I couldn't resist sending this response (that I wrote soon after Ms. Soliah's arrest) to D. Horowitz's posting on Kathleen Soliah and the SLA--who, by the way, I think were probably a police-inspired operation and, even if they weren't, made several mistakes based on an analysis that Lenin might have called infantile leftism... -ron jacobs America's Most Wanted? Let's get real. Kathleen Soliah (allegedly a member of the 1970s "urban guerrilla" group, the SLA, who is accused of placing bombs under police cars) should not be facing prison. Of course, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, and several dozen other political prisoners currently serving time in America's prisons should not be behind bars either. These folks have either served their time or were framed and should never have been behind bars in the first place, but that is a topic for another column. While the leader of this fair nation gets away with lying to the world, employing whatever public and private means at his disposal to avoid conviction for sexual abuse and abuse of power, police in California and the FBI are going after a woman who acted on her principles (something Mr. Clinton never seems to have had) back in the rebellious days of the early Seventies. Like many others in that time, Ms. Soliah's (ne Olson) move to violence to make a political statement was the result of years of frustration with a government that was killing civilians in an overseas war, overthrowing popularly elected governments that did not want to be victims of its world order, locking up thousands of otherwise innocent citizens for smoking pot, and lying about its guilt in political matters while spying on its opponents of every political stripe. (Sound familiar?) The mass movements opposing these actions did not seem to be working and those of us who hadn't given up and gone off to make money or get so fucked up we didn't care were getting more radical and more desperate. >From this milieu came the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). Never more than a dozen or so people, this group killed an Oakland school superintendent, kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst and demanded and received a ransom of several million dollars in food to be distributed to the poor of the San Francisco Bay Area, went on a robbery spree in California which ended when six of its members were killed by hundreds of law enforcement agents in the Compton area of Los Angeles-- killings broadcast live on television. Some new leftists--among them the Oakland Black Panthers--were convinced the SLA was a set-up by America's secret police. The Panthers had plenty of circumstantial evidence linking the SLA's "field commander" Cinque (Donald DeFreeze) to various California and federal police intelligence agencies to back up their charge. Others on the left, mostly other groups involved in armed propaganda such as the Weather Underground, supported the SLA, stating that they "refused to do the state's work" and renounce the SLA. No matter what, the SLA made the news in 1973 and 1974, even involving some close acquaintances of basketball star Bill Walton (and perhaps Walton himself) in kidnap-victim-turned-revolutionary Patti Hearst's flight after the killings in LA. Hearst was eventually captured and, in her last defiant gesture, stated her occupation as urban guerrilla during her preliminary interrogation following the arrest. Now she is married to her former bodyguard and prefers not to talk about her days as Tania--the name she borrowed from Che's companion and made her own during her membership in the SLA. Other surviving members are now living around the country and two remain in prison. Meanwhile, those men who were running this country then have been resuscitated as national heroes and statesmen. Who can forget the nauseating paeans to the mass-murderer and wannabe dictator Richard Nixon during ceremonies marking his death? How often is the modern television news watcher subjected to the imperial wisdom of his fellow Christmas bomber and friend of fascists around the world, Henry Kissinger? It is these men and their ilk, including latter day presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, who should be appearing on America's Most Wanted, not Ms. Soliah and her fellow former radical Mr. Kilgore.
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