Investigation maniaThe independent counsel law should be...

the Forum

January 06, 1993

Investigation mania

The independent counsel law should be renewed. Without it, we receive one-sided information. . . because the Justice Department is part of the administration.

Therefore, it cannot be objective when it investigates alleged wrongdoing in loans to Iraq and the Iran-contra scandal. The only way to alleviate some of the bias is to permit a third-party counsel to investigate.

If the above suggestion does not work, we shall need investigators to investigate the investigators.

Joseph Lerner


Schaefer didn't create keno without help

Although I have never been a fan of some of the antics of Governor William Donald Schaefer, I still believe that The Sunpapers have been unfair to the governor. Unfair because you've given him all the credit for this stupid keno mess. Unfair because we have a democratic form of government (on paper at least) in Maryland, and the governor can't do anything without help.

I believe we have to give blame to all the members of the legislative bodies of Maryland who did not protest the keno game.

That's right, the elected officials who are paid by the taxpayers to look out for the general welfare of the state and its citizens. The officials who go to Annapolis, vote on issues and don't know what they're voting on (so they claim now).

The keno snafu is to be blamed on the governor for pushing it and our dumb elected officials who allowed him to push it past their noses. Let all the members of the legislature take credit for a dumb move.

enry J. Turner


No whitewashes

For the second time in less than 20 years, a president of the United States has prevented the American people from learning the truth by misusing the pardon power before the investigative process had run its course.

In the case of President Bush, his action is all the more outrageous because of the likelihood that he acted out of a desire to suppress information implicating himself in the Iran-contra affair and its cover-up.

It is an inherent conflict of interest for a president to pardon officials who served in his own administration, or with whom he personally interacted as vice president in the very acts that led to the subsequent investigation.

Therefore, the Constitution should be amended to eliminate the president's authority to pardon such officials. This is particularly critical in view of the fact that two-term presidencies are extremely rare. It is all too simple for an official accused of wrongdoing to delay a criminal investigation for up to four years, in the expectation that a sympathetic president, free of political constraints after losing re-election, will pardon all offenders prior to leaving office.

President-elect Clinton should act promptly upon taking office to submit this necessary amendment to Congress. As it would limit his own authority if enacted, such an amendment would be above partisan criticism.

Two presidential whitewashes in 20 years are enough. No more.

Sheldon H. Laskin


WITH's music

I would like to add to what has already been written in your columns about the closing of radio station WITH.

First of all, the dictionary defines music as the art or science of combining tones in a manner pleasant to the ear, and the music that WITH plays does exactly that.

The staff, from Ken Jackson on, seem to enjoy playing the music from the big band era of Miller, Dorsey, Goodman, James, etc.

I grew up and danced to that music, and to think we are now to be denied that sound in the Baltimore area is very frustrating.

If only someone in this area would pick up the baton and continue to play this kind of music, untold thousands would be most appreciative.

John C. Hunt


Baltimore first

In a move that touches more on pride than on pocketbook, the Office of Management and Budget declared that, for federal statistical purposes, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States will henceforth be called Washington-Baltimore.

They got it backward. Baltimore should be named first because it's bigger. Size has been determinative in the past, as in the case of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Fort Worth, Raleigh-Durham and others.

Baltimore also deserves first mention because it's older. Quoting from a volume on U.S. History by Allan Nevins: "[The U.S. population in 1789] was almost wholly rural. Only five cities worthy of the name existed: Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Charleston, and Baltimore."

But OMB did not bow to Baltimore's greater size or longer history; it named Washington first because Washington is the nation's capital.

In fact, when George Washington first took office in 1789, the federal capital was New York City. By an act of Congress passed in July 1790, the capital was moved to Philadelphia for 10 years to allow time for a federal district to be created on the banks of the Potomac, on land ceded by the Maryland Legislature.

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