'No Watergate for the Media'

Why would a distinguished newspaper like The Times publish the opinion piece by former Nixon speech writer Raymond Price?

Price's belittling of Watergate and his mythic assertions about Vietnam are particularly troubling during this critical period when the nation will be examining its relationship to international terrorism as we listen to the Israel-Iran-contra hearings and as we move further into the 1988 presidential campaign.

Price's article serves for the most part only to inflame emotions and to disinform those who are genuinely interested in the truth.

While Price is correct to warn against the media's "addictive" taste for blood in the pursuit of journalistic drama during the hearings, he should first of all remember the cost in real blood taken from those who have been the victims of our foreign policy, the men, women and children killed by our "policies" every day.

The people of Lebanon, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the South Africans, the Hondurans, the Nicaraguans, the Salvadorans, the Guatemalans and millions of others every day are victimized unjustly and brutally by dozens of covert operations for which the United States bears direct or indirect responsibility. In many of these situations, we must translate "covert operations" to mean "outright murder."

The value of the human beings who are the innocent victims of these activities needs to be lifted up, not belittled.

TONY WOLFE

Los Angeles

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