The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, April 30, 1987, Image 1

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tol.82 No. 147 (ASPS 045360 18 pages
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The Battalion
College Station, Texas
Thursday, April 30, 1987
Activist admits guilt in Iran-Contra probe
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative
activist Carl R. “Spitz” Channell pointed to
former White House aide Oliver North as a
fellow conspirator on Wednesday as he
pleaded guilty to the first criminal charge
of the Iran-Contra affair.
Channell was formally accused of de
frauding the government by telling contrib
utors to his National Endowment for the
Preservation of Liberty that their gifts
would be tax-deductible even though the
money actually was used to provide military
aid to the U.S.-backed Contra rebels in Ni
Channell pleaded guilty to a single count
and agreed to cooperate in independent
counsel Lawrence E. Walsh’s investigation.
Walsh’s formal charge, known as a crimi
nal information, said Channell was involved
with a government official, but the charge
did not identify that official.
However, when Channell was asked in
court by U.S. District Judge Stanley S. Har
ris to name the persons with whom he con
spired, he replied simply, “Col. North, an
official of the National Security Council.”
When Walsh aide Michael Bromwich was
asked later if a similar charge could be ex
pected soon against North, he said, “We’re
not prepared to do that at this time.”
At the White House, presidential spokes
man Marlin Fitzwater declined to comment.
“We’re not investigating ourselves and I
don’t expect to elaborate on this kind of is
sue,” Fitzwater said.
Under the agreement Channell entered
into with Walsh, the fund-raiser and several
of his employees said they would cooperate
with Walsh’s investigation into possible
criminal activity in the secret sale of weap
ons to Iran and in the funding of the Con
The developments come less than a week
before congressional panels are to open
public hearings on the Iran-Contra affair
and just one day after Walsh suggested
prosecutions would be endangered if Con
gress granted immunity from prosecution
to any more principal figures in the investi
On Capitol Hill leaders of the congressio
nal panels said retired Air Force Major
Gen. Richard V. Secord, a pivotal figure
with key financial information on the affair,
will be the first public witness in the hear
ings that begin on Tuesday. Secord, who
declined to testify before the Senate Intelli
gence Committee earlier, will appear with
out an immunity grant.
Former National Security Adviser Rob
ert McFarlane will follow Secord, the pan
el’s leaders said.
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Don’t Lose Your Head
Photo by Doug La Rue
Phil Warwick, a junior political science major,
seems to have lost his head while making a tough
shot during a volleyball game Wednesday af
ternoon between Aston and Spence Halls.
Conflicting stories emerge
over death of U.S. volunteer
Sandinistas fault Reagan administration
— An American engineer killed in
northern Nicaragua was caught in a
firefight between rebel fighters and
Sandinista militia, the largest U.S.-
supported Contra force said
The account contradicted Nicara
guan statements that Benjamin Er
nest Linder, 27, of Portland, Ore.,
was singled out by the Contras.
The Nicaraguan Democratic
Force, or FDN, said that it held the
leftist government of Nicaragua re
sponsible for the death of the first
American in Nicaragua’s civil war.
Nicaragua blamed the U.S. govern
ment for supporting the Contras.
Linder’s body was in Matagalpa
Wednesday, a Nicaraguan provincial
capital, where a ceremony was held
in his honor.
American colleagues of the Ore
gon engineer joined Sandinista offi
cials in blaming the Reagan adminis
tration for his death.
The Contras’ statement said
Linder was killed Tuesday near La
Camaleona, located about 45 miles
from the Honduran border.
“This region is a permanent scene
of combat between rebel forces and
the army of the Nicaraguan govern
ment,” the statement said.
“The FDN holds the Marxist-Le-
ninist regime of Nicaragua (respon
sible) for the death of the U.S. citi
zen by allowing him to enter an area
of civil war of our country, which is
between Nicaraguans and not for
eigners,” it said.
“The American, one of the few in
ternational volunteers helping the
Managua regime, lived in Nicaragua
for several years and knew perfectly
the risks he ran by being in a war
zone accompanied by Sandinista sol
diers,” the statement said.
Bosco Matamoros, a Contra
spokesman in Washington, denied
an allegation by one Nicaraguan of
ficial that rebels killed Linder in his
office. The statement was “absolu
tely false,” he said. Matamoros said
Linder died during an “engagement
... in which two Sandinista regulars
also died.”
In Matagalpa, Nicaragua, dozens
of wreaths surrounded the casket of
the engineer, who went to Nicaragua
in 1983.
He was the first American volun
teer working for the Sandinistas to
be killed in the Contras’ 5-year-old
war against the leftist government.
Seven European volunteers have
been killed since 1983.
A government spokesman said
Linder’s relatives were not expected
to arrive until Thursday.
Nicaraguan officials said guerril
las killed Linder and two Sandinista
militiamen Tuesday at La Cama
leona, a village about 20 miles away
in Jinotega province.
There were conflicting reports
about the precise circumstances of
Linder’s death. He was helping build
a small hydroelectric plant in La
Manuel Espinoza Henriquez,
spokesman for Nicaraguan Presi
dent Daniel Ortega, said Linder left
a letter asking to be buried in Nica
ragua if he was killed.
American colleagues working in
northern Nicaragua blamed the
Reagan administration for Linder’s
death and reaffirmed their commit
ment “to stand alongside the Nicara
guan people.”
An estimated 200 American vol
unteers are in Nicaragua as volun
teers. Most say they work here either
because they oppose U.S. policy to
ward Nicaragua or simply want to
English 7
pros, cons
By Stuart Vorwerk
African riot police arrest 11 in Johannesburg
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) —
liot police surrounded a black union head-
parters Wednesday while officers went
hough the 1 1-story building with masked
fitnesses, apparently to make arrests for the
tilling of four railway workers.
The state-run South African Broadcasting
Forp. reported on its television news that at
east 11 people were detained after police
iearched the downtown building while it was
tordoned off late into the evening. It gave
to details.
More than 75 policemen, wearing plastic-
risored helmets and tear gas canisters slung
over their shoulders, stood guard with shot
guns, pistols, dogs and whips in front of bar
ricades of police cars and iron gates.
Officers used dogs to repeatedly push
back hundreds of pedestrians and journal
ists trying to observe the entrance to the
building, headquarters of the Congress of
South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
and its affiliates.
The police swoop occurred as hundreds
ofipembers of the South African Railways
and Harbor Workers Union were discussing
their seven-week strike, which led to mass
firing of 16,000 workers last week by the
South African Transport Services.
Tuesday night, the bodies of three black
men and one of mixed race were found un-
At least 11 people were detained
after police searched a black
union headquarters building
while it was cordoned off late
into the evening.
— South African News
Broadcasting Corp. report
der a pile of burned tires at a train station,
according to a police statement. It said the
victims “had been brutally assaulted with
knives and pangas (sharpened sticks) and
their bodies set alight.”
The statement said the four victims “were
forcibly removed from their places of em
ployment to (the union building) where they
were violently assaulted . . . and thereafter
butchered, for no other reason than that
they chose not to participate in COSATU’s
Dirk Hartford, editor of the COSATU
newspaper, said in a telephone interview
that the union had no knowledge of the four
deaths. He denied that the men were as
saulted in a union building.
Peter Harris, a railway workers union at
torney, said police had a search warrant
when they entered the building accompa
nied by several masked black men who were
“pointing people out.”
Occupants of the building told journalists
they had to walk a “gantlet” of police as the
masked men watched and occasionally
nodded. Several people who got the nod
were seen being taken to a police van, the
witnesses said.
Despite two Supreme Court cases in the
past week overturning restrictions on press
coverage of unrest and security force ac
tions, police interfered with journalists try
ing to film at the union building.
Television crews were chased out of adja
cent buildings, and a news photographer
said he was told he would be arrested if he
did not put his cameras in his car in five min
Police headquarters in Pretoria acknowl
edged that a promise had been made in a
court hearing Tuesday that it would “not
molest” members of the Congress of South
African Trade Unions at their headquarters
following the deaths of six railworkers in
April 22 battles with police outside two
union buildings.
Earlier Wednesday, the trade union con
gress and anti-apartheid groups called for a
two-day protest on Tuesday and Wednes
day, coinciding with Wednesday’s voting for
the white chamber of the tricameral Parlia
The congress and the United Democratic
Front anti-apartheid coalition did not spec
ify protest actions. But police headquarters
said it was aware of preparations for a two-
day boycott of work and schools.
GSS debates value of political activity
By Doug Driskell
The homosexual at Texas
A&M may be comfortable with
himself and his beliefs but politi
cal activity and expression of
these beliefs is another story.
The Gay Student Services Or
ganization is in the midst of a
heated debate over whether the
GSS should become politically ac
tive, Dave Martin, GSS vice presi
dent says. People are afraid to be
associated with the Cay Student
Services or they don’t see a reason
to be involved, Martin says. Two
years ago the GSS was fighting to
be recognized. This got people
involved. Now there is nothing to
really fight for.
“This thought scares a lot of
people off,” Martin says. “If we
are politically active, some mem
bers may feel that they are going
to be more visible. With this Uni
versity having such a strong mili
tary background many members
feel threatened.”
Philosophy professor Dr. Larry
Hickman counsels the GSS and
agrees that being politically active
could have its drawbacks.
Hickman says he believes that
people are afraid to become polit
ically active in GSS. He says that a
person would have to be a politi
cal activist of a certain type and in
a “safe” major.
“I have had men and women in
my office who were education
majors that said they wanted to
run for office in the GSS,” Hick
man says. “I said, ‘Don’t do it! If
you want to be a teacher you can
forget it if you are gay.’
“In America we are supposed
to be able to have freedom of as
sociation in any club we wish.
That is not true at A&M if you
are an education major. Basically,
it is the kiss of death in primary
and secondary education.”
Although some homosexuals
may fear the Corps of Cadets,
Hickman has an interesting the
ory towards the Corps and its past
“There’s got to be a rather se
rious level of sensitivity (when ho
mosexuality is discussed) on the
Homosexuality at A&M
Part two of a two-part series
part of people who were a part of
the Corps during those years
when there were no women
around,” Hickman says. “Look at
the language they used. What did
the old guys call their roommate?
They called them the ‘old lady.’
Look at the saying ‘humping it.’
What are those cheerleaders
doing when they get down and
‘hump it?’ It’s a gesture of sexual
“The images and the icons of
male homosexuality are at the
very heart of A&M traditions.
People conveniently say that
that’s not what they are but what
else can ‘humping it’ be?”
However, A&M Assistant Ar
chivist David Chapman says find
ing the true meaning of ‘hump
ing it’ would be impossible.
Chapman says it has been lost
over time.
For homosexuals that do want
to talk the GSS offers counseling
on the “gay line,” says Scott, the
group’s president.
Each gay line bperator goes
through a training workshop that
emphasizes listening, Scott says.
The purpose of listening is to get
the caller to solve his own prob
lem or to come to terms with him
self without the operator giving
advice that may be taken wrong.
“Lately we have been getting a
lot of harrassing calls, but there
are many serious calls,” he says.
“We get people calling in that are
contemplating suicide and we
also get calls from gays who just
need a roommate.
“What we want to accomplish
through the gay line and GSS in
general is to promote an under
standing between us and the
A&M community.”
Counseling for gays is also
available off campus through the
Metropolitan Communty Church
in Bryan.
The Rev. Ronald Grant, who
says he is gay, believes that many
gay students at A&M come out of
the closet and feel they need to
play catch-up. This causes them
to have many sexual partners,
Grant says.
“I believe that sex for the sake
of sex is self-degrading,” Grant
says. “I want people I counsel to
become comfortable with who
they are and I want to bridge this
stage in their life.”
When he speaks of homosex
uality and the Bible Grant says,
“Christ came to take away our
sins, not our sexuality.”
See Homosexuals, page 18
Supporters and opponents of En
glish as the official state language
squared off in a debate sponsored
by the Mexican Democrats of Amer
ica Wednesday night.
Lou Zaeske, chairman of the
American Ethnic Coalition, and Ru
ben Bonilla, chairman of the Mexi
can-American Democrats of Texas,
argued the merits of legislation that
would make English the official lan
guage of Texas and of the United
Zaeske said America would de
generate into a “tangle of squab
bling nationalities” without Ameri
cans’ love of the country and
English as the common language.
“Establishing English as the offi
cial language of the United States is
vital to the continued unity, security
and prosperity of our nation,” he
said. “Indeed, it is vital to prevent
ing the division and ultimate frag
mentation of America along ethnic
or language lines.
“American tax money ought not
be used to grant any foreign lan
guage or any foreign culture, co
equal status or .. . preferential status
to America’s culture and America’s
English language.”
But Bonilla, an opponent of the
movement, said that if the United
States rejects other languages and
cultures it would lead to social and
economic calamity.
“English is the language of com
merce — English is the language of
trade in this country,” he said. How
ever, he added that bilingualism is
“ ‘English only’ in Texas is dead,”
Bonilla said.
John Adams, one of the founding
fathers of America, tried to establish
English as the official language of
the United States, Bonilla said, but it
was defeated because the founding
fathers said diversity is the key to
And he added that the purpose
of bilingualism is not to perpetuate
the Spanish language or have His-
panics impose apartheid on them
During a question and answer pe
riod after the debate, a member of
the Mexican-American Democrats
raised questions about an article
from Tuesday’s Battalion.
Zaeske said, “Before you get into
that, let me say all of those words in
there are lies, and we are right now
working, talking to Dr. Vandiver
about that — OK?
“That’S written but it wasn’t sub-
See Debate, page 18