When I go to a doctor or a lawyer, I expect them to give me their best professional advice. If all they do is to find out what I think, and then tell me what they think I want to hear, I’ve wasted my money in paying fees to professional men trained with technical knowledge.
This fundamental premise is often forgotten when we hear refer ence to the concept of “civilian control of the military.” The laws of our country make it the statutory duty of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the President and Congress concerning the security of our nation.
“Civilian control of the military” means that the President is free to accept or reject that advice, but it certainly does not mean that the President and Secretary of State should tell our military officers what “advice” to give.
This perversion of the process is exactly what has been going on behind the scenes as part of Henry Kissinger’s determined effort to sign a new treaty with the dictator in Panama which will actually surrender the U.S. Canal.
Secretary Kissinger-used two meetings of the National Security Council and a personal directive from President Ford to force the Defense Department to support the new Kissinger treaty and thereby abandon the Joint Chiefs’ honest advice that U.S. control of our Canal is essential to our security. President Ford even sent Joint Chiefs Chairman General Georges. Brown down to Panama to assure dictator Torrijos that our Defense Department is firmly committed to giving away the U.S. Canal.
The whole issue of the U.S. Canal shows clearly how Henry Kissinger has been able to manipulate a 100 percent reversal in Gerald Ford’s views. The last time the matter of a treaty to re linquish American ownership of our Canal was promoted by the State Department was back under the Lyndon Johnson Administration.
When newspapers published the text of the proposed giveaway treaty, Congressman Gerald Ford, then House Minority Leader, reacted quickly and vehemently, saying on July 7, 1967: “The American people will be shocked by the terms of the settlement •••• With Cuba under control of the Soviet Union via Castro, and increased Communist subversion in Latin America, a Communist threat to the Canal is a real danger.”
In the controlling decision on the matter of ownership of the Canal, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1907: “This new republic [Panama] has by treaty granted to the United States rights, territorial and otherwise. Atreaty with [Panama], ceding the Canal Zone, was duly ratified •••• Congress has passed several acts based upon the title of the United States•••• It is hypercritical to contend that the title of the United States is imperfect.”
In recognition of U.S. ownership, only U.S. laws and not Panama laws are enforced in the Canal Zone. Only U.S. courts and not Panama courts preside inside the Canal Zone. If Secretary Kissinger succeeds in putting over his new treaty with Panama, it will be the biggest foreign giveaway of all time.