Friday, June 08, 2012

We are not always right

Clemency is important because many things that seem right at the time, are viewed later in another way. Priorities change, perspectives change, but jail sentences are set in concrete. Especially hard to change are sentences for convictions entangled in government misconduct. Entrenched powers create obstacles to justice for twenty years or more, by which time most prisoners are out of the public eye.

Here are some quaint ideas:
01. Margarine
02. Cigarettes
03. Pesticides
04. Sacred cows - the people in India were wise not to kill cattle.
05. Slavery
06. Trail of Tears - Andrew Jackson's flouting of John Marshall's decision was a high crime against humanity.
07. Japanese internment
08. Alien and Sedition Acts
09. Vietnam - Ho Chi Min
10. Rwanda - the USA was wrong to allow the massacre
11. Cambodia - Vietnam was right to stop the massacre.
12. MLK and Malcom X - were leaders who freed many from internal bondage, not grave threats to America.
13. Manifest Destiny - Zacary Taylor's attack on the Seminoles was unjust, like Wounded Knee, and Black Kettle.
14. Teddy Roosevelt - had no God-given right to a big stick.
15. WWII - Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima: targeting civilians is terrorism.
16. Eisenhower - identifies the threat of a military industrial complex; a self-sustaining war machine.
17. Kennedy - his covert actions caused the nuclear missle crisis.
18. The Cuban Five - will the real terrorist please stand up?
19. Saddam - was not a threat.
20. sanctions - were not worth it.
21. Scott Ritter - was correct and was not a traitor.
22. Police force - have too often been used to support the powerful against the just demands of the struggling - The Ludlow massacre, the Pullman strike, Haymarket.
23. Fred Hampton was murdered by the Chicago police.
24. You cannot complain that blacks are lazy, and also complain that blacks are militant. Oppressed people have a right to struggle against oppression. The struggle can be stopped, for a time, "put down", but this is to be on he wrong side of History.
25. AIM - the resistance of American Indians to encroaching genocide is normal.

Leonard Peltier has been in jail since 1977: 35 years.
The American Indian Movement is no longer thought to have been a grave national threat.

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