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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.

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