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Just Time to Act - Malik - Zolo - Leonard - Iraq or Apocalypse Now!

17 August 2002

1) Malik Abdullah Akili - Justice and Parole Needed
2) Demand New Trial for Death Row Inmate, Zolo Agona Azania
3) Leonard Peltier: man, soldier and symbol
4) Apocalypse Now - US Attack on Iraq?

Editor's Notes:
This is the third anniversary of NASA's (dangerously reckless) Cassini Earth flyby; and the threats to humankind and other life keep increasing. Flyby News is committed to trying to get ahead of the curve of destruction, seeking justice and human rights to change the course of events to sustain human life through this Century. With the US poised to attack Iraq, with Global Warming exponentially increasing, there is little time left, which is excruciatingly painful, if you are locked up unjustly in the prison system. Minor and big miracles are needed, and your actions in support of what is fair and just are more important than ever. Please take some of your precious time to try to make a difference. With unity, truth, compassion, and vision, anything is possible.

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1) Malik Abdullah Akili - Justice and Parole Needed

The following is excerpted from a recent letter by Malik A. Akili.

"The measure of our progress will be determined by the measure of willingness in us to think, and teach our children to think." - W.E.B. Dubois

Thanks for all the time and energy put into getting inside this hellhole. I do deeply appreciate your efforts.... And, though, you may not be capable of understanding the joy of getting mail from the mainland, each message brings with it much relief and the knowledge that someone cares..

There's truth in that everyone who enters prison won't leave the same. These places have ways of breaking the spirit and were built for the purpose of punishment and breaking the will of those that resist and rebel. Prisons were not built to transform prisoners into better conscious human beings. They are dark and evil places..

Many prisoners don't make it home They die and are buried right here on the prison grounds... Because their bodies aren't claimed by either family members, friends, or wife. It saddens me to think that even in death the keepers are still in possession of the remains of these prisoners..

Each day as I walk the prison grounds, I look at the wall to wonder what's beyond. I better understand now the purpose of these walls. I sense they have a deeper motive, separating the outside community from us prisoners.. For any person on the outside to take time out from struggles in life, it shows love and we can relate that love is a thing of action..

Since 9-11, and the whole repressiveness that followed, many people on the outside as well as inside, have become so afraid that they have begun to and sell each other out for small material gains. It has gotten to the point that one doesn't know who to trust anymore..

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The following is a letter from Malik to his Attorney, Harold V. Ferguson, Jr. It describes his interest to pursue a new legal direction for his case, and mentions doubts about receiving parole this October. However, by supporting Malik's parole hearing, by submitting a letter, you will give support for all of Malik's legal options. Please check the links at the end of this item and respond to help this friend, caught in a racist and torturous unjust system, to find a way to live out his life with his loving family in the freedoms many take for granted.

To Harold V. Ferguson, Jr.
Associate Appellate Counsel
The Legal Aid Society

Dear Mr. Ferguson, Jr.:

My wife keeps telling me to stay and think positive and I guess in a larger sense she's correct... I have attempted to remain focused. I wasn't looking to win the direct appeal or the second appeal, but I was indeed looking forward to the 440 [legal action]. I believe the greatest opportunity we have of winning is the 440. I felt both of us were in full agreement in this opinion.. then when I received your letter of July 23, 2002 I was quite taken back. Why? Well, because you wrote that although the 440 is the route of my vindication, you believe we should now focus on the Parole board, since that is my present quickest opportunity for release. Well, Mr. Ferguson, I think that its important for you to understand that my criminal history dates back to 1953 at the age of the manchild ľ I was just 13 years young. In the past I've been one bad dude. It wasn't until the Black Panther Party came along to redeem me. This was the beginning of a new birth for me. That was the thing that gave real meaning to my life. I gave myself to the Community day and night. I worked in the Community full time. I taught classes of political education. I fed children who hadn't eaten in days. I defended the Community and the people that was a part of that Community. I didn't get paid for any of it, because at the time I felt that a true revolutionary was guided by the principles of love for the People.... My heart was indeed moved by all this, so I acted upon it, until the very day was forced to go underground.. the record, my files won't reflect any of this. All my criminal history will reflect is the bad boy aspects..

I think we should stay within the realm of reality.. I have some serious health issues that need immediate medical attention...The longer I am kept behind these walls, I am getting closer to my death. ..I do not desire to become another hump in the ground.. I would much rather die on the outsideľon the mainland to be with my daughter, wife, family and the People from the community by my side.

The objective is to save my life and this can take place with the 440. The legal ramifications are right there between each page of the trial records. I have come to feel that your first strategy must be to put the 440 [forth] in that to me it is of primary importance..

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"..Some people live on the edge some part in their life, but being inside this hell-hole seems that we live on the edge all of the time, of each hour and minute of a day. They come and go with the hope that perhaps tomorrow will bring a new spirit with new hopes. There aren't many things to hold on to, but the hope of spirit is always some kind of gentleness to look forward to. Tomorrow represents brighter hopes and brighter days. Hope and me are old time comrades. We have been together for a long time and not once has hope given up on me, nor me of him/her." [M.A.K.]

Please help a friend in jail, visit the FlybyNews.com updated page, on the case of Malik Abdullah Akili, and write a letter in support for his upcoming parole hearing.

http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid999200948,87474,m

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2) Demand New Trial for Death Row Inmate, Zolo Agona Azania


Press Statement

Petitioner, Zolo Agona Azania, a writer and artist on Indiana's Death Row, is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to grant him a new trial based on the admission by former prosecution witness and sole identification witness, James McGrew, that lied at Mr. Azania's 1982 trial when he identified Zolo Azania as the man he saw hiding in the bushes and running from the police. In addition, we are here to ask the Indiana Supreme Court to order a new sentencing hearing for Mr. Azania because it has now been conclusively established that the all-White jury that sentenced Mr. Azania to death was chosen from a jury pool which systematically excluded 87% of Wayne Township, the largest township, the urban center, and home to 75% of Allen County's voting-age Black population.

Mr. Azania is represented by Michael E. Deutsch and Erica Thompson of the People's Law Office in Chicago, and Jessie A. Cook of Terre Haute.

An amicus brief has been filed on Mr. Azania's behalf by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, the National Jury Project, the Southern Center for Human Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, the Voter Information Center of Fort Wayne, and the United Church of Christ.

The False Testimony of James McGrew

James McGrew, now a college teacher in Illinois, testified via videotape at a post-conviction hearing in Allen County last year that after repeatedly telling prosecutors that he could not identify Zolo Azania as the man fleeing the scene of a bank robbery during which a police officer was killed, he was placed in a small room prior to testifying when a large, red-haired law enforcement officer entered the room, told him to identify Azania, and pointed to him in the courtroom. Mr. McGrew further testified that he never saw the face of the man running from the police and that he identified Mr. Azania in court because of fear for his own safety. Indeed, Mr. McGrew's hesitation in making the critical identification of Azania in the courtroom was so apparent that it is noted in the trial transcript.

Given the critical nature of James McGrew's identification testimony and the fact that no one identified Mr. Azania in any of the 308 bank camera photographs taken during the robbery, he should be granted a new trial.

For more information contact Attorneys for Petitioner, Zolo Agona Azania at peopleslaw@aol.com
and see prior Flyby News issue - item 2 -
http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1021500607,77209,m

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3) Leonard Peltier: man, soldier and symbol

"Indian Country"
Leonard Peltier: man, soldier and symbol
Posted: August 02, 2002 - 9:01am EST

Some Native observers have lately jumped on the federal bandwagon to demean the condition of Leonard Peltier, the American Indian Movement (AIM) activist imprisoned for double life sentences in the killing of two FBI agents in South Dakota in 1975. Peltier was the only person convicted of the killings in what was from all accounts a horribly unfortunate incident that also caused the death of Joseph Stuntz, a Native man. The violent incident came in the midst of hundreds of acts of violence, a dozen or more murders of American Indians and major political mayhem on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during the 1970s.

It is easy now to diminish the Peltier case. Perhaps it provides just the right positioning for any Native pundit seeking a trendy "devil's advocate" label. Or maybe it provides an easy way to ingratiate oneself with federal agencies. But it is not right. It is less fair at this time in history than even the trial that Peltier received in 1977. That prosecution process and trial was as blatant a railroad as has ever been produced by American law enforcement and allowed by the legal system. As a result, Peltier is going on some 26 years in federal prisons, with very long stretches in solitary confinement and harsh physical conditions that have impaired his health. At the mere possibility of a pardon or parole, FBI agents and their relatives march by the thousands to oppose it, so prediction is against the likelihood of the world's most famous American Indian prisoner ever going home to his family.

Peltier is hugely well-known -- at home, in Europe, Japan, Russia, Africa -- because his particular case illustrates well the issues surrounding the virtual state of war that existed between American Indian defenders supported by many Native and non-Native professional people, against some powerful institutions including several federal agencies. In general, this was an explosion by Indian communities and emerging professionals against deeply entrenched corruption and paternalism which continued to impose themselves on Indian life. It was a scream of pain and defiance and brought forth commitments from all kinds of people throughout the world -- not a few who have since gone on to help rebuild Indian country.

To contend that Peltier is simply a murderer, or to further indict or criticize him with hearsay assertions from interviews, taped or untaped, conveniently ignores the sordid history of FBI abuses at Pine Ridge. It was during that time that infamous raids were conducted against the homes of elderly Lakota and the homesteads of many traditional people whose only crime had been to hang on tenaciously to their language and spiritual culture and to seek a better way forward. Many traditional elders also supported the young men and women who had taken to the barricades against the many perceived injustices taking place in the 1970's.

While liberal romantics feasted for a decade on the heroics of AIM, particularly in its fight against the administration of Richard "Dickie" Wilson and the BIA at Pine Ridge, seasoned Indian observers are quick to point out the foibles and mishaps of AIM. Nevertheless, all agree that FBI agents on the reservation during those years behaved reprehensibly, seriously mistreating Indian people in their persecution of AIM leadership and its rank-and-file. The FBI directly backed the infamous "Goon Squads" that instigated and directed a lot of the violence. Not a few AIM people, of course, also instigated incidents of violence, but the federal agency was acting within the government's "Garden Plot" program, with a mandate that included illegal "dirty tricks" against so-called "subversive" social movements. AIM, with its penchant for brandishing weapons, soon qualified.

To put down the "subversives," federal agencies supported and distributed weapons to semi-deputized groups of toughs. When push came to shove, in trial after trial, FBI heavy-handed tactics were exposed. The 1974 so-called "Wounded Knee leadership trial" of AIM leaders Russell Means and Dennis Banks, flagship of the government's prosecution, ended in dismissal of all charges, with the presiding judge scathingly tongue-lashing the FBI for manufacturing of witnesses, tampering with evidence and other misdeeds.

Leonard Peltier stepped into that time. Many who knew him then recall his quiet, serious demeanor and his willingness to work for elders. Like most leaders and participants in the American Indian Movement, he came from the hard-knocks school. He pledged as a soldier at a time when events were exploding. Indian country was under severe political and economic pressure and for many hope was but a fleeting idea.

The fateful events of June 25, 1975, at the Jumping Bull Homestead, when an FBI raid turned into a firefight and cost the lives of three men, disrupted the personal histories of many people. No one can but mourn for all the victims. All involved did their duty that day -- FBI agents, AIM activists, women and children who fled to safety through ravines and arroyo creeks, medical personnel. Two other AIM activists, Robert Robideau and Dino Butler, also brought to trial on the death of the two agents, were freed on grounds that they had acted in self-defense. A great deal of evidence seriously damaging to the prosecution in Peltier's case was suppressed out of hand. Incorrect ballistics tests, recanted testimony that originated under duress, an extremely hostile judge -- all coalesced to force the case on the shoulders of the last possible suspect, Leonard Peltier.

The case is complex, and many were the victims of the time and its circumstances. Three men are dead; one is encased by steel. Four families mourn. The hearts of people and peoples, and a piece of American justice, lie shattered on the ground. It is cruel form for those who now, 26 long years later, kick this one around and look for salt to be rubbed into Peltier's wounds. Despite the mode of deconstruction popular these days, most American Indian people have a clear memory of that time. It is that common memory about this particular case, at Pine Ridge and throughout, that sees Peltier as a symbol of the injustice of that time, and, of all times, against American Indians. In that context, Peltier represents a Native resistance to conquest, even to a recent era where repeated attempts at direct repression of American Indian sovereignty could easily spawn strident advocacy and resistance. Certainly he is all that. And like the two agents, Jack Coler and Ron Williams, like Joseph Stuntz, Peltier is also a victim. He too lost, big time, while so many others from different sides, equally involved in actions and tumults and violence from those days, walk in freedom today.

We wish the best of health and strength to Leonard Peltier, his family and relatives. We wish the best of spirit and health as well to the families of the lost agents, and to the relations of Joseph Stuntz. May healing forces and peaceful reconciliation, rather than obfuscation, hostility-making and hatred, prevail to set the tone in public discussion of this case.

This article was originally posted:
http://IndianCountry.com/?1028293644

For more information, contact the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; PO Box 583; Lawrence, KS 66044; Tel. 785-842-5774
Web Site: http://www.freepeltier.org

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4) Apocalypse Now - US Attack on Iraq?

Media's Willing Distortions Pave Way for War with Iraq
Mark Waller - 911 Inquiry Commentary

Editor's note:
Stop an apocalypse in the making. Please use this and other information to contact US Senators and Representatives to take action to stop war in Iraq and US aggression for oil and military domination.

US Congress Contact Information
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/index.html
The Congressional Switchboard telephone number is 202-224-3121

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From: Mark Waller Email: malcontent@ev1.net
Sent: Friday, August 16, 2002 12:54 PM
To: 911inquiry@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [911inquiry]

I apologize if I'm stating the obvious here...
UN weapons inspector to Iraq, Scott Ridder, has been on several forums saying that 80-90% of the weapons inspecting was completed, and found to be in compliance, before the US unilaterally withdrew (per article below) from inspections. Ridder says the ONLY thing that will ensure security against Iraq's use of weapons of mass destruction is to resume inspections. Iraq is willing. The US is making it clear that they are not interested in resuming inspections. Why? Because Hussein is a threat to his neighbors, all of whom (except Israel) are explicitly against a US invasion (even Israel appears a little nervous about it). Why is Hussein still a threat? Because the US stopped the weapons inspections and refuses to resume them under any circumstances.

It is crystal clear that the US has ulterior motives. They have intentionally set up the situation which (to them) requires an invasion.

This follows the pattern of "Let It Happen On Purpose" theory regarding Sept 11.

"The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism" by Rahul Mahajan, gives a point by point factual rebuttal of the myths of the US war on Afghanistan. What is clear from Mahajan's rebuttals is that the US carefully created an elaborate mythology to justify its war on Afghanistan. The US had (has) ulterior motives in its war on Afghanistan, and Mahajan lists some of these motives from US action pre- and post-Sept 11. These motives are nearly identical to the apparent motives for the pending war on Iraq.

The idea that the US bears no direct responsibility for the Sept 11 attacks, that only foreign terrorists are to blame, is inconsistent with the clear and obvious pattern of the US intentionally and deceptively constructing events to provide pretense for economically driven military aggression. The US may not have controlled the specifics of the Sept 11 attacks, but the event dovetails so perfectly and consistently into the development of both foreign and domestic US policies, that if such an event had not happened, the US would have had to invent it.
Mark Waller

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Action Alert by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

"Media's Willing Distortions Pave Way for War"

An August 8 USA Today article that described how Saddam Hussein is "complicating U.S. plans to topple his regime" repeated a common myth about the history of U.S./Iraq relations. Reporter John Diamond wrote that "Iraq expelled U.N. weapons inspectors four years ago and accused them of being spies." Diamond gives no evidence for this claim, which simply repeats commonplace assumptions about the relevant history. But his statement simply isn't true, by a longshot--as noted in this action alert by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

Firstly, Iraq didn't expel the weapons inspectors-the U.S. leader of the inspections team made a unilateral decision to withdraw. Secondly, Iraq's accusation against the weapons inspection teams--that they were spying for the US--later turned out to be true. Corporate media like USA Today are happy to consign these actual facts to the memory hole, in favor of misstatements which make a fine accompaniment to the Bush administration's war drums, but don't do much for the health of our democracy.

The Bush administration can be expected to soon launch a PR campaign to "sell" the idea of attacks on Iraq to the American public. You can bet that these facts will be omitted:

* US corporations were Iraq's major source--perhaps only source--of biological weapons materials just prior to the Gulf War.

* International weapons inspectors were instructed not to report the nation of origin of any such weapons they found stockpiled in Iraq.

* Weapons inspectors in the late 1990s were satisfied that Iraq's capability to sustain a biological weapons program had been effectively ended.

* Iraqi weapons inspections were halted by the US government, not by Iraq.

* The Bush administration does not want Iraqi weapons inspections to resume; in fact they arranged the ouster of Jose Bustani (former head of the treaty-established Organization for the Prevention Chemical Weapons) in the midst of his promising negotiations to reopen Iraq to inspections.

* Iraq apparently poses no significant military threat to the US or to its regional neighbors.

* The US government has produced no evidence linking Iraq or the Saddam Hussein regime to 9/11 terrorist attacks (and not for lack of trying).

* A US military attack on Iraq, as an act of aggression, would be explicitly illegal under every relevant US and international law (See UN Charter sections VI and VII).

* A government preparing for an unnecessary, immoral and illegal war can be expected to tell horrible lies to the public. We should require better from the nation's journalists.

For more information and take action on media inconsistencies, visit:
http://www.fair.org/activism/usat-iraq.html

US Congress Contact Information
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/index.html
The Congressional Switchboard telephone number is 202-224-3121

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On August 28, across the country, thousands of us will be urging our Senators to put the brakes on the Bush Administration's war against Iraq. Sign up at following link to join the effort.
http://www.moveon.org/iraq_meetings/?id=682-629617-JNfJFEZTPiRO9AZvtBftwg


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