The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, November 05, 1998, Image 4

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    page 4- The Behrend College Beacon. Thursday, November 5, 1998
The Behrend College Beacon
published weekly by the students of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
News Editor
Will Jordan
Photography Editor
Andrea Txttfino
Associate Editor
Mark Greenbank
Business Manager
Jamie Davis
Robert Speel
Jim O'ljntphhn
The Beacon is
published weekly by the students of
Penn State Erie, The Behrend
College; First Floor, The J. Elmer
Reed Union Building. Station Road,
Erie, PA 16563, The Beacon can be
reached by calling (8 14) 898-6488 or
(814) 898-6019 (FAX). ISSN 1071-
:il Information
A view from the lighthouse
Proposed rehab center
should win appeal
The Gateway Program, a
rehabilitation program for people
who have been in prison, is appeal
ing a decision by Harborcreek town
ship to revoke their zoning certificate.
Gateway had planned to
open a facility on 38th Street, in close
proximity to Behrend. Many citizens
in the community are concerned that
a rehabilitation center for former pris
oners might be opening near their
homes. Many have been vehemently
fighting Gateway and are prepared to
take them to court if Gateway wins
their appeal.
All of the people in the
Gateway Program are residents of
Erie. They have not committed mur
der, sexual offenses, or arson. In
similar facilities elsewhere in Penn
sylvania, there have been no prob
lems with the participants in the pro
The citizens who ate con
cerned about the possibility of a re
hab center near their neighborhood
British Wrong on
Pinochet Release
By Marguerite Feitlowitz
Special to Newsday
Current photos of Augusto
Pinochet depict him as the very es
sence of a major British gentleman:
white-haired, rosy-cheeked and regal
in luxuriously sober civilian suits. He
has praised London for its “civility”
and "respect for rules.” For close to
20 years he has taken tea with Mar
garet Thatcher, who declared the
general’s recent arrest in her capital
The British High Court Wednesday
ordered the release of the former
Chilean dictator on the grounds that,
as a former head of state, he has im-
munity from prosecution in the
United Kingdom. This decision, mis
guided both
legally and morally, ought to be over
turned on appeal.
Pinochet did not always look so
refined as his current photos show;
nor did he speak with such modera
tion. Lest we forget, Pinochet was
arrested in London for his brutality.
Here is but one telling scene based
on secret
recordings made during the Chilean
coup on Sept. 11, 1973 (first pub
lished in Chile, then reported by John
Lee Anderson in The New Yorker).
As his troops stormed the presiden
tial palace, Pinochet received word
that President Salvador Allende
wanted to negotiate. “The offer to
take him out of the country is main
tained ... but the plane falls, old boy,
when it’s in (light,” Pinochet’s next
in-command is heard to laugh. When,
a few hours later, Pinochet learns that
Allende has killed himself, he is
vexed over what to do with his
corpse: "Boy, even dying this guy
caused problems!”
Pinochet wanted his opponents lit
erally to vanish. Over the 17 years of
his dictatorship, more than 3,000 in-
Editor in Chief
Anne Rnjotle
Managing Editor
Avotlele Jones
Features Editor
Jon Stubbs
Sports Editor
Jason Snyder
Layout Editor
Mike Perkins
Rose Forest
Advertising Manager
Erin Ftlini’er
Carev Smith
encourages letters to the editor.
Letters should include the address,
phone number, semester standing and
major of the writer. Writers can mail
their letters to
Letters must be received no later than
spm Tuesday for inclusion in that
week’s issue.
have a legitimate viewpoint. How
ever. they are also taking a not-in-my
backyard attitude. The rehab center
has to go somewhere, and to Gate
way, this is the best place. All of the
participants will be Erie residents; the
Department of Corrections is not
bringing in convicted criminals from
all over the state.
The Gateway Program also
has people involved with work re
lease in their program. Why
shouldn’t Erie be responsible for re
integrating former prisoners into so
ciety? Those in this program need
assistance before returning to society.
dividuals would be kidnapped, tor
tured and made to disappear in an
enormous program of state terror;
much of it conducted out in the open.
In 1986, a military patrol doused stu
dent demonstrators with gasoline and
set them on fire. The officer in charge
was tried and convicted, but only for
“denying first aid.” In exchange for
a democratic transition in 1990,
Pinochet got a blanket amnesty for
any crimes committed during his rule.
Fewer than 30 men have ever been
tried in Chile for their participation
in the atrocities.
The overwhelming worldwide sup
port for Pinochet’s arrest; for geno
cide, torture and terrorism under
Spanish statutes; marks an important
moment in international law. Baltasar
Garzon, the Spanish investigating
magistrate who wants Pinochet to
stand trial for the murder and torture
of Spanish citizens during his reign,
bases his extradition order on human
rights conventions holding that cer
tain atrocities (including the charges
in question) are crimes against hu
manity. Such crimes are defined by
the 1946 Nuremberg Principles. They
can be tried at any time, in any place.
Historically, the application rate of
these conventions has been .dismal,
their force having been vitiated by is
sues of sovereignty and realpolitik.
The Spanish prosecution is an attempt
to move into a new era. Garzon cites
no fewer than nine human-rights con
ventions. But his case also derives
from Spanish law, which underwent
major modernization after the death
of dictator Francisco Franco. The
Spanish penal code declares both ter
rorism and torture “universal crimes.”
The Spanish constitution forbids am
nesties of the type given to Pinochet.
The most innovative feature of the
Spanish case stems from the charge
of genocide, defined in the 1948 Con
vention as systematic acts intended
One flew over the albatross ’ nest
Republican actions cause
Democrat victory at polls
Tuesday’s elections were not what
most people suggested they were go
ing to be. There were predictions of
the Republicans gaining eight to ten
seats in the House of Representatives.
However, the Republicans actually
lost seats. Candidates supported by
the Christian Right lost races through
out the country.
The prediction by Republicans of
President Clinton’s effect on Demo
cratic candidates were dismally
wrong. Despite the fact that Clinton’s
approval ratings have maintained a
high percentage and the majority of
the American people don’t want
Clinton impeached, Republicans still
expected a reaction against him by the
The Beacon
The Behrend Review
Campaign finance
Thank God it’s over! With the
election having taken place two days
ago, we will see no more television
campaign ads until at least next March
or April. I don’t know about you but
every time 1 see another campaign ad,
with a candidate proclaiming that he
or she is for jobs, schools, and lower
taxes, with warm fuzzy music in the
background, I feel like I’m going to
vomit. However in this era of capital
intensive campaigns, which ever can
didate runs the most ads, digs up the
most dirt on his or her opponent, and
spends the most money will probably
wun the election, regardless of
whether or not they are the most quali
fied candidate for the job.
In 1952 when General Dwight
Eisenhower was running for presi
dent, he became the first candidate to
fully utilize television as an influen
tial campaign tool. While his oppo
nent Adlai Stevenson ran television
ads which feature him sitting in front
of a fire place discussing his views
on the important issues of the day,
Eisenhower’s ads merely had the
jingle of “I like Ike! You like Ike!
Everyone likes Ike!”. The big differ
ence between the two is that
Stevenson’s ads were long and bor-
“to destroy, in whole or in part, a na
tional, ethnic, racial or religious
group.” Under Pinochet,
“subversives,” “leftists” and “com
munists,” were officially defined as
“alien” and targeted for elimination.
So Garzon is accusing Chile. (Garzon
also accuses Argentina, in a parallel
investigation, of “auto-genocide,” a
term coined in a 1994 UN Report on
the Khmer Rouge massacre of fellow
"Genocide has attained its moder
nity, that’s what this argument is
about,” I was told by Carlos
Castresana, the lead prosecutor for
Spain’s case against Argentina.
“More and more, it is the very repres
sor who ‘organizes’ and ‘defines’ the
(persecuted) group. The enemy is a
construct of the repressor’s mind
(rather than an ethnic, religious or
racial group).”
Support for this view comes from
the genocide conviction handed down
last summer by the UN ad hoc tribu
nal on Rwanda, in which the
Convention’s reach was extended to
include rape.
Garzon has formidable adversaries
at home, including Attorney General
Jesus Cardenal and Eduardo
Fungairino, chief prosecutor of the
National Court. Fungairino publicly
defended the Chilean and Argentine
dictatorships as a “necessary interrup
tion in civilian institutions, so that
peace could be restored.” For that
statement, Parliament nearly im
peached him last spring He and
Cardenal have softened their rheto
ric, but not their positions.
In an interview with me last sum
mer, Fungairino expressed frustration
Voters seemed to want the focus on
real issues rather that the sexual life
of our president.
Newt Gingrich said on the Today
Show Wednesday morning that it is
the media, not the Republicans, who
are obsessed with the Monica
Lewinsky scandal. However, im
peachment proceedings are now un
derway due to a very large majority
of the Republicans voting for them.
Though Pennsylvania was not one
of the states that benefited from the
support for Democrats - we retained
our Republican governor, senator,
and representative- voters throughout
the country have said what the polls
have been saying. Voters like Clinton
for today’s
ing, and Eisenhower’s ads were short
and entertaining. Now don’t get the
idea the “I like Ike!” ads alone lead to
Eisenhower’s landslide victory, but
they did demonstrate the power that
television has over people.
The 1952 Presidential election was
a major turning point in American
politics. From there after any candi
date seeking election to major office
would need to utilize the media for
all its worth. This meant television
campaign ads. And television cam
paign ads cost a lot of money. So can
didates not born into wealthy fami
lies would need to raise money any
way they could even if it was not ethi
cally or morally right. An example
of this is the 1972 reelection campaign
of President Richard Nixon. The
Committee to Re-Elect the President,
or CREEP, spent an all-time record
of $65 million, some of it illegally, to
reelect Nixon. If adjusted for infla
tion that would be well over $lOO
million today which would still be an
all-time record.
Following the 1972 election, Con
gress passed a campaign finance re
form law. Under the law there were
five major points: I. Limits were
placed on how much any individual
with the notion of crimes against hu
manity. “The whole concept is
vague,” he said. “We know what is
murder, or car theft or rape. But what
is a crime against humanity?” He
contends Spain has no jurisdiction in
the case against Pinochet because the
crimes were not committed on Span
ish soil.
A special nine-judge panel of the
Spanish National Court will vote on
whether to uphold Garzon’s extradi
tion order. They should not be swayed
by the lamentable decision in Lon
as president, and they don’t like Re
publicans trying to impeach their
They also don’t appreciate the push
of Republican family values, which
could explain the loss of so many of
the Religious Right supported candi
dates. The unacceptable investigation
of Bill Clinton’s life has gone too far
in many voters’ eyes. Whether they
agree with Clinton’s moral decisions,
and polls show that they do not, vot
ers realize that his personal choices
have not affected his ability to do
what he was elected to do.
Voters sent a message on Tuesday.
It is a wasteful and counterproduc
tive thing to consume the
or interest group could contribute to
any campaign or candidate. A
$lOOO.OO limit for individuals and a
$5000.00 limit for interest groups. 2.
Any party that received more than
25% of the vote in the last presiden
tial election would receive full public
financing in the next presidential elec
tion. And also any parties that re
ceived between 5%-25% of the vote
in the last presidential election would
be partially reimbursed after the elec
tion and receive partial public financ
ing for the next election. 3. Limits
were placed on the overall spending
for Congressional campaigns. 4.
Limits were placed on Candidate self
financing. 5. Limits were placed on
spending allowed by so-called “inde
pendent” groups that were not offi
cially connected which a campaign or
a candidate.
Unfortunately though in Buckley v.
Valeo (1976) the Supreme Court ruled
points 3,4, & 5 of this campaign fi
nance reform law unconstitutional.
While the Court ruled that points 1 &
2 were constitutional, it was of the
opinion that points 3,4, & 5 violated
the First Amendment Right to free
While the opinion of the Supreme
don. As they review the briefs and
evidence, they should consider that
France, Germany, Italy and Sweden
are also prosecuting on behalf of their
respective nationals “disappeared”
during Latin America’s Dirty Wars.
They should remember also that if
they are to be effective, human rights
conventions must be rigorously inter
preted, revised and extended in light
of the moral imperatives of unim
peachable evidence.
And as they weigh Chile’s com
government’s time attempting to im
peach a president that the majority
of Americans want to see finish his
term. Voters are concerned with is
sues that affect them directly: educa
tion, taxes and Social Security.
Americans are smarter than the Re
publicans took them for. Whether
they like Clinton’s personal morals or
not, they voted for the party that pro
vided them with a president they can
count on to run their country.
Rajotte is the editor in chief of the
Beacon. Her editorial appears
every three weeks
Court in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) was
legally accurate, it was never the less
the wrong decision. By this ruling the
Supreme Court opened American
politicians up to the exploitation of
those who finance there political cam
paigns. And thus unwittingly sold
American politicians out to the spe
cial interests.
The only way to correct this grave
error by the Supreme Court is to im
mediately pass a Constitutional
Amendment on campaign financing.
Any proposed Constitutional Amend
ment of campaign financing should
include all the previous points the
Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional
in Buckley v. Valeo (1976), provisions
against donations by foreign nation
als or governments, and most impor
tantly, a time limit on how soon cam
paigning could begin prior to an elec
tion. Unfortunately though since any
such Amendment would probably
drastically change the political estab
lishment, significantly decrease the
amount of influence of the special
interest groups, and dry up the money;
it will most likely never happen.
Testrake is a junior majoring in po
litical science. His column appears
evety three weeks in the Beacon.
'plaint of “judicial harassment,” they
should heed their own prosecutor,
Carlos Castresana, who told me this:
“(These trials against Chile and Ar
gentina) are an offering from one
court of law tothe victims of repres
sions who have been unable to find
justice in their own countries. It is
from Spain to Chile, not Spain against
Chile. Our emphasis is on the future.
To all those who would commit
atrocities we say: ‘There will be no
safe haven, no place for you to hide.’