I'VE BEEN WAITING for six months for my fellow liberal journalists to speak up in defense of David Sullivan. If you're saying "David who?", it's not your fault, it's theirs. Sullivan was fired late last year by the CIA for giving information to Richard Perle, a top assistant to Sen. Henry Jackson. The reason the liberals haven't spoken up is that Perle is a superhawk and the information was useful to the anti-SALT forces. Liberals have been screaming for years about the need for Congress to inform itself about the CIA. A great liberal hero, Ernest Fitzgerald, was fired for giving information to the Congress. But that was anti-hawk information, exposing the cost overruns on the C5A.
If liberals want the Fitzgeralds protected, can't they see that the Sullivans must be protected too? Senators and congressmen and CIA and Defense Department employes all work for the United States. We must remember that principle first, and we must help tham remember it. Loyalty to one's own agency that keeps one from telling important thruths about it to other agencies is one of the great problems of the United States government. When I worked in the executive branch, I felt it was my duty to tell the truth within the agency; I felt an equal duty to conceal the truth - when it made the agency look bad - from Congress and from its investigate arm, the General Accounting Office. I didn't begin to see how wrong I was until I left the government, founded The Washington Monthly, and started of an insider's perspective. But my attitude while in the government was a common one, and it remains common today. That is why it is so important for liberals to wake up to the significance of the Sullivan case. You may not like Perle or the cause served by Sullivan's information. But the precedent that a government official can freely transmit information to congressmen and their staffs is crucial to open gevernment.
The cover of the March 19 U.S. News & World Report asked, "Do Banks Make Too Much Money?" If the question persuaded you to look inside, you would find that the article that purported to answer it was an interview with the president of the American Bankers Association.
Did you ever notice how much Cy Vance looks like Stan Laurel?
Last month I told you that I had somehow gotten on the mailing list for conferences held by the Aspen Institute - remember "Thirteen Days of Great Thoughts for only $3,900?" If this sounded like fun to you, but a bit out of your price range, we are happy to report that we are now on the mailing list of Another Place, a conference center in New Hampshire - too late, alas, to tell you about their "Massage Weekend," April 7-9 (Please bring sleeping bags, towels, musical instruments, massage oil, and a pad if you have one"), or "Reclaiming Jewishness," April 20-22, featuring workshops on "Internalized Oppression," "Being Jewish and Female," and "Gay and Lesbian Jews," or "Networking for a New Age," April 27-29 ("How do we apply the light and understanding of planetary change to the conduct of our daily lives. . . . Two members of the Findhorn community will be coming over from Scotland to focalize the gathering with us.") Maybe you've been reluctant in the past to focalized, but consider Another Place's low cost - $40 to $80, with children at half-price. That probably wouldn't even buy you a single great thought at Aspen.
Does it seem probable to you that, if the United States become involved in a major military conflict, it will probably take place in Europe or the Middle East? If so, you may be interested to know that of our three Marine amphibious forces, two are located in the Pacific.
For over a hundred years, the federal government has been the leading employer in the Washington area. Not so any more, according to the D.C. Department of Labor, which reports that in January there were 359,000 persons working for the federal government and 360,300 in "service industries." To understand this development, it helps to know that the service sector includes lawyers, accountants and the employes of trade associations. We have always said that the lobbies run the government. Now they outnumber it.
If your company is becoming featherbedded, call up Wilbur Mills. He's out of work and he doesn't hire employes for the sake of hiring employes. From 1963 through 1974, while he was chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, its staff ranged from 22 to 32. After four years under Al Ullman, the staff is 92.
As one who advocates national service and as one who was once in the United States Army, I am happy to report that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases that can expand the rights of servicemen to complain about mistreatment to federal officials who are not part of the military chain of command. I remember how, having spent 11 of the 13 weekends of my basic training either serving on kitchen police or as latrine orderly - courtesy of my first sergeant, whose instinctive reaction to me was one of unbridled antagonism - I wrote a letter of protest to President Roosevelt. My undelivered letter was returned to me personally by the first sergeant with a smile on his face that I will never forget. The modern Army may not be as bad as it was in "From Here to Eternity," but I hope everyone in it will have the right to complain about his first sergeant.
The April issue of Self magazine contains an article called "You Can't Be Your Own Woman Without Money," by Leah Cahan Schaefer, who is described as a Manhattan psychotherapist who "finds her patients talk a lot about money."
Here are some of the things she says: "The earning of dollars is what ultimately facesa woman . . . We buy things and services to indicate our places in the world. We measure the value of our work by what someone is willing to pay for it . . . Autonomy does not come from interesting, stimulating, important work..."
Certainly its's important to the self-respect of a woman that she knows she can earn her own living that she does not have be dependent on her mate. But why does she have to imitate male culture by proving her worth through the amount of money she makes? Knowing that she can make her own living should free her from "buying things and services to indicate" her "place in the world," from "measuring the value" of herself "by how much money she has," and allow her to do "interesting, stimulating and important work" with minimal regard for how much it pays.
But if Women's Lib falls into error from time to time, you have to admit it has a point when read that while there are 34,000 males in the cockpits of commercial airlines, there are only 80 women.