2 Meetings and Coverage in the Press

September 29, 1985

It is disappointing that The Times did not provide its readers with a more balanced report (Sept.23) on the two Fountain Valley gatherings on the subject of freedom fighters and terrorism.

Usually The Times is more balanced, but this report focused almost entirely on the anti-Communist rally sponsored by Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove) and attended almost entirely by Indochinese refugees recruited by him.

"The other rally" featured presentations by well-credentialed Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy from conservative congregations and backgrounds but opposed to the representations made by Dornan.

You stated that Dornan called us "revolutionary tourists" whose opinions are formed after taking tours of Nicaragua arranged by the Sandinistan government." In my statement to the press, I said that Witness for Peace is in Nicaragua at the invitation of Nicaraguan churches and that allegations that we are beholden to the Sandinistas are totally false. That was not reported by The Times.

While I cannot speak for every individual who has been to Nicaragua, I do know that Dornan's charge is false for every clergy and religious speaker last Sunday. I also know that it is false for all of the many persons I know who have been to Nicaragua in recent years.

We freely criticize and disagree with the Sandinistas where we find it is appropriate.

Dornan is quoted as stating that our literature is "all lies." His statement is a lie unbecoming a congressman.

Witness for Peace has extensive public statements and documentation regarding the pervasive pattern of terrorism of those whom he lifts up as "freedom fighters" in the tradition of our founding fathers. He is welcome to attempt to prove his charge about our materials and to make his findings public.


Los Alamitos

The Rev. Tom Clagett is the coordinator for the Pacific Southwest Region Witness for Peace.

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