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Watergate; Wiretaps; The Washington

Watergate; Wiretaps; The Washington image Watergate; Wiretaps; The Washington image
Parent Issue
Day
30
Month
November
Year
1973
OCR Text

Within Ihe Nixon administraron, within Congress, within the ruling class itself, there is a vicious battle for power, for control of government. All segments, all diques of the Washington Mob are drawn into the fignt. In this hour of desperation it uses against itself the very weapons and tactics that it perfected against its most hated enemies, the dreaded "domestic subversives." Informers, provacateurs, surveillance and wiretapping are all dredged up from the Political Sewer System - the weapons of politica! war now played out at the highest levels of government. Wiretapping started at least as far back as 1940, when Roosevelt, then President and Head of the Washington Mob, ordered his AG (Attorney General) "to authorize the necessary investigative agents that they are at liberty to secure information by listening devices direct to the conversation of persons suspected of subversive activities against the Government of the United States." Mob heads who followed (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson) devel oped the wiretap weapon under hush-hush security. NIXON AND THE BUG Devious Dick Nixon directed his AG (the notorious John Mitchell) to tighten up the wiretap action. Nixon knew that the showdown within the ruling class was coming way back in 1968. He also knew that if wiretapping were absolutely legal and accept ed, the most damaging secrets could be revealed and used to destroy political enemies. The first obstacle for Nixon and the AG was to get wholesale wiretapping okayed by the courts. The AG had been wiretapping for years, had tons of tapes on tons of people. The country was in a fervor in '68 and '69. The U.S. government was displaying an ever escalating, viciously reactionary foreign policy. Domestically, inner cities and rainbow communities were at a high pitch, many under armed attack by the Mob. Terror shook the Mob as bombs exploded in institutions around the land. Political trials dominated the news. Riding on a wave of mass hysteria created by the Mob, the AG began bringing wiretap issues before the Courts. In Black Panther Party trials, the Chicago 8 and most notably the CIA Conspiracy Trial in Detroit 1970. With painstaking care, the AG and his agents began setting up their moves. In every case they would argüe a different angle of the same "dreaded domestic subversives" game. After years of preparation, Mitchell feit he held his best hand. He decided to go for broke. The ultímate test case for the Washington Mob was to be the CIA Conspiracy Trial. SETTING UP A CASE In 1968, as part of a wider plan, David Valler, crazed fooi - tooi of the Mob, bombed a clandestine CIA office in Ann Arbor. On One year later, reading a script written by Mitchell and J.E. Hoover, Valler accuses John Sinclair, Pun Plamondon and Jack Forrest of the bombing. The three are members of the White Panther Party, John being the Chairman and Pun and Jack both in leadership positions. Based on Valler's accusation, the Justice Department charges John, Pun and Jack with bombing and conspiracy. John, a community organizer of many years' experience in Michigan and one of the founders of the WPP, had just been sentenced to 9'4-10 years in prison for possesion of two joints. His indictment on the bombingconspiracy charges doused any hope of appeal bond on the weed conviction. Pun and Jack had been working with John for several years in the DetroitAnn Arbor communities and were at that time active in starting a massive legal movement to free John and legalize marijuana. The Mob had its perfect victimsthree activists who the State of Michigan wanted stopped locally and who were at the same time of low enough profile to avoid becoming a national media focus. The stage was set. John, Pun and Jack began trial on October 5, 1970. They were defended by William Kunstier, Lenny Weinglass and Buck Da vis. The defense asked if wiretaps were used against the defendants. Yes, they were. Could the defendants see the search warrants signed by a Judge authorizing the taps? No, there was no warrant. "The government has the right and the duty to wiretap domestic subversives, why the President is charged by the Constitution to 'protect domestic tranquility.' Delicate matters of domestic security cannot be trusted to an ever widening circle of Judges, their clerks and other snooping eyes." Judge Dam on Keith ruled against the Mob. He ruled that the Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unwarranted searclies and seiures. There must be a check on the President. The Mob loses round one. The U.S. Couri of Appeals rules against them again. In the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justice Department once again proclaimed their right to wiretap "domestic subversives" at will. without checks. The Court ruled against the Mob's claims. THEMOB'SDOWNFALL John. Pun and Jaek's case was dropped when the Supreme Court handed down its historie decisión. June ll. 1472, some tour years after the Cia office bombing in Ann Arbor. In the decisión, the Supreme Court liad ruled that the administration had indeed wiretapped illegally. What the Mob was asking for was the Supreme Court's blessing on activity tliat completely wiped out First and Fourth Amendment guarantees to privacy and protection against illegal seareh and seizure. The Court told Mitchell. "Give up the illegal tapes or drop the case." The Mob argued that to release the tapes would jeopardize "national security," so they decided to not push the case. By the administration's own admission, the j wiretans tliey liad on Plamondon were not taps on his own phone! The Moh did nol want to release the taps on Plamondon because it would jeopardize other investigations, possibly reveal a truly sensitive tap on an ' ing, forthright citizen or public official who niay have been aiding the Free John Movement or who had some other legitímate business with the WPPor Pun Plamondon. If the wide use of wiretapping were revealed, it truly would "threaten national Security." v People would bc up in arms. The effect of the wiretap ruling was feit around the country. The Chicago 8, Weat hermen. Erica Huggins, Ellsberg. Bobby Seale, Leslie Bacon. Abbie Hotïman. the Harrisberg Trial, Angela Da vis. all were positively affected by the wiretap ruling. John. Pun and Jack are now on the j sive. Attornies from the National Lawyers Guild and from the Center of Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers University filed I suit on behalf of the three, charging leading members of the administration with violation ' of the Civil and Constitutional Rights of John, Pun and Jack. SI ,250,000 is being asked for damages. NOW WE TAKE THE MOB TO COURT!