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May 15, 1980 - Image 18

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-15

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Page,18-Thursday, May 15, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Rep. Diggs calls it quits

0

WASHINGTON (UPI) - Rep.
Charles Diggs, the senior black mem-
ber of Congress who was reelected in
1978 after his conviction on 29 fraud
counts, announced yesterday he will
retire at the end of this term in
January.
The Detroit Democrat became the
second congressman this century to be
disciplined by the House for misconduct
when he was censured in July 1979
following his conviction for mail fraud
and filing false pay vouchers.
IN ANNOUNCING the end to his 30-
year political career, Diggs, 57, said,
"Although I remain hopeful that the
United States Supreme Court will
reverse the previous decision by the
lower court in my case, the announ-
cement I make today is final.
"My conscience is clear," he added.
The congressman said he is confident
he would have been re-elected in
November, but "personal problems of
the past two years ... have been in-
creasingly burdensome when placed
alongside my regular congressional
duties."
A CROWDED slate already faces
voters in the Democratic primary in
Diggs' inner-city Detroit district this

August, including two city council
members, a former judge and a
minister. The district is over-
whelmingly Democratic and winning
the primary is tantamount to election.
Diggs said he chose this time to an-
nounce his retirement to give other
potential candidates enough time to run
for his office.
He said he expects to be consulted on
the selection of his successor. "Anyone
I would support would come from the
ranks who have had previous experien-
ce in an elected office," he said.
HE CLAIMED his decision had
nothing to do with his pending Supreme
Court appeal or any hope of convincing
the lower court trial judge to reduce his
three-yesr sentence.
"This is an -independent
decision ... This is not a reaction," he
said, referring to the timing of the an-
nouncement before the high court's
decision is handed down.
The congressman's principle crime
was inflating the salaries of five staff
members and using the additional
money to help pay his own office and
personal debts.
Diggs was sentenced to three years in
prison, but was allowed to remain free

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pending appeal. - wrongdoing and agreed to repay $40,000
To avoid expulsion from Congress, to the government at the rate of at least
Diggs formally apologized for his $500 a month.
Libyan leader beg.ins
nHew terror campaign
From The Associated Press Since then he has sometimes seemed
Libyan strongman Col. Moammar to relish his reputastion as a renegade
Khadafy has never balked at using world leader and has expressed strong
violence to achieve his goal of creating support for violent groups such as the
a new society based on the "power of Palestine Liberation Organization
the masses." (PLO) and the Irish Republican Army
But nothing in the fiery-talking (IRA).
revolutionary's past equals what ap- But Khadafy has repeatedly stressed
pears to be a new campaign of terror his opposition to "terrorism," which he
against his opponents overseas and the defines as violene against innocent
reported execution and torture of hun- civilians. He says the PLO and the IRA
dreds of dissidents at home. are struggling to liberate "oppressed
IN 1969, KHADAFY was an unknown peoples."
27-year-old army captain when he and a KHADAFY IS TALL with piercing
group of army officers seized power in brown eyes and is personally charming.
the North African nation in a virtually Born in a Bedouin tent to a family that
bloodless coup. As chairman of the raised livestock, he is married to his
newly formed Revolutionary Command second wife and has six children.
Council, the staunch Moslem banned Using the nation's huge oil revenues,
liquor and nightclub acts. Khadfy has begun to develop the
Libyan economy. The nation's oil in-
come in 1979 totaled $27 billion, or more
L' ] ]than $8,400 for each of the country's 3.2
million inhabitants.
Until now one of the most serious ac-
S cusations leveled against Khadafy was
that he sent a murder squad to Egypt in
March 1976 to try to kill Maj. Omar
Meheishy, who had led an attempt to
oust him in 1975. Egypt announced it
had uncovered the plot and arrested 27
Libyans who were allegedly involved.
IN THE PAST two months, six
Khadafy opponents in Italy, Britain,
and West Germany have been the vic-
tims of what appear to be similar
Libyan death teams.
After surviving the attempted coup,
Khadafy consolidated his power as
Libya's only effective ruler. In 1976 he
changed the name of the country to the
"Socialist People's Libyan Arab
Jamahiriyah," the last word meaning
BOOK BAGS "massdom" or "mass power" in
BIKE BAGS Arabic.
Since then Khadafy has tried to in-
DUFFLE BAGS troduce what he calls "direct
democracy" to Libya. His famous
"Green Book," which outlines his views
and philosophy, proclaims that all
parliamentary systems are tyranny.
This philosophy seems to be behind
the takeover of Libyan embassies by
radical Libyan activists-many of them
students-and their transformation into
"People's Bureaus." Khadafy has said
he wants people to exert firsthand con-
trol over government, eliminating
traditional diplomatic institutions and
other "repressive" structures.
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IGGAGE
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