A Christmas Appeal to President Clinton -- A Message from Michael
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 100 11:43:29 -0800
Subject: A Christmas Appeal to President Clinton -- A Message from Michael
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: "Mike's Message" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
December 21, 2000
Dear President Clinton:
Today, you begin your last month in office. There are many things my Friends
and I wish you could have accomplished in these last eight years. I'm sure
you feel the same way.
There are a few things, though, you could do in the next 30 days that Would
bring freedom to just three people. I am asking you to be a hero to three
individuals who continue to experience a profound injustice. You, as
President, can correct the suffering they have had to endure. In the Spirit
of the season, I am hoping you will consider my appeal...
1. Pardon Leonard Peltier. Mr. Peltier, a leader of the American Indian
Movement, has been in prison for over two decades. Amnesty International
and every other human rights organization in the world considers him to be
a political prisoner. The evidence is clear he did not commit the crime he
is in prison for (the killing of a federal agent during an uprising at the
Wounded Knee reservation... see http://www.freepeltier.org/).
Native Americans have barely survived the genocide that white Americans
began over 400 years ago. That we would imprison just one innocent Native
American is not only abhorrent, it is a continuation of that genocide. This
man was punished for his political beliefs. He has suffered enough. Sign
the pardon today.
2. Pardon Howard Mechanic. Howard, like yourself, was an anti-war protester
at Washington U in St. Louis. His crime: he threw a cherry bomb. No one
was harmed, no property was damaged, but Howard was given a five year
sentence. After loosing the appeal, he ran.
For the past 30 years, he lived a quiet life in Arizona, raised a family,
did charity work, and fought for the underdog. Until he was caught. Now
he is in prison. He never committed a crime. The New York Times magazine
ran an incredible story on him earlier this year. Not only is this man no
threat, he is an asset to our society, actively involved in his community.
The Vietnam War is over. Why are we still fighting it by persecuting People
like Howard Mechanic? This could have been you, Mr. President when you were
at an anti-war rally. Release him from prison immediately.
3. Tell Peru to Return Lori Berenson. Lori has been in a Peruvian prison
for over 5 years. They accused her of conspiring to help a rebel group
there. She was in Peru working as a freelance journalist . She never got
a real trial (see http://www.freelori.org/). This could be your daughter,
Mr. President -- a young, idealistic girl, traveling to a foreign country
to shed light on the way people are treated, and because she was seen
talking to or hanging out with the wrong people, she is imprisoned for
life! In fact, this could have been YOU, Mr. Clinton. What if during your
college travels to the U.K. or the Soviet Union you were seen chumming with
IRA people or Soviet dissidents? What if the secret police just whisked
you away without a trial?
This is an outrage. I know you have asked the Peruvian officials about Her
well-being, but enough is enough. They now claim they will give her a new
"trial." No way. NO more Peruvian "justice" for one of our young citizens.
Demand that they return her now or Peru will face harsh sanctions from the
United States. All you really need to do is just pick up the phone and make
a call. You don't even have to tell us what you say to them. Just do it.
Now, that's not a lot to ask of you, is it? Three of our fellow humans
languishing unjustly in prison. There are many, many more. I suppose if
you really wanted to go down in the history books, you could reduce
everyone's federal sentence on death row to life imprisonment. Better yet,
you could issue orders to stop arresting our black and Hispanic citizens
at such a disproportional rate in your "War on Drugs." THAT would be an
act of courage.
I ask all who read this to join me in this appeal. Write to President
Clinton at: The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
And just for fun, just to make a final point about the sacredness of
everyone's vote, you could make Al Gore -- not George W. Bush -- the 43rd
president of the United States! That's right, you can make the will of the
people a reality. And it's legal. Just resign a couple days early. Al,
according to the Constitution, automatically becomes president. As I have
said for years, it matters little which one of you Republicrats is in the
Oval Office, so what the heck! Actually, the one thing we will miss about
you is your sense of humor. Give us all a good laugh and force Baby Bush
into having to succeed Al Gore. Make him have to physically take the
legitimate reigns of power from the actual winner of the election into his
And -- think of how much the Republicans and the Inauguration Committee
will have to spend changing all the pre-printed banners and napkins that
say "George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States of America."
It'll drive them crazy.
© 2000 Peter Langston