American Martyrs and Political Prisoners

By Mark Wachtler

(ONN) From the Whiteout Press Timeless section. Anna Mae Aquash, Leonard Peltier, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Gordon Kahl, Ruby Ridge, Waco, MOVE, Bradley Manning, LulzSec, Anonymous, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, Keith Ratliff, John Noveske, Aaron Swartz, Michael Hastings, Edward Snowden, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl. For our fallen and imprisoned, we will always remember.

The first video ever produced by Whiteout Press, although we gave credit to our sister publication Opposition News to help raise awareness. Compliments of your author/editor/owner Mark Wachtler.

Peltier and Aquash

The 71-day Wounded Knee armed stand-off of 1973 marked the beginning of a three-year period of political violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation by the Washington-backed Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOON) militia and traditionalists from the American Indian Movement (AIM). Over the next 3 years, over 60 AIM members were violently murdered by GOON militia as US authorities supplied them with munitions and intelligence on AIM members. While corrupt GOON leaders and corporations got rich mining and drilling on their land, AIM and the residents were murdered and poisoned by the industrial waste. The fight still goes on today.



Anna Mae Aquash (1945 - 1975, age 30, murdered)

Raped and murdered on December 12, 1975. Gunshot to the head.

American Indian Movement (AIM) member from Pine Ridge and mother of two daughters. Participated in the 1972 occupation of the Dept. of Interior in Washington DC, the 71-day Wounded Knee occupation in 1973, and armed confrontations with both US and Canadian authorities. She was one of over 60 AIM members murdered on Pine Ridge over 3 years by a government-backed death squad.

South Dakota authorities ruled she died from frostbite and exposure, not the gunshot to her head. Authorities cut off her hands, sent them to the FBI in Washington and buried her as Jane Doe. Grand Juries in 1976, 1982 and 1994 failed to return indictments. In 2003, after 28 years, two AIM members were convicted of the murder under suspicious circumstances. In 2009, South Dakota indicted and convicted a third AIM member. Justice for Annie Mae.


Leonard Peltier (incarcerated since 1977)

Serving 2 consecutive life sentences for murdering 2 FBI agents

American Indian Movement (AIM) member. Convicted in 1977 of the murder of 2 FBI agents during the 1975 armed confrontation between AIM and the FBI at Pine Ridge. Amnesty International lists his conviction under their ‘Unfair Trials’ category. Unjustly charged with attempted murder of a Milwaukee, Wisc police officer, which he was acquitted, Peltier fled to Pine Ridge to fight the death squad that murdered over 60 AIM members there over just 3 years.

On June 26, 1975, FBI agents were investigating AIM activities at Pine Ridge when they came under fire by AIM members and were killed. Leonard Peltier swears he was not the killer and the only witness that ever said he was admitted she lied due to threats and pressure by the FBI. Her testimony of that intimidation by authorities was barred by the judge from Peltier’s defense. At his murder trial, an FBI ballistics expert knowingly lied when he testified the bullet casing found at the scene matched Peltier’s rifle. A FOIA request and response later showed the FBI knew all along it didn’t match. Free Leonard Peltier.


Oscar Lopez Rivera (incarcerated since 1981)

Age 71. Vietnam veteran came back to Chicago and fought the gangs and drugs overrunning his poverty-stricken Puerto Rican community by opening community centers and schools. Successfully forced neighborhood schools to hire Latino teachers so the kids would have role models they could identify and communicate with. He forced Spanish-speaking education classes in Illinois prisons.

In 1970’s Chicago, violent Puerto Rican independence fighters from groups like FALN had carried out over 100 bombings and 5 murders. In 1980, authorities arrested and convicted all FALN and Puerto Rican leaders, including the peaceful community activist Oscar Lopez Rivera. He always swore he wasn’t a member of the group and never carried out a violent act. Regardless, he was sentenced to 70 years in prison.

Rivera is the world’s longest-held political prisoner. His official crime is Sedition - conspiracy to overthrow the US government. Appeals for his release have come from the United Nations, Hollywood actresses, international music stars, Major League baseball players and even US Senators. Free Oscar Lopez Rivera.


"The news shouldn't be left wing or right wing, conservative or liberal. It should be the news. It should be independent" - Mark Wachtler, Whiteout Press founder


Gordon Kahl (1920 - 1983, age 63, murdered)

Murdered by federal agents on June 3, 1983.

A highly-decorated World War 2 hero and North Dakota farmer. Kahl’s research lead him, and millions of others, to believe that the US income tax system is illegal. In 1967, he wrote a letter to the IRS telling them so and notifying them he was no longer filing income tax returns. And he didn’t, unmolested and unchallenged for a decade. In 1976, he appeared on a local program telling of his experience. The station was flooded with 250 calls from supportive viewers and the IRS had its next target.

In 1976, Kahl was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 2 years in prison and 5 years probation by a Texas court. He returned to North Dakota where he lead protests on behalf of small farmers who were losing their farms by the tens of thousands to corrupt local banks and resold to giant agri-corporations. The federal court repeatedly summoned Kahl back to Texas to ask why he was violating the condition of his probation that he not associate with tax protesters. Kahl argued that there was no legal term and his wife and children protested taxes, along with every American to one extent or another. To forbid him from associating with ‘tax protesters’ was impossible to comply with. Eventually, Kahl stopped showing up for calls from Texas.

As Kahl and his family fled via the underground railroad from one small farm to the next across the USA, folk songs emerged including one that sang, “You’ll be worthy of a statue by the time they ever catch you, keep on running for our freedom Gordon Kahl.” US Marshalls caught up with Gordon and his family and ambushed their car with a hail of bullets. Somehow, Kahl and his son returned fire killing 2 agents. Four months later, on June 3, 1983, federal agents fired thousands of gunshots into a home containing Gordon Kahl and an Arkansas Sheriff. Both were murdered. Both had their hands, feet and head chopped off moments before FBI agents burned the house down with Kahl and the Sheriff inside. And that’s exactly what dozens of horrified witnesses testified to after watching it. Many have also testified to being threatened with murder and prison if they didn’t stop telling people what they saw. Remember Gordon Kahl.


Ruby Ridge: Sam and Vicky Weaver (son age 14 and mom age 42, murdered 1992)

Sam Weaver killed by US Marshalls. Vicky Weaver killed by FBI sniper while standing unarmed in her home’s doorway holding her newborn daughter in her arms.

Husband and father Randy Weaver was repeatedly intimidated and threatened by federal authorities to become an informant against extremist groups in around his home in Idaho. But Weaver didn’t like the FBI any more than he did the KKK. So he refused. He was finally accused by the ATF of selling a shotgun with a barrel one-quarter-inch too short. His notice also showed the wrong court date. When he didn’t show up, the judge issued a warrant for his arrest fully acknowledging he gave Weaver the wrong date.

Geraldo Rivera got to Weaver’s house first in a helicopter and reported in sensational fashion that he was shot at. FBI agents only yards away noted in their reports that no such shots were fired. But federal authorities acted on Geraldo’s word anyway. On August 21, 1992, six US Marshalls approached the Weaver home at night and threw rocks at their dog. When the dog responded, it was shot and killed. Also shot and killed by the Marshalls was 14-year-old Sam Weaver who only went outside to see what his dog was barking at.

The next day, FBI snipers were dispatch to the home where a ten-day siege ensured upon which agents shot every adult member of the family and murdered mother Vicky Weaver while she stood unarmed in her doorway with her newborn baby in her arms. FBI snipers also shot Randy in the back while he attempted to retrieve his dead son’s body. In the end, federal authorities admitted the entire case against Randy Weaver was fabricated by agents and the deaths of Vicky and Sam were unnecessary. Randy and the three surviving Weaver daughters were awarded a multi-million-dollar settlement. But America will forever remember Ruby Ridge. Remember Ruby Ridge.



Waco (82 Branch Davidians, including 21 small children, murdered 1993)

On April 19, 1993, FBI agents in military assault vehicles spewing military-grade chemical weapons attacked the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas murdering 76 worshipers including 21 children under age 16:

On February 28, 1993, ATF agents launched a preplanned assault on the Branch Davidian compound. Rather than arrest leader David Koresh while he was in town or out and unarmed in the presence of agents, federal authorities let him go home so they could launch their military raid titled ‘Showtime’ and complete with a parade of media cameras and news trucks filming the exciting show. Agents even confirmed they moved the date of the raid to accommodate a local news outlets schedule.

As Koresh stood unarmed in the doorway on the phone with 911 begging them to stop the attack, agents sprayed the building and its occupants with thousands of rounds. Davidians shot back and with numerous casualties on both sides, a 51-day siege ensued. On April 19, 1993, hundreds of federal agents attacked the compound using armored vehicles, M79 grenade launchers, .50cal machine guns, liquid CS gas, .40mm CS gas grenades and hundreds of automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Federal agents knew the gas was flammable and still detonated it with their explosives. The ensuing fire burned the wood compound and all its inhabitants to the ground. Only 9 Davidians escaped the inferno alive. 76 worshipers were killed including 21 children. Remember Waco.


MOVE (9 incarcerated since 1978 - 11 murdered in 1985)

The MOVE Organization was founded in 1972 as a “Christian Movement for Life”. Located in the African American section of Philadelphia, the group preaches natural living, animal rights, and less dependence on chemicals, technology and government. As police forcibly evicted MOVE from their home, a firefight erupted. One police officer was shot in the back of the head as he faced MOVE members, suggesting the shot was from a fellow police officer. When it was over, 7 police officers, 5 firefighters, 3 MOVE members and 3 innocent bystanders were all wounded. 9 MOVE members were convicted of murder.

In 1985, Philadelphia police once again attempted to forcibly evict MOVE from its home. Again, a firefight ensued with officers lobbing tear gas grenades into the house with no effect. Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI dropped two bombs from a police helicopters. The explosions destroyed or damaged 60 homes while 6 adults and 5 children were killed. Police fired on MOVE members as they attempted to flee the burning building with officers claiming they did so because they were still being fired upon. Survivors were awarded a $1.5 million settlement from the city. Free the MOVE 9.


Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning (incarcerated since 2010)

Age 26. Serving as a US Army Intelligence staffer in Iraq during the war, Manning came upon documents and video footage detailing US air strikes on journalists and children. Other documentation confirmed instances of massacres perpetrated by US personnel upon Afghan civilians. The materials put WikiLeaks on the map.

Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning was charged and convicted of 21 of 22 crimes, the only acquittal for aiding the enemy. Manning is currently serving a 35 year prison sentence. The simple note delivered with the leaked materials to WikiLeaks read, ‘This is one of the most significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare. Have a good day. PFC Manning.’ Free Bradley 'Chelsea' Manning.



LulzSec (6 of 7 members arrested & imprisoned)

2011 – 2012. Cyber attacks against; Sony, CIA, NewsCorp, Fox Broadcasting, Church of Scientology, FBI, PBS, US Senate, Wall Street banks, Scotland Yard, Chinese government, Brazilian government, Petrobras, Arizona law enforcement, AT&T, IBM, Disney, Viacom, EMI, NBC Universal, NATO, AOL, US Navy.

Ryan Ackroyd – Kayla, Jake Davis – Topiary, Donncha O’Cearrlohail – Palladium, Mustafa Al-Bassam – T-Flow, Darren Martyn – Pwnsauce, Ryan Cleary – Viral.


Anonymous (countless members arrested & imprisoned)

2003 – present. Countless cyber attacks against countless global targets including; Church of Scientology, Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, Sony, Amazon, dozens of US government agencies, US military departments, US military contractors, White House, Dept of Justice, local police departments, child porn sites, Syrian government, Recording Industry Assoc., Motion Picture Assoc., US Copyright Office, Tunisian government, Egyptian government, Wall Street banks, NY Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Koch Industries, Israeli government, FBI, CIA, Scotland Yard.

Jake Birchall, Ashley Rhodes, Peter Gibson, Christopher Weatherhead, Dennis Collins, Mercedes Haefer, Chris Doyon, James Jeffery, Cody Kretsinger, Raynaldo Rivera, John Borell, Deric Lostutter, Scott Arciszewski, Lance Moore, Muhammad Baskin, Mohamad Aziz, James Raj, Kevin Poe, Matthew Keys, Dmitriy Guzner, Andrew Auernheimer, Anthrophobic, Absolem, Toxic, No, MMMM, Ananon, Trivette, Triv, Reaper, Drew 010, Jeffer, Ji, Troy, Pacotron, Thunder. Say hi to Anonymous.


Jeremy Hammond (incarcerated since 2012)

Age 29. The Robin Hood of the internet. Child genius writing computer game software at age 8. Peace activist. Most prolific and effective Anonymous hacker on Earth. Broke into Stratfor US defense contractor at the insistence of the FBI and their informant. Discovered a global multi-corporate, multi-government spy system that secretly and illegally taps into every camera and microphone in America and space, weaving an actual video movie, watching and listening to every American citizen on demand and in real time, even indoors.

Hammond’s Judge refused to recuse herself even though she was the wife of a Strator ‘victim’ in the trial. Even though the trial showed Hammond was coerced into hacking the defense contractor by the FBI, he was forced to plead guilty to one count and accept 10 years in prison and 3 years probation so as not to be convicted and receive the 100+ year sentence he was facing. Free Jeremy Hammond.


Barrett Brown (incarcerated since 2012)

Age 32. Freelance reporter appearing in Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, Businessweek, National Lampoon, MSNBC, Fox News, RT News and more. Barrett Brown gained government attention when he began going over the millions of documents stolen and publicly released by Anonymous. He exposed secret US public-private cyber wars against Middle East governments. His home war raided by the FBI and his mother was repeatedly terrorized by agents to implicate her son in something.

Brown responded with a YouTube video telling the world that the FBI agent that persecuted his mother for months was going to get the same treatment. Brown’s mom eventually pled guilty to a trumped-up charge of aiding her son. Barrett Brown was arrested in 2012 for two incidents – threatening an FBI agent publishing a news article with a link to the publicly available Anonymous materials just like the NY Times, the Guardian and hundreds of other media outlets did. He was charged with 17 counts and a potential sentence of 105 years in jail. Free Barrett Brown.



 
 

Ratliff and Noveske

Two weeks after the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, two prominent gun advocates were mysteriously murdered. Their supporters believe they were murdered in retribution for the Sandy Hook incident.

Keith Ratliff (1980 - 2013, age 32, murdered Jan. 3, 2013)

9th most popular YouTube channel with a half-billion page views. His body was found at home with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The well known firearms expert whose show had millions of followers wasn’t robbed. His large collection of guns was untouched. The murder weapon was not among them. Georgia and federal officials continue to search for his killer.

John Noveske (1976 - 2013, age 36, murdered Jan. 4, 2013)

Owner of one of America’s premier rifle manufacturers. Killed in one-car accident on rural Oregon road with no witnesses. Killed one week after posting his final Facebook entry providing a list of 37 recent mass shootings and the pharmaceutical drugs the shooters were on. He insisted Big Pharma was responsible for Sandy Hook, not firearms. One week later, he was mysteriously killed.


Aaron Swartz (1986 - 2013, age 26, government induced suicide)

A child genius and co-inventor of the RSS news feed at age 14. Founder of Watchdog.net. Co-creator of Reddit social media site. Advocate for open access to information, especially online and for the poor. Working at MIT, he resented the way knowledge and education were withheld from those not from the privileged class. So he hacked the membership-only multi-university digital library of journals and released them online for free. He was arrested and charged with 2 counts of Wire Fraud and 11 counts of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He faced a $1 million fine, forfeiture of all assets and 35 years in prison.

Swartz’ lawyer repeatedly offered to plead guilty to lesser charges. But US Attorneys were determined to make an example of the child genius and internet pioneer. After two years of intimidation by federal authorities, and two days after federal prosecutors refused his attorney’s offer of a guilty plea, Aaron Swartz had endured enough. On January 11, 2013, he took his own life to end the government persecution. His father told reporters, “The US Attorney murdered my son.” Remember Aaron Swartz.


Michael Hastings (1980 - 2013, age 33, murdered)

Contributing editor for Rolling Stone, reporter for BuzzFeed. Wrote 2010 article exposing US General Stanley McChrystal’s endorsement  of a US military state and leading to his resignation. Hastings’ final article was titled, ‘Why Democrats love to spy on Americans’, published 11 days before he died in a mysterious high-speed automobile accident in Los Angeles.

In the weeks before his death, he accused the Pentagon of not wanting the return of lone US POW Bowe Bergdahl from Afghanistan. He accused MSNBC of being a government propaganda machine. And he and his neighbors witnessed unusual federal surveillance of Michael Hastings in the days before his death, including multiple military helicopters repeatedly hovering over his LA home.

The FBI has admitted that 12 months prior to Michael Hastings’ mysterious death, the Bureau had opened a secret file on Michael Hastings to monitor him and store his articles in a file they called “controversial reporting”. It was in response to his reports on POW Bowe Bergdahl that the FBI began monitoring him. The FBI had inexplicably announced that it wasn’t monitoring Hastings. Michael Hastings died in Los Angeles while driving his car that witnesses described as going maximum speed with flames shooting out and sparks exploding along the concrete. Former White House Czar Richard Clarke said it sounded like an automobile cyber attack. Police gave the media conflicting reports but ruled it an accident. His supporters insist Mercedes don’t explode before they hit something and Michael Hastings was murdered.



Edward Snowden (in exile since 2013)

Age 30. Former employee of the CIA and an NSA defense contractor. Leaked millions of documents that exposed most of the domestic government spy abuses Americans are aware of today. He showed us the telecoms like Verizon and AT&T are involved. He showed us that internet giants like Google and Yahoo are involved. He showed us the NSA lied to Congress when it said it wasn’t collecting data on every American. He exposed military contractors for taking billions of dollars for work they didn’t do. And he exposed the White House for spying on Congress.

Snowden exposed other facts like NSA agents were using spy technology to criminally stalk and assault women. Others were shown spying on Americans in their bedrooms. Still more were found playing online video games as part of their job. Even more were spying on the world’s heads of state. Snowden described his motivation once writing, ‘There is a huge difference between legal programs, legitimate spying...and these programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations under an all-seeing eye and save copies forever...These programs were never about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They're about power.’ Edward Snowden is living under political asylum in Russia. Support Edward Snowden.


 
 

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