Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.
Iran-contra, March 2, 1987
An S-R editorial supported a special prosecutor to investigate illegal arms sales to Iran, with the proceeds being funneled to anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua.
“The public interest demands an objective procedure for investigating crimes linked to the White House. Without such a procedure, the president is vulnerable to damage not only from the scandal but also to damage from suspicion of coverup.
“Prosecutors from within the Justice Department are in no position to investigate the White House. Their boss, the attorney general, is beholden to the president, and can have a political interest in the outcome.”
It concluded: “The special prosecutor law may not be in the political interest of individual presidents or their cronies, but it is in the national interest and it must be upheld.”
Brady bill, March 1, 1993
An S-R editorial gave strong support to the Brady Bill, which eventually became law.
“Huzzah for Congress, each body of which last week introduced a bill to impose a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases. If the Democrats want to show the nation that gridlock is a thing of the past, passage of the Brady Bill is fine way to do it.
“The waiting period will give police the chance to check backgrounds, ensuring that felons aren’t able to purchase handguns. Handguns are in danger of becoming the coin of the realm in our country. The violence wrought by Americans against their own has risen bit by bit, day by day, to an unspeakable volume. Last year, 25,000 Americans were murdered with guns.”
It continued: “The American people should hope Congress remains stout of heart. President Clinton recently echoed his campaign pledge to sign the Brady Bill. The National Rifle Association, which has been staunch in its opposition to the bill, has come to realize that is is the will of the American people to impose such a waiting period.”
Cowabunga! March 2, 2006
An S-R editorial had some fun with a survey on the First Amendment.
“It’s important to acknowledge life’s priorities. If you’re like most Americans, you can name family members from “The Simpsons” more readily than you can name the freedoms listed under the First Amendment.
“Cowabunga! This great bit of news comes from a survey conducted by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum (bet that’s an exciting place). But the stuffed shirts from McCormick actually lamented the survey’s results.
“Come on! What’s more important: understanding some boring stuff about freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion that form the basis for our proud democracy or watching a show where they teach you the number for 911?
“Hey, if we want reality, we’ll watch ‘Survivor.’ ”
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