Panama Canal Treat

Panama's Torrijos - wishes Reagan would stop calling him a Tinhorn Dictator.

September 27, 1977 – Panama Canal: Scrutinizing A Treaty – Israel: Scrutinizing A Peace Conference – Rhodesia: Scrutinizing A Transition.

Panama’s Torrijos – wishes Reagan would stop calling him a Tinhorn Dictator.

September 27, 1977 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

September 27, 1977 – A day of scrutiny, starting with Panama and the recent signing of the Panama Canal Treaty. Under the proverbial magnifying glass of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearings, Defense Department Secretary Harold Brown and General George Brown testified in support of the military portions of the Treaty. Some critics were saying that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, headed up by General Brown weren’t in favor of the treaties as much as they said they were in public. This day the Senators were to find out which positions were true. Also under scrutiny were several people from the Intelligence community, including CIA Director Stansfield Turner and Clarence Kelley over allegations of electronic surveillance conducted on Panamanian leaders around 1974 and what became of that information. Panamanian leader General Omar Torrijos was busily defending the treaties and to dispel the opinion held of him by many American Conservatives to that of being a Dictator and a Communist, particularly those held by Ronald Reagan, who referred to him as a “tinhorn dictator”. Torrijos asked Reagan to stop calling him that, or at least wrap him “in copper or something else”.

And Israel’s newly revised attitude on Arab participation in a resumed Geneva Middle-East Peace Conference drew contrasting responses in Washington and New York. The State Department said it was pleased that Israel had accepted an American proposal for a united Arab delegation at a reconvened Geneva Conference. Officials recognized that it represented a concession but added the Israelis still had not gone far enough. The U.S. would like to be able to tell the Arab states that Israelis would accept low-ranking members of the PLO, along with West Bank Mayors at the Peace Conference. Although the Israelis would accept West Bank Mayors, they staunchly rejected the notion of any PLO members being included. The U.S. was considering persuading Egypt, Jordan and Syria to go to Geneva, not only representing themselves but also the PLO and that the plan could work if the United Nations were to pass a new resolution affirming the rights of the Palestinian people.

And The United Nations was being called into closed-door negotiations over the Rhodesia situation. The U.S. and Britain had devised a plan to remove the white minority regime of Ian Smith and to begin Rhodesia’s peaceful transition to majority rule – the operative word being “peaceful” and to put an end to rebel fighting and to preserve rights of all Rhodesians; black and white.

And that’s just a small chunk of what was going on, this September 27th 1977 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.


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