Bush pardon a cover-up for wrongdoingCasper W. Weinberger...

THE FORUM

January 05, 1993

Bush pardon a cover-up for wrongdoing

Casper W. Weinberger exults in a pardon from a lame-duck president who hides behind his office to protect his complicity and knowledge of the Iran-contra scandal. Immediately upon receiving a presidential pardon, Weinberger launched a vituperative attack on special prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh.

Lying to Congress cannot be vindicated by a presidential pardon. It undermines the power of Congress and its constitutional investigative power.

The checks and balances system under which the United States operates is by-passed. The power of government by the people, of the people and for the people is discarded for the assumption of power by the president.

President Bush said all six of those pardoned were "motivated by patriotism not criminality." Thus by presidential fiat it was OK to lie and to deceive the elected representatives of the people.

From the Nixonian pardons of President Ford to the Bush pardons of the six Iran-contra participants, it has been a long line of wrong-doing violating truth and brutalizing America's democracy.

It would have been courageous of Weinberger and President Bush to confront prosecutor Walsh in a trial and prove themselves innocent. They chose the easy way out.

President Bush gave Weinberger and the five other Iran-contra defendants the greatest Christmas present he could give -- vindication without trial and freedom from pursuit of truth.

America's voters and the democratic process are the losers.

Henry H. Cohen

Baltimore

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Lawrence E. Walsh calls Bush's pardons "an arrogant disdain for the rule of law."

Was Walsh living on another planet when Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980 and 1984 by an overwhelming majority Americans?

At that time, everyone knew what Ronald Reagan stood for: a strong defense, an enforcer of our Monroe Doctrine and much human compassion.

When the families of the American hostages begged him to take whatever action was necessary to free them, right or wrong, he responded.

When the democratically controlled Congress would not approve funds necessary to drive the communists out of our Western hemisphere, he responded.

The people who were pardoned were simply following the lead of one of our greatest presidents.

Lawyers like Walsh seem to get so wrapped up in law that they lose sight of common sense and justice.

Jack F. Beck Sr.

Ellicott City

All Americans should honor M. L. King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), the civil rights leader who touched the conscience of the nation during the 1950s and 1960s by articulating the philosophical and historical plight of Afro-Americans, is being honored in the month of January. Although King's birthday is Jan. 15, many in the nation will honor him over the entire month.

Dr. King the theologian, orator, philosopher and freedom fighter deserves to be honored this month and in the future. Although not perfect -- who is? -- Dr. King in his 39 years of life did as much and perhaps more than many whom we honor today.

King was an exceptionally gifted writer, a man of wide learning, compassion and understanding not only for Afro-Americans but for all Americans.

He was a magnificent speaker whose words have impressed and motivated all Americans. At age 35, he was one of the youngest people ever to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. He was recognized as a leader all over the world.

King's philosophy of non-violent protest in his freedom struggles will live as a testimonial of man's ability to rise to new heights for the improvement of all people.

Dr. King's words and deeds continue to shape the lives of people all over the world. Dr. King gave his life for the improvement of his people and all Americans.

In honor of Dr. King, let us as true Americans turn from racial and ethic misunderstanding, and as Americans embrace understanding, compassion and brotherhood toward one another.

ohn A. Micklos

Baltimore

Northern exposure

Given the problems we now face with our Medicare and Medicaid programs -- including the possibility of more benefits being cut when the new administration takes office -- I would like to share a letter from a pen pal in Canada commenting on the health program there:

"My wife and I enjoy socialized Medicare. We both pay a combined sum of $54 per month, which allows us free doctor visits, hospitalization and surgery, etc. We also have a health insurance plan that pays for 80 percent of prescription drugs and ambulance service.

"I have heard some real horror stories about medical bills in the states. And I had some knowledge of them when I lived in California.

"I remember during that time, my Dad and I were in England visiting for two months. He got a bad chest cold and went to a doctor. The visit and the prescription were free even though he told them he was from the States.

"I know many hospitals in your country are privately owned, and a very lucrative business it is. I don't think that is right. We do not have any privately owned hospitals in Canada.

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