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Royal prerogative.

Last week the White House explained why the President halted the antitrust investigation into an alleged conspiracy by several trans-Atlantic airlines to force Laker Airlines out of business: "Foreign policy reasons." Asked to elaborate, spokesman Mark Sheehan offered a doctrine of sovereign immunity that would have made Louis XIV ("L'etat c'est moi") blush: "You can't expect the President to explain foreign policy decisions. It is enough for him to consider the factors and decide, for the good of the country."

Even out of the mouths of spokesmen the truth occasionally emerges. With the doctrine of unaccountability now official, we trust that the President will not waste the public's time with answers to questions on foreign policy at press conferences. Instead, he might use a sign reading "Foreign Policy Decision," which would drop down like Groucho Marx's duck on You Bet Your Life, cutting off further discussion. It would be an entertaining visual aid, and would save the President the trouble of launching into those rambling flights of fancy that lead him into misstatements. And save the rest of us from having to listen to them.

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Title Annotation:Reagan stops antitrust investigation into conspiracy to force Laker Airlines out of business.
Publication:The Nation
Article Type:editorial
Date:Dec 8, 1984
Previous Article:A one-sided press.
Next Article:Spirit of Geneva.

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