R.P.P. FIGHTS BACK,
Prosecutes Federal Government For C.I.A. Conspiracy
Plaintiffs Sinclair and Plamondon at press conference announcing suit. (Forrest, still on parole, passed up pressed conference to avoid reprisal by Federal parole board.)
In what ought to be a warning to the Michigan State Police and Attorney General in their prosecution of Pun Plamondon and Craig Blazier, Pun and two other Rainbow People's Party members, John Sinclair and Jack Forrest, have filed a $1.2 million federal lawsuit against President Nixon, John N. Mitchell, the Justice Department and other leading criminal figures of the day. The suit demands damages for illegal wiretapping and bad-faith, politically-motivated prosecution in the '69-'72 CIA Conspiracy case, an unsuccessful attempt to define John, Pun, and Jack as bombing conspirators which resulted in a landmark Supreme Court decision banning warrantless wiretaps.
GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY TO SNUFF
The suit, filed in April in Washington, D.C., asks for the $ 1 ,200,000 to compensate the plaintiffs for damages suffered at the hands of defendants Nixon, Mitchell, Richard Kleindienst, L. Patrick Gray, the estate of J. Edgar Hoover, and the Justice Department. The suit charges that the government agents, in bringing the CIA bombing accusations against the brothers were in fact conspiring against the three in an attempt to smear them, lock them up on high bonds pending trial, make people afraid of them, and in general to "chill and deter" them from speaking freely and exercising other basic political rights.
The suit charges that the CIA Conspiracy prosecution was brought "without hope of ultimate success, beyond the scope of the legitimate interest of criminal law." It also charges that Nixon, Mitchell and their cronies, in addition to mounting a political snuff against the three RPP members, were attempting to "further the judicial and public acceptance of the so-called 'domestic security' wiretap policy." This refers to the Nixon policy (brought most recently to public attention by the infamous Watergate conspiracies) of using bugging, wiretapping, burglary and other illegal methods in the supposed interest of "national security" against people who oppose the Nixon Administraron, like the Democrats, Ellsberg, Berrigan brothers, and John, Pun and Jack.
THE CIA CONSPIRACY TRIAL
The CIA Conspiracy case grew out of the 1968 bombing of a secret Ann Arbor CIA office. The bombing was admitted to by David Valler, who also copped to many other bombings in the Detroit-Ann Arbor area. He was later brought by federal agents from prison to a grand jury where he produced testimony implicating John, Pun, and Jack as conspirators in the CIA bombing. The three brothers were then the principal organizers of the White Panther Party in Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Although there was never any evidence other than Valler's testimony, it turned out the government had some wiretaps of Pun in what they said was an "unrelated matter," which had been issued on Mitchell's directive without a judicial warrant (and which contained no incriminating evidence).
The trial judge ruled the taps illegal and ordered them given over to the defendants. Mitchell and his successor as Attorney General Kleindienst, had the ruling appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Acting on Nixon's behalf, they used the case to argue that in "national security" cases involving "subversives," the President can wiretap at will without approval of a Judge.
Pun was in county jails for 15 months under $ 100,000 bond while this ruling was being appealed by the government, and Jack was doing a five-year sentence in the federal penitentiary for harboring Pun as a fugitive from the original indictment. John was already in prison on a 9 1/2-10 year marijuana-possession sentence when the indictments were handed down.
WATERGATE CREEP ARGUES FOR GOVERNMENT
Robert C. Mardian, a U.S. Attorney who later moved to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) in order to participate in the Watergate coverup, and who resigned after he was implicated publicly, argued Nixon's wiretap policy in the Supreme Court after the U.S. Solicitor General refused to do so. Mardian argued basically that the President had the right to wiretap anyone who he deemed a "threat to national security," and that he couldn't trust judges with "national security" information in order to obtain warrants. The Supreme Court ruled 8-0 against the government.
Rather than turn over the illegal wiretaps, the government ordered the prosecution dropped. The government also dropped prosecutions in some 13 other major political cases affected by the ruling. David Valler, convicted of several bombings and some drug violations, was already out on the street as a formed hippy" while the CIA prosecution was still going on and the defendants were still in prison.
PROSECUTE REAL CRIMINALS; STATE NEXT
The present suit begins to prosecute the real criminals who put together the CIA Conspiracy case. They are, as John said when announcing the suit, "the same crooks who are behind Watergate and whose illegal, political sabotage activities are now a matter of common knowledge." A main, goal of the suit is to make an independent, plaintiff-controlled investigation into the wiretap network so we don't have to rely on government agencies to tell us the true extent of the government's illegal spy activities.
The present State prosecution of Pun and Craig, which is basically an anti-RPP smear campaign costing Michigan taxpayers thousands of dollars, has the same essential design and purpose as the CIA Conspiracy case. As John and Pun pointed out in announcing the federal lawsuit, "We see that the State Police are acting in this case as the FBI acted before, and we see that the Michigan Attorney General's office is acting in the same way that the federal Attorney General's office acted in the CIA Conspiracy case; and in Ewe Wagner we see another David Valler."
The Rainbow People's Party has announced that preparations are underway for a lawsuit against the Michigan State Police and Attorney General Frank Kelley for the political prosecution of Pun and Craig, to be brought "at the appropriate time."