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THE WEEK IN REVIEW
. It's sounds like the title of an Agatha Chris
tie or Edgar Allen Poe mystery. The White
House case of the Purloined Papers has stirred
a flurry of ethical questions concerning Carter
administration documents that surfaced amidst
President Reagan's 1980 campaign staffers.
Knee-deep in the mess is the FBI, which is try
ing to determine whether any federal laws
were violated in the filching of then-President
Carter's reelection briefing papers. The goods
included some 1,000 pages of documents on
foreign policy and national security.
At a recent press conference, President Rea
gan, in admirable bureaucratic fashion, skirt
ed the questions about "Debategate," denying
any knowledge of stolen papers. Then he coined
the phrase, "I haven't done anything to apolo
This modern whodunit has been quick to
generate friction in the upper echelon of the
Reagan administration. Possible campaign
abuses focused the spotlight on CIA Director
William Casey and James Baker, White House
chief of staff. But the search for the "mole"
who leaked the information to Reagan staffers
Missing in 'Nam
The whereabouts of U.S. war dead missing
in Vietnam has not been forgotten. Secretary
of State George Shultz recently accused Viet
nam of purposely withholding hundreds of
bodies of Americans killed in the Indochina
war. Shultz also said the United States might
possibly support private groups seeking to bring
the bodies back. This comment contradicted a
Reagan administration policy of opposing pri
vate searches for missing Americans in Viet
nam, Cambodia and Laos.
A senior Reagan administration official said
the administration is stepping up its efforts to
gather information about MIAs in Indochina.
The official said that the United States "has
information in its possession that precludes
ruling out the possibility that live Americans
are being held captive in Indochina." And he
said that more than 200 reports from refugees
who claimed to have seen American prisoners
in Indochina in recent years could not be dis
missed. Partisan Pope
Although Pope John Paul's recent actions
have incited anger from the Vatican, as long as
trouble brews in Poland, the pope clearly in
tends to remain a highly visible political con
sultant. While the pope preaches morality, he
seems to be a practicing politico. And his in
fluence into the problems between the Polish
government and Solidarity could either further
complicate or help alleviate the dilemma. Pre
dictions are about as uncertain as the results of
the secret meetings between Pope John Paul
and Polish leader General Wojciech Jaruelski
and those between the pope and Lech Walesa.
President Reagan got into the act by an
nouncing that if Polish authorities allow a
revival of free trade unions, the United States
would "turn back" some of the sanctions im
posed when martial law was declared ia'1981;
One hand slaps the others .
The Supreme Court wiped out more provi
sions of more Federal laws than all of its other
decisions put together by ending a 50-year-old
In the past, one slick stipulation to most leg
islation had enabled Congress to authorize
Presidential and Federal actions, but also to
recall those actions. The court said that such
clauses allowed for after-the-fact legislation as
in the cases of spending on national security
and domestic programs. The rulings also re
vokes the only stipend of the War Powers Act
of 1973 which enables a President to dispatch
troops without Congress's approval or a decla
ration of war. Congress had been able to direct
the President to withdraw troops.
In another taxing decision, the court ruled
that all parents could be entitled to tax breaks
to offset their children's educational costs,
even if they attend private or parochial schools.
The American Civil Liberties Union had con
tended that the laws violated the constitutional
doctrine of separation of church and state.
"Our opinions today will further confuse
rather than guide," Justice Lewis Powell said
this week after a badly split court decided not
to allow blacks and Hispanics to recover back
pay and health benefits after being laid off
from the New York City Police Department.
The court handed down its 5-4 decision in the
form of six separate opinions that totaled 63
pages and 80 footnotes. The officers, who had
been laid off because they lacked seniority,
argued they were never hired earlier because of
racially biased entrance tests. The court, how
ever, said that compensation for past wrongs
was not justified because they could prove no
Jo Laughing Gas?
The N.C. Senate gave the final approval to
the option of dying in the gas chamber or by
lethal injection. The bill passed as quickly,
36-2, as the pharmaceutical cure for death row
inmates will. While there was substantial
debate over the ethics of the new method of
execution, opponents of capital punishment
were not able to muster the support for life im
prisonment. Compiled and edited by Associate Editor
Ginie Lynch and News Editor Joel Broadway.
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Thursday, July 7, 1983 The Tar Heel 15