To the Editors of the Crimson:
The First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech has an additional advantage. It disrobes those among us who can damage the rest of our freedoms. This was keenly displayed by the newly nominated Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., in an article printed August 1, 1971 in the Richmond Times.
Powell asserted, "Foreign powers, notably the Communist ones, conduct massive espionage and subversive operations against America." He admits America has organized "counterespionage and counter-subversive operations." Powell forgot to point out we have done this with every enemy this country has had since 1776, but we didn't sacrifice our people's freedoms in the process. The one and only reason we do not allow indiscriminate wire-tapping without prior court approval is to protect possible damage to private citizens. Powell favors indiscriminate wire-tapping.
Mr. Powell also fully sanctions mass arrests. He is willing to sacrifice liberty and freedom on the nebulous altar of suspected "surrender of the Government to insurrectionaries." This is a complete rejection of the principle of "innocence until proven guilty." America is not about to abrogate this principle to the vagaries of the Nixon administration's mistrust of its citizenry.
Angela Davis, the Berrigan Brothers, Black Panthers, Mayday arrests. William Kunstler, the Chicago Seven, Wire-tapping are all Supreme Court subjects for determination and clarification. An announced advisary to these people and to the principles for which they stand, should not be approved by the U.S. Senate to be seated on our Supreme Court. Many thousands of Americans are more qualified.
Our President, Attorney General and those responsible for a continuing America must "subordinate the safety of society to the rights of persons accused of crime." Why? "It is better 10 guilty persons go free than to hang one innocent man." A repressive society does not truly believe this tenet of our American jurisprudence. Holmes, Marshall, Brandeis, Black, Harlan and Warren did, as do millions and millions of thinking Americans.
Meanwhile, back at the war, men keep right on dying. Hugh S. Jonings