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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's "The Hardest Job in America"
    classroom You know that it s impossible to create unity in the classroom when there is divisiveness in the country Then there is the value of education knowledqe Our history books are full of stories of men who reached success because they educated themselves Knowledge is power we say Knowledge will set us free Indeed as John Dewey told us Education is growth Education is life itself When Nixon was a candidate he extolled this value He said The one area we can t shortchange is education Education is the one area in which we must do everything that is necessary to achieve the American dream Well Richard Nixon made a nightmare out of that dream Three times he vetoed education appropriations which a Democratic Congress passed When his own Task Force on Urban Education recommended an additional outlay of 5 to 7 billion Nixon looked the other way His brave Commissioner of Education James Allen resigned in frustration Don t short change education Nixon said and he cut funds for school construction for textbooks for guidance for children with physical or emotional handicaps for the Spanish speaking and Indian children and of course for the very poor When a Democratic Congress tried to restore over one billion education dollars Nixon vetoed the bill for failing to recognize priorities Let me tell you about Mr Nixon s priorities He found the money to widen the war in Laos and Cambodia but he couldn t find the money to widen children s minds He found the money for bombs but not for books He could help expand ITT but not expand the teaching of ABC s The truth is that education is not a Nixon priority In such an atmosphere how can education flourish Of course it cannot flourish Education cannot flourish in an Administration which exacts 440 from the average taxpayer for military purposes but only 12 for educational purposes a miserly contribution to ease state and local burdens We must change that allocation Education cannot flourish in an Administration that pays 90 of the cost of highways but only 7 of the cost of schools We must change that allocation Education cannot flourish in an Administration which spends 21 600 to kill a Vietcong soldier and only 44 to educate a child in primary school Education cannot flourish in a land in which our government creates conditions under which school bonds are voted down and school district after school district goes bankrupt There is a bankruptcy in the soul of an Administration which allows this to happen And education can t flourish under an Administration which neglects hungry children sick children discrimination against children and uncared for children This Administration doesn t even seem to comprehend that those problems are all handicaps to a child s education So how do you teach values of reverence for life truth and honesty brotherhood and unity desire and respect for education when our leaders fail us in these values Remember the song

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/the-hardest-job-in-america (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's "The Military Tradition"
    liberties Our men found a dictatorial and corrupt regime indifferent to the sufferings of its own women and children maintained in office by foreign intervention We the people through our leaders told our men to engage in counter insurgency pacification and search and destroy Our men found themselves in a dirty war against an enemy almost impossible to find supporting a regime which brutalized punished and harassed its own people uprooted its people and destroyed their crops conducting a war the impact of which was felt mostly by helpless civilian populations shelled and heinously treated by all sides Before the war Douglas MacArthur and Dwight D Eisenhower and others advised our civilian leaders not to become bogged down in a ground war in Asia General Ridgeway gave the same advice And what were the costs of Vietnam to the military tradition The costs to the concept of duty were immense There was disobedience of orders as when General Lavelle ordered 28 unauthorized bombing missions and his Chief of Staff refused to accept responsibility for these unconscionable actions of his subordinate and young men with their lives before them set down in an uncertain hostile environment who sometimes violated the rules of war The costs of honor were immense falsified body counts false battlefield reports false recommendations for medals so in one year 50 of the 57 Generals serving in Vietnam received Distinguished Service Medals most without ever facing combat The costs to country were also immense The military tradition of the United States was linked to a corrupt dictator named Thieu our national leaders told less than the truth to our people and in world opinion the United States military tradition has suffered an unprecedented loss of respect George McGovern and I will end this war in Vietnam and the damage it has done to the military We will end the American involvement in Vietnam as decisively as the French ended their involvement in Vietnam in 1954 We could have ended our involvement long ago had it not been for General Thieu Then we will turn our attention to the long term perils to the military tradition Consider these serious symptoms of disease in our fighting forces In 1968 the desertion rate was 15 in every 1000 men In 1971 the desertion rate was 74 in every 1000 men A five fold increase in desertion In 1967 the AWOL rate was 57 in every 1000 In 1971 the AWOL rate was 177 in every 1000 A three fold increase in AWOL In 1969 12 000 official incidents of drug use were recorded In 1971 the official number had risen to 20 000 Senator Cranston has testified that the number of drug users in the Army ranges from 50 000 to 400 000 At least a two or three fold increase in drugs Court martial convictions for insubordination and mutiny have gone up every year and have almost doubled since 1968 from 230 to over 450 in 1971 Fragging incidents have multiplied from 126 in 1969 to 425 in 1971 a three fold increase 78 combat leaders have been killed and over 600 wounded In 1961 33 of ROTC officers remained in the service in 1971 only 20 remained Almost a 30 drop In 1966 50 of personnel remained in the Army in 1969 the number had fallen to 30 Almost a 50 drop According to a study at West Point 45 of the class of 71 plan to resign from the Army before 20 years and even worse 40 would not enter West Point again This low morale in the military is a disaster for the military Even more it is a disaster for the nation Our armed forces are weaker in spirit than at any time in thirty years But the long range problem for our military is not only morale it is also bureaucracy Consider these facts We now have some two million men under arms but we pay salaries to more Generals Colonels Admirals Captains and Commanders than we did in 1945 when we had twelve million men under arms That s not acceptable it s waste Nixon has created an Army with one commissioned or non commissioned officer for every enlisted person that is one supervisor for every worker That s not acceptable that s waste Nixon has allowed the ratio of Admirals and Generals to enlisted men to increase from 1 to 2900 in 1969 to 1 to 1800 now There are too many separate headquarters operations with layer on layer of command personnel We pay 3 8 billion a year to support headquarters at corps levels and above Rear Admiral Gene LaRocque retired reports We have now assigned to top level headquarters enough support manpower to man nine additional Army divisions That s not acceptable That s waste According to General James Gavin fighting efficiency has sunk to abysmally low levels Since 1964 Army manpower per division is up 19 per division and Navy manpower per ship is up 28 with no increase at all in the ratio of combat to support personnel That s not acceptable That s waste and fat and bureaucracy Only 11 men in 100 in the Navy now have combat skills That s not acceptable Only 5 men in 100 in the Air Force now have combat skills That s not acceptable In Vietnam only 15 of our men were combat troops the other 85 were support troops The huge general headquarters near Saigon complete with golf course is one of the largest buildings in all of Vietnam In France General Matthew Ridgeway set up headquarters in a tent At the end of World War II there were five lobbyists from the Pentagon propagandizing Congress Is it necessary now for the Pentagon to have 300 lobbyists selling the Pentagon The largest private lobbyist of 1967 spent 277 thousand on Capitol Hill That year the Pentagon spent 4 million to sell its point of view Fifteen times as much as

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/the-military-tradition (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's "Are Memories That Short?"
    You know about the Rogers plan It would make Israel withdraw to its insecure pre Six Day War boundaries It would place Jerusalem under joint Israeli Jordanian control It undermined Israel s demand for direct negotiations And while Egypt continued to violate the cease fire and build up arms Nixon and Rogers continued to press Israel to accept the Rogers Plan Do you remember the enormous pressure Mr Rogers placed on Israel to accept his plan Can we forget that rabbis and community leaders all through America were urging that letters and telegrams be sent to the President and Congress protesting the Administration pressure to put across the Rogers Plan Have you forgotten that when Abba Eban briefed some U S Senators privately Mr Rogers demanded equal time It was only a little more than a year ago Are memories that short Mr Nixon rejected at least nine different initiatives by the Democratic Congress to provide Israel with the needed Phantom jets and to support direct negotiations without prior conditions In November 1971 the Senate including George McGovern voted overwhelmingly to provide 500 million in military credits for Israel But even then less than a year ago Nixon still withheld Phantoms to force Israel into concessions He said that the legislation was not mandatory only permissive It was permissive all right it encouraged another round of Egyptian intractability and invectiveness against Israel Finally came 1972 an election year Now after two visits by Premier Golda Meir after an overwhelming Soviet buildup had grown to overwhelming size and after heavy pressure from a Democratic Congress only then did Mr Nixon begin to sell Israel the arms she needed And that s a friend How short can memories get Now let s look at George McGovern s record during those years I know that George McGovern doesn t have a Jewish constituency in South Dakota But that s the point George McGovern supported Israel back in 1957 when there couldn t have been any political advantage in doing so He did it because he believes in Israel s cause One of his first actions in Congress was to call on the Eisenhower Nixon Administration to obtain commitments from Egypt to keep the Suez Canal and the Straits of Tehran open before Israel withdrew from Sinai another was to vote against the Eisenhower Doctrine which would have sent arms to Arab states And throughout his Senate career George McGovern s record has been one of consistent support of Israel In the past five years George McGovern made his support of Israel and Soviet Jewry a matter of public record eleven times in addition to his Senate votes supporting military aid to Israel Such a record is fully as outstanding as that of Israel s well known friend Senator Scoop Jackson Despite this record there have been smears against George McGovern and I want to answer them One smear is that George McGovern is a latecomer to the Israeli cause Well I ve answered that George McGovern s record goes back to 1957 Nixon just became friendly this year And are you confident that on November 8th Nixon won t revert back Another smear is that McGovern voted against aid to Israel in 1971 That s a lie too Senator McGovern opposed Nixon s efforts to embarrass Senate liberals by tying ABM and aid to military regimes in Vietnam Greece and Cambodia with aid to Israel That was a typical Nixon cynical maneuver It also included 11 million in aid to Egypt And McGovern opposed it But a month earlier he voted for the Jackson Amendment giving 300 million in additional aid to Israel Another smear is that because George McGovern has been strong against the war in Vietnam he would be weak in support of Israel That is sheer nonsense There is absolutely no basis for comparing Israel and Vietnam Anyone who does so is doing Israel one huge disservice Vietnam is a dictatorship and General Thieu is corrupt and repressive and does not command the support of his people Israel on the other hand is democratic and open and supported by its people Vietnam has been a rat hole costing billions of dollars and what is far worse thousands of American lives Israel on the other hand wants only to buy arms It doesn t ask for one American soldier Strategically Vietnam is not important to our national security Israel on the other hand is in an area of strategic and economic importance to the United States And finally Vietnam has no political cultural or historical ties with the United States With Israel however we have shared values cultural affinities a common ethical and religious heritage and a struggling democracy whose beginnings remind us of our own It is Mr Nixon who doesn t see the difference between Israel and Vietnam He continually tries to link support of Vietnam Greece and other repressive regimes to the support of Israel George McGovern does see the difference And it s the difference between right and wrong Mr Nixon however sees our smaller allies as pawns in a big power chess game Let us remember that in 1971 Nixon said Japan is our most important ally He then pressed Japan to do nothing with China which he then called our mutual enemy But in 1972 Nixon shifted and he did not even consult with the Japanese government And although I believe that Nixon s visit to China was desirable let s remember that it was Nixon who built his entire career on red baiting starting right here in California It was Nixon who promised unswerving undying support to Nationalist China And it was Nixon who abandoned Nationalist China when a visit to Peking seemed desirable as a power and public relations tactic for 1972 Another country which Mr Nixon used to call an ally was India But that friendship also went down the drain when Nixon unilaterally decided to wash it away There are I

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/are-memories-that-short (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's "The Quest for World Prosperity"
    cooling off period after the initial announcement During that period the move would be stayed while the re training and relocation efforts were intensively pursued The corporation should provide the retraining of employees And the corporation should provide for early retirement for employees nearing retirement age who cannot readily be retrained or re employed Finally there must be legislation protecting the pension rights of such employees protection not only needed in this context but generally The responsibility here is not of business alone Government too must assume more responsibility Today the Government job training and job placement programs are haphazard and ineffective And virtually nothing is done to bring new industry into communities We have a multitude of agencies to deal with transportation resources power resources communication resources and business resources Why shouldn t we also try to preserve human resources We have an Environmental Protection Agency We require exhaustive studies before a pipeline can be built across Alaska to make sure we do not upset the living grazing and breeding habits of the caribou We should take at least as much interest in the impact on human beings of plant shutdowns relocations and other catastrophes in the business community I believe we should create a Human Protection Agency This agency would deal with alleviating job losses from relocation or cutbacks This agency would see that the relocation measures I set forth are carried out And it would initiate effective programs for bringing new industries into communities which suffer relocation losses We also need to regulate the multinational corporation through international treaties and conventions In this way we could prevent allocation of markets by the multinational corporations which undermines needed competition We could prevent destructive bidding among countries for corporations And we could prevent corporate interference in foreign policies These measures therefore to make multinational corporations responsible and most important to secure full employment at home are essential underpinnings of an open economy which can move us toward freer trade and the removal of existing restrictions on the export of capital America s Role in a Changing World Economy When we turn to our foreign policy we see the results of years of narrow vision and neglected opportunity The world of 1972 is far different from the world of 1950 The world is no longer divided into two monolithic power blocs centering on the United States and the Soviet Union Now new centers of power have emerged in the common market countries and in Japan power based on economic rather than military strength We must understand these new centers of economic power in the context of our free world strategy Western Europe Japan and many other nations look upon as duplication omitted a basic source of defensive strength against attack This places a heavy burden upon us but is duplication omitted infinitely preferable to the further spread of nuclear weapons and the burgeoning of competitive military establishments Yet these security arrangements will endure only so long as our allies trust us to use power wisely Trade is important to our allies Our allies see our mistakes in trade or monetary policy as major shortcomings of our foreign policy When we use our economic power to extract shortrun gains for ourselves when we disregard the views of other nations we face the danger that the free flow of world trade will suffer and the world will divide into hostile trading blocs We also face the even greater danger that our mutual security arrangements will break down because our allies no longer trust in our leadership and our wise use of power Mr Nixon s policies have not reflected comprehension of these facts Pursuit of accommodations with Russia and China is welcome but we cannot afford to do this in ways which damage relations with allies with whom we had close ties some economic and commerical sic commercial some rooted in similar concepts of democracy and freedom Europe is a case in point Mr Nixon has badly neglected our economic relations with Europe Robert Schaetzel our long time American Ambassador to the European Communities who retired last week felt compelled to speak out on this There has been a steady deterioration of relations between the United States and Europe he said And he called our practice of negotiation by confrontation madness Another error was our failure to consult with the Japanese in advance of Mr Nixon s trip to China We had been pressing Japan to have as little as possible to do with China whom Mr Nixon called our mutual enemy We opened Premier Eisaku Sato to domestic attack for placing U S interests above those of Japan Then without consultation we made an about face in our own policy Since then we have put great pressure on the Japanese to undertake politically difficult actions such as the revaluation of the yen and the limitation of their textile exports We ask the Japanese to understand our domestic problems yet show little understanding of theirs Not surprisingly sic surprisingly Japanese willingness to coordinate its policy with ours has now been greatly diminished On February 25 1971 Mr Nixon said Japan is our most important ally But Mr Nixon policies have estranged that ally Another serious estrangement has been India We ended our 25 year friendship with India apparently in our effort to please China whose protege Pakistan was engaged in bloody repression and suicidal genocide in Bangladesh Mr Nixon cut off aid to India and adopted an unfriendly political attitude which has alienated the largest democratic country in Asia In Africa too Mr Nixon has estranged African countries by favoring the racist Government of Rhodesia at the behest of big chrome and special steel interests And even our relationship with our neighbor Canada has been strained by Mr Nixon The Canadians have bitterly resented the protectionist measures Nixon sought to impose to make Canada help pay for Nixon s inflationary war Progress toward better relations with Russia and China could have been

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/the-quest-for-world-prosperity (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Celebration of Hilda Shriver's 90th Birthday
    taught us your children what morality is what humanity is what vision is these actions of yours no matter how unseen and unsung are the stuff of greatness They are the central actions of human life They are what God weighs when he weighs humans on the scale They are the substance of life not celebrity nor fame nor success which are the froth But the common beautiful humanity of ordinary people Youth is the age of excitement but civilization springs from the experience of those who are seasoned and have lived long from wisdom and the endurance of tragedy and forgiveness These are the springs of creativity Life begins at forty but for many millions creativity begins at sixty joy and wisdom and compassion come Pope John XXIII changed the whole position of the Catholic church in the modern world when he was in his eighties Moses led his people when he was 100 John Wesley preached every day until he was 88 Pablo Casals drew heavenly music from his cello in his nineties Picasso seemed to have parted the veils and painted what no other saw when he was past ninety Michaelangelo painted the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel lying flat on his back paint caking his face and hair and hands when he was in his eighties Toscanini had the most productive seventeen years of his life after he passed the age of seventy Robert Frost was 84 when he wrote the inaugural poem for John Kennedy in 1960 During World War II the greatest leader in the world Winston Churchill was in his seventies His people called him back as Prime Minister when he was in his eighties Eleanor Roosevelt worked actively until she was 76 At sixty many men and women don t retire they inspire They develop into great and beautiful people like Mohandas Gandhi Golda Meir Konrad Adenauer Mother Teresa of Calcutta Averell Harriman Georgia O Keefe Roy Wilkins Chester Bowles Their contributions to society continue to enrich us Here with us today Tommy D Alesandro was a great mayor for three terms conceived the exciting vision of the new downtown Baltimore and is still active on the Parole Board Seeley Crawford at 74 is working at the Health Department here helping all who need help Angela Bambece is one of the great women of the labor movement still organizing still active John Edelman in his seventies still the fighting leader of the Maryland Human Relations Commission here with us today Alice Cannoles started marching for women s suffrage in the 1920 s served three Presidents as Maryland s Democratic Committeewoman Roosevelt Truman and Kennedy and still today at 82 extends a hand every day to her neighbors We ll celebrate her ninetieth birthday too And my two Mothers Rose Kennedy my mother by marriage is one of the wittiest loveliest liveliest women in the entire world And the mother who gave me birth who taught me all I know and tried to

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/celebration-of-hilda-shrivers-90th-birthday (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Speech to the Democratic Party of Oklahoma
    home he worked and saved to buy is being taxed out from under him The streets he used to walk without a second thought are in a state of siege unsafe for himself let alone for his wife or children unsafe not only at night but sometimes at high noon He sees an America where he is taxed to the full extent of the law but some millionaires pay no taxes at all where high interest rates drain his bank account as well as his hopes while they swell the profits of those who lend the money He has already done all that he can for himself and as much as he can for his country He takes pride in his labor he gives thanks for the blessings he has but somehow he has been shortchanged He is angry and he has a right to be Look at America through the eyes of a farmer or rancher With the sweat of his brow and the strength of his back he literally feeds and clothes the nation But he still does not receive a fair return for his skill and effort The abundance he produces at low cost moves through middlemen to the marketplace where it is sold at high prices but he never sees most of the profits Instead he sees an America where giant agri business corporations run by executives who would not know a barn from a silo are driving him off the land his family has farmed for generations He sees government as their ally and his enemy And now he sees government economizing not by cutting tax giveaways to the wealthy but by slashing the programs that help him to survive He is angry and he has a right to be Look at America through the eyes of the poor They heard a declaration of war against poverty and what they have seen looks more like a war on them They heard national leadership promise to move them off of welfare rolls and onto payrolls and what they have seen is an increase of six million in the welfare rolls in just four years It is not popular these days to speak for the poor but I spent years of my public service with them and I know them They are not lazy and they want to work But they see an America where jobs are scarce for them and yet they are blamed for not working They see an America of Indian Reservations and slums and the shanties of rural poverty They see society that waged the wrong war in Asia instead of winning the right war in America They are angry and they have a right to be And look at America through the eyes of other men and women in other nations For almost two centuries from the moment our forebearers declared the inalienable rights of man our country had a deep emotional appeal to millions of people around the globe They saw us as a good and special place and they looked to us as a witness for what is best in human affairs I will never forget one day in the Andes mountains in the early 1960 s there in a remote village on the otherwise bare wall of a mud hut I saw a picture of John Kennedy cut out of Life Magazine That family had never seen a film of President Kennedy or heard his voice His picture was there because to them he stood for America a name they barely knew but a land they loved In the eyes of the world America in those days was the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps which was not a junket but a tool of social justice and a call to a hard but happy service How different things are today In trying to win by force the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese we have lost the hearts and minds of millions in Asia Africa and Europe It is easy to say that we do not care or to threaten a cutoff of foreign aid or to refuse to receive the Ambassador of a country that has been our friend from the beginning It is easy and it is wrong For no nation is an island entire of itself And surely this nation does not want to sacrifice the security of respect and affection from others for the insecurity of their anger and apprehension This Great Republic was not raised up to be an object of fear but a vessel of hope Now look at America through the eyes of the founding fathers the immigrants and the Sooners of 1890 They believed in Jefferson s dream of an American Revolution for everybody They began as a little band of settlers on the edge of a vast continent They explored the mountains and the plains and made homes there They crossed deserts to reach the other shining sea and set sail on that sea to open trade with countries most of them had not even heard of They planted crops where nothing had grown before and planned cities where no one had lived before They sacrificed and sometimes they died at home and abroad for the liberty of this land Their America was never a perfect place but they were always striving to perfect it There was slavery but they fought to end it There was injustice but they sought to correct it There was division but they sought to heal it They did not always understand what was wrong they did not always know the right answers But they moved on not just to fill up the open spaces of this continent but to fulfill the ideals of this country They put their faith not in fate or fortune but in the work of their own hands They were brought up on the idea of America or they came here to find it and they kept it bright

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/speech-to-the-democratic-party-of-oklahoma (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's "In the Wake of Watergate: A Return to Justice"
    who has allowed a criminal investigation to be controlled by those who are under investigation What are we to say when many of the highest officials of the Executive Branch including the President s top staff are implicated in burglary bugging and obstruction of justice and their only apparent defense is that they were all duped by each other What are we to say when they have made the White House the home of Jefferson Lincoln and Roosevelt into a Tammany Hall clubhouse fit for a modern day Boss Tweed George McGovern said during the campaign that This is the most corrupt administration in American history For that he was attacked ridiculed and rejected But he spoke the truth and everyone knows it now In Europe officials and newspaper editors who have been our friends for a generation are today characterizing American political life as a cesspool as shameful and shameless corrupt and dirty and untrustworthy Pity the poor Peace Corps volunteer trying to represent American idealism to the people of foreign lands Pity the VISTA volunteer pity the loyal soldier the West Pointer with his code of military conduct and honor pity our children who are taught to believe In America as they observe the spectacle of White House staff leaders hastening to employ lawyers to defend themselves from criminal prosecution Truly these are days of dishonor for America and each day brings new and even more incredible revelations Just twenty four hours ago we learned that public funds our taxes were used to pay a White House official to invent documents to defame President Kennedy And we also learned that the Acting FBI Director has destroyed evidence at the direction of the White House staff What kind of moral beliefs do these people have What do they think this country is all about This is not the Soviet Union where the truth is what the government says it is This is the United States of America I and it is time for the President of the United States to heed the advice Dwight Eisenhower gave him twenty one years ago during the Nixon fund scandal and come clean as a hound s tooth It is time for our national leadership to recognize that official injustice is the greatest of all violence And it is time for Americans to be able to say again We have a dream All we can say today amidst the spreading scandal is We have a nightmare There have been months of cover up There have been attempts to make the press shut up Now it is time for this Administration to open up It is not enough to entrust the investigation to an Assistant Attorney General who is subject to the President who got his job from John Mitchell and who plays golf with Mr Mitchell s lawyer The Watergate investigation must no longer be a family affair No matter how fair and scrupulous the Administration now tries to be in this case they can never be above suspicion And in this case the appearance of justice is as important as the substance of justice Therefore I believe the President should ask five retired Justices of the Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren and Justices Reed Clark Whittaker and Goldberg to serve on a panel responsible for selecting a Special Prosecutor with jurisdiction over every aspect of every case arising out of the Watergate Scandal This Special Prosecutor should be someone independent of the Nixon Administration and free from partisan influence That person is easy to describe but hard to find But I do not understand how anyone who genuinely wants an honest open investigation could object to a Special Prosecutor chosen not by the interested parties or their political foes but by the men of the greatest integrity and competence who were themselves appointed to the highest court in the land by four different Presidents Republican as well as Democratic Mr Nixon should move without delay to adopt this or a similar course of action That is the only way to dispel the gathering clouds of suspicion and even conviction that the worst is true We must prove that even in politics there are some things that are not done Yet our challenge is not only to leave Watergate to an impartial justice but to learn from Watergate how to perfect justice in America We must begin with a commitment to restore honesty to political affairs I do not mean honesty merely with respect to public money though that is important But what has been stolen in recent years is more important than money it is nothing less than our tradition of talking straight and dealing straight with each other As we have worried more about truth in advertising we have seen more deception in government Instead of trying to persuade people government and politicians now try to propagandize them The central aim seems to be to tell it like it isn t Past White House statements that were false were not called false but inoperative which somehow sounds a lot better Just as protective reaction sounds better than what it means blowing up villages in Vietnam Just as pacification sounds better than what It did executing thousands of South Vietnamese civilians on mere suspicion and without trial as part of the Phoenix Program Indeed if the present trend continues the Defense Department which started out as the War Department will end up as the Peace Department Tricky language is bad enough But more than the manipulation of words is at stake here Far worse is the calculated continual evasion of moral questions in decision making Just as it is easier to kill with a bomb from 30 000 feet than with a bullet from thirty feet so also it is easier to approve a policy that is wrong or painful if it can be masked in terms that make it sound right or technical The corruption of the language leads to the

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address to the NAACP
    selected an operative of the discredited committee to re elect the president to replace William Ruckleshous as the federal official who is supposed to protect the environment Apparently they have learned nothing from ITT the Vasco case the Ellsberg case the Milk Deal the Wheat Deal They are still trying to make regulatory agencies dependent on them rather than independent of politics Such transgressions have a common purpose to eliminate the basic rules that hold officials accountable before the law The conditions for accountability are relatively simple first the law must define with clarity what is prohibited Second there must be established procedures to monitor what an official does to make him responsible for his conduct Third there must be a forum where an official can be punished for breaking the law And fourth under our adversary system there must be lawyers who are willing to bring the cases which can bring punishment to bear The Nixon Administration has systematically been eroding undermining or destroying each of those conditions For example their habit of trying to accomplish reorganizations administratively their habit of changing regulations without publication in the federal register of asserting blanket authority transfer consolidate or abolish programs all these have the effect of blurring whatever specificity there has been in the law Revenue sharing block grants and government by contracts together with the elimination of reporting requirements and the failure to collect critical data make it more and more impossible to determine what actions in fact have been taken At the same time the executive branch has expand beyond all reason the scope of executive discretion and the concept of privilege in an apparent attempt to achieve total immunity perhaps even for criminal conduct Within the pit of justice they have gutted the civil rights division suborned the anti trust division and compromised the criminal division They failed with their earlier efforts to cripple public interest organizations by withdrawing their tax exempt status But not the administration had launched a sustained attack on the OEO legal services program on the lawyers in the program and even on the ability of the organized bar to shield the program from improper political pressures A new study of local legal service programs concludes that the central agency in Washington which is charged with administering legal services has instead disrupted them effectively Even as the Nixon staff seeks to dismantle it it has in turn sought to drive legal services into an early grave The most recent study reports Our information indicates that the program has been disrupted on a scale beyond anything that had been suspected And the latest reports indicate that after a relative lull in April destructive actions by Howard Phillips are again on the Upswing The same study notes that this has come at a time when the proponents of legal services are preoccupied with President Nixon s proposal to set up an independent presidentially controlled corporation for such services The proposal was sent to Congress last week

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-the-naacp-1973 (2015-03-27)
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