REPORTS OF OUR DEMISE . . .
The opening premises of Dean Kuipers article Busting the FBI [June 2127] are wrong. As a lawyer and FBI expert for the American Indian Movement, I can report that 1) the FBI did not kill off AIM, and 2) we got juries and judges to rule against FBI tactics in the governments anti-Indian programs.
I was one of the attorneys in the trial of AIM members charged with killing two FBI agents in 1975. Although a later co-defendant, Leonard Peltier, was convicted, the first two defendants, Robideau and Butler, were acquitted after I introduced parts of the Church Commission report. In an earlier Wounded Knee case against Means and Banks, a federal court dismissed the prosecutions, due to FBI counterintelligence acts and prosecutorial misconduct. In the late 1980s, we also tried the Skyhorse-Mohawk murder trial in L.A., and won acquittals. In part, we showed the prosecution to be a frame by the FBI, and the jury agreed.
It is important to understand that government overreaching has been, and can be, stopped.
Jack Schwartz, attorney Santa Monica
THE ONLY THING
Re: Steven Mikulans ASK Wont Tell [June 1420]. Why is everyone so amazed at Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theater Projects evasion? The organization never was anything but artifice. ASK spent tens of thousands on slick brochures and readings. The money should have gone to theaters doing the only thing that matters: staging full productions of new plays.
Ralph Tropf Los Angeles
A.I.: AUTHENTIC INTELLIGENCE
I appreciate John Powers article Majority Report, on Steven Spielberg and his latest film [June 1420]. Too many of the film cognoscenti find it fashionable to put down Spielberg with snide comments about his commercial appeal, rather than recognize that this appeal includes a universal humanity. Besides being an accurate observer and commentator, John Powers is a fine journalist, offering us information in seemingly effortless writing (which does take craft and, yes, effort) that is also commercially appealing.
Rick Edelstein Los Angeles
INFINITELY MORE SARDONIC
Thank you so much for Greg Burks wonderful article on Kristian Hoffman [Unembarrassed, June 2127]. Its about time someone recognized Kristians genius. However, your fact checker was negligent on one point. I was misidentified as being a member of the group the Washington Squares. Neither Kristian nor I were in that band, but, rather, in the infinitely more sardonic folk trio Bleaker Street Incident.
Ann Magnuson New York City
POP GOES THE EISLER
Does my irony meter need re-calibrating, or was Kristine McKennas The Ultimate Relationship Book [June 2127] a brilliantly understated deflating of Riane Eisler?
Pete Moss Los Angeles
MISSING PERSONAE REPORT
I was surprised that Nancy Updikes piece on National Corporate Radio [NPR Soundbites, A Considerable Town, June 1420] did not include the name of the theater at which it was performed. This is a strange omission in any stage review, and even more disappointing because the Next Stage Theater, on La Brea at Sunset, is such a great place. Owner Chris Berube provides open, affordable, fun workshops for writers, actors and comedians, in addition to producing a diverse bill of plays, variety shows and sketch comedies. Perhaps Ms. Updike wanted to keep this one of Hollywoods best-kept secrets.
John D. Tecumseh San Pedro
In our review of the play The Madness of Esme and Shaz (June 28July 4), the actor who played Lucy, Peggy Dunne, was misidentified, as was filmmaker Patrick Scott (The Chippewa Falls) in last weeks Film Special Events (Kodak Presents: Fresh Work). Also, the photo credit for Issa Sharp went missing on last weeks Style page.