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Weinberger's Resignation

November 16, 1987

Some 2,000 years ago, the Roman Lucretius wrote (and I paraphrase) that one man's meat is another man's poison. Over the centuries this has been modified to one man's terrorist or one man's hero being another man's scoundrel.

It was Mark Twain who attributed to Benjamin Disraeli the observation that there are three kinds of lies, damned lies and statistics.

These two concepts were brought to mind, at least in part, during Reagan's farewell oration to Weinberger when he pointed out how the latter put an end to exorbitant charges for hammers, ashtrays, toilet seats, coffee pots and--yes--nuts and bolts. He neglected to add that he did so only after the practice was revealed by the General Accounting Office and the scandal that ensued.

The President proudly pointed out that his defense secretary spent over $1.5 trillion which included overruns of $20.5 billion on major weapons systems, many of them controversial, poorly coordinated, poorly planned, duplicative, shoddy and (in some cases) of dubious value.

This $1.5 trillion helped make Reagan the biggest spender in U.S. history.

HARRY CIMRING

Los Angeles

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