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December 08, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-08

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Page 4

Thursday, December 8, 1988

The Michigan Daily

be biiofig
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

U.S. sustains


420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. IC, No.64

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Free Leonard Peltier

WHEN ONE thinks of a political pris-
oner, one might imagine prisons in the
Soviet Union or South Africa. Images
of Leavenworth prison in the United
States are less likely to come to mind.
Leonard Peltier, a leader of the
American Indian Movement (AIM), has
been in Leavenworth for over twelve
years for the murders of two Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents
during the "Wounded Knee II" clashes
between AIM and the FBI, Bureau of
Indian Affairs (BIA) and Guardians of
the Oglala Nation (GOON) forces in
June of 1975.
Wounded Knee II occurred on the
Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation in
South Dakota, the site of the Wounded
Knee Massacre in 1890. In February of
1973, the reservation was occupied by
300 members of the AIM, protesting
abuses committed by tribal leader Dick
Wilson, deputized BIA police, and
GOON squads. Wilson reportedly
abused his power, exploiting the land
and terrorizing reservation residents
who opposed him.
Between 1973 and 1976, 342 native
Americans were killed by FBI, BIA,
and GOON squad activities. None of
these murders has ever been investi-
On June 26, 1975, three things took
" Wilson was in Washington D.C.
illegally signing over to the U.S. gov-
ernment a piece of the Pine Ridge
Sioux Indian Reservation known to
contain large deposits of uranium.
" Hearings for a Senate Select
Committee investigating FBI activities
with' respect to the AIM ended
j'suddenly. They never resumed.
" FBI agents Ron Williams and Jack
Coler entered the Jumping Bull Ranch
without a warrant, an AIM spiritual
camp on the reservation, allegedly to
arrest a young AIM member for theft.
The agents opened fire on houses and
residents. Members of AIM, believing
it to be a GOON attack, returned fire.
Soon afterward, an army of over 150
FBI agents augmented by U.S. Mar-
shals, BIA police, GOONs, and vigi-
lantes stormed Jumping Bull Ranch.
Five hours later, the shootout ended.
Williams and Coler were dead, as well
as AIM member Joseph Stuntz Kill-
sright. Government forces swept the
village, engaging in warrantless
searches and arrests, physical intimida-
tion, and other civil rights violations.
These three events were very possi-
.bly connected; the shootout withdrew
attention from Wilson in Washington
and was apparently an intentional at-
tempt by the FBI to end the Congres-
sional investigation.
Peltier and three other members of
AIM were implicated in the shootings
of the FBI agents. Killsright's death
was never investigated.
Peltier fled to Canada, correctly be-
lieving he would not receive a fair trial
in the U.S. The other three were ar-

rested. Two were acquitted by a jury in
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. According to re-
ports, the jury noted sparse evidence
and a "significant level of FBI
'misconduct' in preparing what little
evidence there was."
The charges against the third AIM
member were dropped so that, accord-
ing to an internal FBI memo, "the full
prosecutive weight of the federal gov-
ernment could be directed against
Leonard Peltier."
Peltier, seeking political asylum in
Canada, was extradited to the U.S. on
the testimony of Myrtle Poor Bear,
who signed three contradictory affi-
davits which she later claimed she was
forced to sign. The Canadian govern-
ment has since called for Peltier's re-
turn to Canada for a new extradition
hearing, saying that "The U.S. gov-
ernment has admitted they placed falsi-
fied documents before a federal court o
Canada and knew at the time they were
Against normal procedure, Peltier
was tried in Fargo, North Dakota, and
not in the court where the other AIM
members were tried. Fargo is known
for its strong anti-native American
Judge Paul Benson, known for his
anti-native American sentiments, did
not allow testimony from a main de-
fense witness, any crucial evidence of
FBI misconduct, and much of the evi-
dence that led to the acquittal of Butler
and Robideau. Leonard Peltier was
convicted of first-degree murder. There
is overwhelming evidence that the inci-
dent, investigation, extradition, and
conviction were riddled with inconsis-
tencies and discrimination against a
man fighting for his people's right to
The actions of the FBI and other
agencies regarding Wounded Knee II
exemplify the oppression faced by na-
tive American rights organizations such
as AIM.
Native Americans have historically
been marginalized by the U.S. gov-
ernment. Its attitude about native
Americans is summarized by comments
made about them by Norman Zigrossi,
special agent in charge of the FBI's
Rapid City, South Dakota office: "They
are a conquered nation. And when you
are conquered, the people you are con-
quered by dictate your future. This is a
basic philosophy of mine. If I'm part
of a conquered nation, I've got to yield
to authority... [the FBI must function
as] a colonial police force."
The U.S. government drove many
native Americans from their land in
1890 for gold. In 1975, they tried to
drive them off for uranium. Marginal-
ization and oppression of native
Americans (especially those demanding
their rights) must stop if the U.S.
wants legitimacy in championing hu-
man rights in other countries. Leonard
Peltier must have a fair trial because by
not allowing this the United States can-
not claim to be a"land of the free."

By Nabeel Abraham
Seventeen year-old Mohammed Abu-
Aker lies in a Boston hospital hoping
doctors can save his life. Mohammed must
undergo highly experimental transplant
surgery. It's a desperate gamble. If the
surgery is successful, he will be the first
person in history to successfully have an
intestine transplant. If not, Mohammed
will have to settle for another "first" -
the first casualty from the Israeli-occupied
West Bank to die in America.
Mohammed's life was shattered last
August 6 by a high-velocity bullet fired
by an Israeli sniper perched on a rooftop
near his West Bank home. The bullet
struck Mohammed's abdomen where it
tore apart his intestines as it exploded into
tiny fragments like a miniature bomb.
It cost Mohammed three-quarters of his
intestines. Gangrene claimed the remain-
der. After three operations, doctors at East
Jerusalem's Makassed Hospital said that
they could do no more for him. Emaciated
and dying, his family made funeral ar-
rangements for him, as posters went up in
the occupied territories proclaiming an-
other martyr of the uprising.
But the seventeen-year old fought on,
refusing to die. His will to survive mirac-
ulously kept him alive. Encouraged friends
contacted the Chicago-based Palestine
Human Rights Campaign, and within days
a hospital willing to consider Mohammed
for the still experimental intestinal surgery
was located. Half of the $100,000 needed
to cover his medical expenses had been
collected by the time he arrived in Boston
last month. Bedridden and homesick at
Deaconess Hospital, Mohammed awaits
the outcome of his desperate gamble.
Perhaps it was fate that brought Mo-
hammed to the United States for treat-
ment. The bullet that tore apart his young
life was, after all, made here. While it is
certainly true that we did not pull the trig-
ger, we did put the gun in the hand of the
sniper. Let me explain.
Nabeel Abraham teaches anthropology
at Henry Ford Community College in

For the better part of a year now Pales-
tinians in the Israeli-occupied territories
have been staging mass protests against
the 21-year-old Israeli occupation. In re-
sponse, the Israeli army has used almost
every conceivable means at its disposal to
crush the rebellion, from clubbing and ar-
resting protestors to demolishing homes,
deporting leaders and, yes, shooting un-
armed demonstrators. The death toll ap-
proaches 300, not counting scores of el-
derly persons, infants, and those suffering
from respiratory ailments, who have
choked to death on American-made tear gas
fired into their homes. Casualties continue
to mount with no end in sight.

olutions pertaining to the Palestinians that
have come before the United Nations in
the last eleven months, the United States
has opposed or abstained on all but one.
The single exception was a U.N. resolu-
tion asking Israel not to follow through
with plans to deport nine Palestinians
from the territories. When shortly there-
after Israel deported four of the Palestini-
ans, the United Stated abstained from a
follow-up resolution demanding their
Last spring, the Reagan administration
signed a five-year agreement formally
conferring on Israel the status of "a major
non-Nato ally of the United States." Since


'Perhaps it was fate that brought Mohammed to the United
States for treatment. The bullet...was, after all, made here.
While it is certainly true that we did not pull the trigger, we did
put the gun in the hand of the sniper.'

What makes all this madness and misery
possible? Israel is a small country of four
million people with a shaky economy.
How can it afford to maintain an increas-
ingly costly military occupation as well as
the added burden of quelling the uprising,
which the United States embassy esti-
mates cost Israel an extra $600 million in
the first five months?
The answer, oddly enough, lies in the
unprecedented U.S. economic and military
aid, which is currently running at $3 bil-
lion a year. Israel's annual foreign aid
subsidy is only part of the story, however.
Since the uprising began last December 7,
Washington has provided Israel with an
additional $2 billion in valuable debt re-
lief; allowed Israeli firms to build on lu-
crative Pentagon contracts on par with
American defense contractors; and agreed
to subsidize eighty percent of the costs
($120 million) of a new Israeli anti-
ballistic missile.
On the diplomatic front, the Reagan
administration continues to run interfer-
ence for Israel. In the half-dozen or so res-

the agreement did little more than "codify
existing informal working arrangements,"
according to The New York Times, there
was some speculation as to its timing. In
Israel it was interpreted as a reward for
Prime Minister Shamir who ironically had
just rejected a U.S. peace plan. "At the
same time," the Times reported, "the Is-
raeli army was enforcing a seal around the
West Bank and the Gaza strip, trying to
keep Palestinian residents from leaving
and journalists from entering." The signals
from Washington could not have been
This is precisely the point. Without
crucial U.S. support, Israel could not
maintain its costly military occupation,
nor could-it afford to ignore Palestinian
demands for statehood. The reality is that
the United States is deeply involved in the
Arab-Israeli conflict, and both Israelis and
Palestinians understand this. But it is only
Americans who can silence the guns and
help the Mohammed Abu-Akers in their
desperate gamble for life.

{{. v
Lettes tothe' dito

Open your
eyes to the
To the Daily:
In regards to an editorial by
Gil Renberg entitled "Tagar
careless, not racist:" (Daily,
I am not Palestinian, nor am
I an Arab. Yet somehow read-
ing "Those few Arabs who do
kill Israelis, Americans and
other people have given all
other Arabs a bad name" struck
me as being particularly crass
and insulting. Perhaps you are
not the fashion-conscious type
when it comes to derogatory
statements, Mr. Renberg, but
that credit to your race B.S.
went out of style a decade ago.
Why is it that I get . the
impression you do not simi-
larly view murderers of your
own race of equal discredit to
you? The fault of frequent as-
sociation with "Arab" to
"terrorism" (which you blamed
upon Arab terrorists) is in ac-
tuality your own.
I am sure that "upon further
contemplation" you could see
the unfairness of the reproach
Tagar received due to its bus
slogan. Time is all it takes to
rationalize a situation so that
wrongdoings can be justified,
and suddenly become right.
While slurring the Arab race
may be merely regrettable for
you, the "regrettable insen-
sitivity" is hitting some other
person one hell of a lot harder
than it is hitting you. And
what do you make of the ex-
tremely disproportionate num-
ber of Palestinians who've
been killed? I suppose since
they are "on the other side,"
they don't matter as much to
you. What you need to do is
open your eyes to the whole

I should like to add that just
as you, I too consider it unfair
that the MSA deprive Tagar of
their official recognition. Only,
when I read such trivialities and
hate-mongering words as yours
I wonder if perhaps they've
better judgement than I.
-Sharon Brookins
December 2
To the Daily:
It's a shame to see that when
the student government of the
largest college on campus fi-
nally receives some press, it is
of a negative nature. On De-
cember 1, the Daily printed
"Misguided Evidence," a poorly
written and insufficiently re-
searched editorial criticizing a
purely informative advertise-
ment published by the LSA
Student Government.
LSA-SG created the ad in
question to accomplish one
goal - to inform the LSA
students of the options avail-
able to them should an aca-
demic or discriminatory prob-
lem arise. We simply pub-
lished the phone numbers of
several worthwhile offices that
student tuition dollars fund. We
fail to see how informing stu-
dents of the resources available
to them can be constituted as a
"collaboration with the admin-
We recognize that teaching
assistants play a vital role in
the University's educational
system. In no way, shape or
form did the ad suggest that
"TAs are a major part of the
harassment problem at Michi-
gan..." Because of the large
role TAs play in the lives of
students academically, conflicts

the ad to notice that we listed
those organizations in the
lower half of the advertisement.
Finally, if informing our
students of services can be
construed as "writing propa-
ganda for the administration"
we are proudly, guilty as
-Barbara Eisenberger
Trisha Drueke
December 6
Proposal A
What now?
To the Daily:
Now that Proposal A has
passed, I have some questions
for those who voted yes.
Willsyou be there in the fu-
ture to take on the responsibil-
ity of the undernourished un-
wanted child because you took
away the right of abortion for
the poor? Will you provide
them with a home? Will you
be there to cloth these children,
give them love and protection,
feed their cries of hunger and
raise them to be responsible
adults? Will you have the time
to sit up with them at night
after a nightmare? Or will you
be at your own home figuring
out new ways to cut back on
your taxes?
And did you consider the
victims of rape? Proposal A
does not provide for these vic-
tims. It, in fact, further pun-
ishes these women by forcing
them to be reminded of the
trauma for at least nine months
or the rest. of their lives. When
only ten percent of rapes are
reported, the chances that citi-
zens will be paying for abor-
tions from falsely reported
MrICarP ras

Books for


To the Daily:
When the Daily published
"Protest Lack of AIDS Support:
(12/7/88)," I felt compelled to,
show that there is support for
funding AIDS research among
the student community. My
organization is the Student
Book Exchange - Textbooks
for Less, and we applaud the
Daily's level of concern over
this issue.
We are a new non-profit,
MSA recognized organization
on campus. Our purpose is
simple: to provide used text-
books for students at prices
lower than those of the book-
stores, and to allow students
receive more money for text-
books they resell. This is
achieved through the elimina-
tion of middleman profits
reaped by the big bookstores in
Ann Arbor.
We at the student book ex-
change are firmly committed to
charitable causes. All after-cost
funds generated by our book
drive will be donated to
furthering AIDS research.
The way we work is really
quite simple. We .will be sell-
ing books for students on con-
signment. Students determine
the prices of the books they
wish to sell, and we will then
place the books on display on
our tables. Students buying
books will be allowed to 4
browse and to compare books
and prices.
This will in the end save
students enormous amounts of
money, while making signifi-
cant contributions to AIDS re-
search; however, in order to
carry this out, we need student
support. Our book drive will
be held at the Michigan League
from Januarv 6th to January 4



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