A Feb. 25 Post editorial is right that no criminal violation or violation of any written ethical code has been demonstrated in the case of Attorney General Edwin Meese and the Iraqi pipeline project. But the rest of the editorial is marred by two erroneous premises.
First, the Post says that Mr. Meese "involved" himself in the matter of the Iraqi pipeline. The fact is that Mr. Meese was substantially uninvolved in the project. He referred E. Bob Wallach and Shimon Peres to Robert McFarlane, the national security adviser, who was the proper authority on U.S. foreign policy matters. Notwithstanding inferences in memorandums said to be written by Mr. Wallach in December 1985 and February 1986, Mr. Meese had no involvement whatever with any later proposal involving use of Defense Department funds for the Iraqi pipeline project.
Second, the Post asserts that the attorney general acted for Mr. Wallach's "benefit" because "Mr. Wallach stood to make a lot of money on the deal." In fact, the Iraqi pipeline project was thought by U.S. officials responsible for our foreign policy to be of benefit to the United States long before Mr. Wallach was involved. Attorney General Meese referred Mr. Wallach and Mr. Peres to Mr. McFarlane because he believed that the project could help in bringing peace to the Middle East. He did not know then, and does not know today, that Mr. Wallach, who was receiving an attorney's fee, "stood to make a lot of money on the deal."
The Post is simply wrong in charging that the attorney general failed to see "the distinction between public and private business." As of May and September 1985, the Iraqi pipeline was important and desirable "public business," and Mr. Meese treated it as such.
The writer is counsel for Attorney General Meese.