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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 20, 1987)
Friday, March 20, 1937
By The Associated Press
Iran-Contra debate continues
Senate to vote on contempt motion against Secord
WASHINGTON The Senate ordered Thursday to vote
on a civil contempt resolution against retired Air Force Maj.
Gen. Richard Secord as investigators tightened the vise on a
key figure in the Iran-Contra affair.
Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, D-W. VA., said he
hoped to act quickly on the matter, which would send the
citation to U.S. District Court for possible enforcement.
The Senate select committee investigating the Iran
Contra affair voted on Wednesday to set the contempt
process in motion after Secord refused a Feb. 23 order that
he give consent for overseas banks to turn over records of
accounts he may have controlled.
His action "has frustrated the committee in its efforts to
answer critical questions relating to the flow of funds from
the sales of arms to Iran to the Nicaraguan resistance
forces," the committee said in a report accompanying the
The report noted that some $20 million from the transac
tions remains unaccounted for, and said it had little hope
that going through formal treaty channels with the Swiss
government would yield the records soon.
If a contempt citation against Secord were enforced by a
court, he could be put in the position of either signing the
consent directive or facing jail until he did sign.
The contempt action was just the latest in a series of
moves designed to put pressure on Secord, who according to
the Tower commission and other reports was intimately
involved in the sale of arms to Iran and in the resupply of
Nicaragua's Contra rebels.
Congressional investigators have put out the word that
Secord is not among the dozen or so w itnesses to whom they
plan to grant limited immunity from prosecution in order to
compel testimony in hearings that will begin in May.
.,1, . -., ., . ' " i.iil... .I-T .... . - -I I
But among the witnesses who are being granted immun
ity are many w!io iealt with Secord, particularly on efforts
to funnel supplies to the Contras during a time when
Congress had barred direct or indirect government military
aid to the rebels.
Secord has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against
self-incrimination when asked to testify about his role in
the Iran-Contra affair, and investigtors say they expect his
attorney to argue the same protection should extend to the
records of bank accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere
believed controlled by Secord.
But the committee argued in its report that "the Fifth
Amendment does not give Mr. Secord the right to hide
behind foreign bank secrecy laws," and that signing the
consent order would not violate those rights in any case.
Reagan: I wouldn't go
down same road again
WASHINGTON President Reagan conceded Thursday night that his
Iranian policy had turned into an arms-for-hostages arrangement, and
said, "I would not go down that same road again."
At his first news conference in four months, Reagan said anew he was
unaware until last November that profits from the arms sales had appar
ently been funneled to Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and said he still
doesn't know what happened to the money.
At a question and answer session dominated by the Iran-Contra affair,
Reagan also said he had never deliberately lied to the public, while
admitting to a misstatement at his last news conference people. I'll leave
that to others," he said after being questioned insistently on the subject.
He told one questioner that for some time, "all you knew was what 1 told
Asked whether disclosure of the affair had complicated efforts to free
remaining hostages, the president turned the question around.
"The day that the information leaked it was my understanding that the
other two were due to get out in the next few days," he said. "If it hadn't
leaked I don't know. . .whether we would have gotten more out."
Reagan opened the 39th news conference of his presidency by uttering
a "rock solid" pledge to veto any attempt in Congress to raise income tax
rates. And he called on the House and the Senate to adhere to the
requirements in Gramm-Rudman legislation to make new spending cuts.
The news conference was the first since Nov. 19, a four-month period of
political and personal trial for Reagan.
The Iran-Contra affair has mushroomed into a full-fledged scandal in
the intervening months, with the president's popularity plummeting in
the polls to the lowest of his presidency.
Thus, many Republicans in Congress and some administration officials
said in advance that Reagan needed a skillful, polished performance at
the news conference to still any doubts about his ability to lead the nation
for the next two years.
Editoi Jeff Korbelik
Managing Editor Gene Gentrup
Professional Adviser Don Walton. 473-7301
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ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1987 DAILY NEBRASKAN
Meese suggests drug tests for teachers seeking tenure
WASHINGTON Attorney General
Edwin Meese III said Thursday that
local school boards should be free to
institute drug-testing programs for
probationary teachers who seek tenure.
"We in the Department of Justice
view freedom from drugs as a valid
condition of employment for school
teachers," he said.
"Drug testing has been upheld when
applied to transportation workers and
others whose jobs have a direct effect
on public safety," Meese said. "And it
seems to me almost an insult to teachers
to maintain that their jobs are any less
His remarks were in a speech pre
pared for delivery at the University of
Mississippi, and copies were released
His comments came in connection
with a court brief the Justice Depart
ment filed two weeks ago supporting a
proposed teacher drug-testing program
on Long Island. There, the Patchogue
Medford School District notified all
probationary teachers who were eligi
ble for tenure that they would be
required to submit urine samples to
their school nurses for drug testing.
Recent court rulings on drug testing
in the workplace have sought to strike
a balance between protecting the con
stitutional right to privacy and seeking
to ensure that an employee is fit for
"In the case of teachers, the trans
mission of values and ethics. . . is an
important part of their professional
duty," Meese said in his speech. "Thus,
freedom from drugs is very much a
fitness-for-duty issue for them."
Asked whether Meese was suggest
ing that all teachers ought to undergo
drug tests, Justice Department spo
kesman Terry Eastland responded that
the speech should be read in "light of
the (Patchogue) brief supporting only
drug testing for probationary teachers.
Stand out from the crowd!
Don't be just another dog on campus.
Hit the beach in shades from . . .
Senate approves highway bill;
speed limit legislation to be decided
WASHINGTON The Senate passed an $88
billion highway bill Thursday under threat of a
presidential veto over millions of dollars of con
struction projects, and moved toward action Fri
day on a speed limit increase provision.
The highway bill passed the chamber by a vote
of 79-17, but Republicans readied an effort to
remove the so-called demonstration projects
that promoted the veto threat.
A separate piece of legislation which would
allow states to increase speed limits to 5 mph
on rural interstate highways was set aside until
Friday, becoming a pawn in a procedural contest
that was developing.
Under Senate rules, the highway bill which
is a compromise between the House and Senate
cannot be amended.
But Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, R Kan.,
planned to amend the speed limit provision by
adding to it the version of the massive highway
bill passed earlier this year by the Senate and
which did not contain the construction projects
Dole's strategy would have the effect of delet
ing the disputed projects.
Those projects would cost $890 million in
federal aid, over five years, above the money
states normally receive under distribution
"If this bill is presented to me in its current
form, 1 will return it to trie Congress without my
signature," President Reagan said in a letter to
Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, D-W. Va.
The bill would provide $70 billion in highway
aid and $18 billion for mass transit projects for
the states. - .
Israel announces boycott
of arms, trade to S. Africa
JERUSALEM Heading off a confronta
tion with the United States, Israel announced
Thursday it would not sign contracts for new
weapons sales to South Africa and would
reduce its close trade and cultural ties with
The Israeli decision, announced by Prime
Minister Shimon Peres, followed pressure
from the United States to end military trade
with a South African government that main
tains a policy of apartheid.
The sanctions left the Israeli government
with room to maneuver in its 38-year-Iong
relationship with South Africa by failing to
end existing weapons contracts or to cut off
Israel does not discuss weapons sales, and
it was not known how long existing contracts
run or what kind of licensing arrangements
Israel has with South Africa for the manufac
ture of Israeli designed weapons.
A government panel was appointed to
, recommend further sanctions within two
months and to specify which trade links
would be curtailed, Peres said.
Israel has been reluctant to take action
against South Africa because of the close
business ties between the two countries and
f i Africa ' ' ffi
because of concern for the welfare of South
Africa's Jewish community of 120,000.
South Africa also is a major customer of
Israel's billion dollar-a-year arms industry,
and loss of that market could hurt the econ
omy and cost jobs in Israel.
The United States bans sale of American
arms to South Africa because of the country's
policy of racial separation.
In Washington, State Department spokes
man Charles E. Redman said, "We welcome
this step as a positive development."
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