Court of Human Rights in 1999.
Despite the initial unwilling-
ness to repeal the policy on their
own, Halperin said, "they did it,
and nothing happened."
Marwil said that while
it would be foolish to think
there would be no instances of
trouble if "don't ask, don't tell"
were repealed, things would be
smoothed out within the first
Halperin said "the one thing
the military is trained to do is
follow orders. So when you're
told to behave in a certain way in
the military, you do."
Both Marwil and Halperin
drew parallels between gays
serving openly in the military
and the ultimately successful
integration of the armed forces
under President Harry Truman
in the 1940s and 1950s to illus-
trate their beliefs that a repeal
would not cause nearly as much
damage as some believe.
Halperin said the best exam-
ple of the military following
orders was, in fact, racial inte-
gration, even though it occurred
while segregation was still very
much legal in America.
"Once upon a time, people
thought you couldn't integrate
the army: 'those whites would
never get along with those
blacks.' And by golly, we did it,"
Marwil said. "Generally speak-
ing, it's worked very well."
In an e-mail interview, Terri
Conley, assistant professor of
psychology and women's stud-
ies, said that while the transition
would not be an easy one, "when
people are put in a position
where they have to change their

behaviors, their attitudes eventu-
ally follow."
However, Conley also noted
that she is concerned the repeal
could put gay military members
in danger, though she said open
homosexuality in the military is
an important step toward wider

acceptance of the gay community.
"The possibility of harassment
or hate crimes is still very real,"
she wrote. "The military should
take their ability to maintain order
amongtroops and apply this ability
to the preventions of negative reac-
tions to out LGBTQ soldiers."

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