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Letters

REPORTS OF OUR DEMISE . . .

The opening premises of Dean Kuipers’ article “Busting the FBI” [June 21–27] 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 government’s 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 Mikulan’s “ASK Won’t Tell” [June 14–20]. Why is everyone so amazed at Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theater Project’s 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 14–20]. 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 Burk’s wonderful article on Kristian Hoffman [“Unembarrassed,” June 21–27]. It’s about time someone recognized Kristian’s 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 McKenna’s “The Ultimate Relationship Book” [June 21–27] a brilliantly understated deflating of Riane Eisler?

—Pete Moss Los Angeles

 

MISSING PERSONAE REPORT

I was surprised that Nancy Updike’s piece on “National Corporate Radio” [“NPR Soundbites,” A Considerable Town, June 14–20] 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 Hollywood’s best-kept secrets.

—John D. Tecumseh San Pedro

CORRECTIONS

In our review of the play The Madness of Esme and Shaz (June 28–July 4), the actor who played Lucy, Peggy Dunne, was misidentified, as was filmmaker Patrick Scott (The Chippewa Falls) in last week’s Film Special Events (Kodak Presents: Fresh Work). Also, the photo credit for Issa Sharp went missing on last week’s Style page.