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Konformist: War on Writers

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  • Robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com War on Writers Monday, February 07, 2000
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 17, 2000
      Please send as far and wide as possible.


      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      War on Writers
      Monday, February 07, 2000


      By Ian Williams Goddard

      Peter McWilliams, author of the classic civil-libertarian
      treatise "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do," [1] is facing
      up to 5 years in prison for growing cannabis, which he used
      to treat symptoms of AIDS. [2] In 1996, Californians voted
      to legalize cannabis smoking and growing for medical purposes,
      yet two years later McWilliams was arrested in California for
      growing cannabis to treat AIDS. By arresting a well-known
      author and activist for consensual activity approved by The
      People, the government is sending the message that democracy
      will not stand in the way of its war on consensual medicine.

      To prevent the possibility of justice, the court prohibited
      McWilliams from informing the jury that he has AIDS, that
      cannabis has therapeutic value for AIDS patients, and that
      California legalized the medical use of cannabis. In short,
      the court prohibited McWilliams' defense -- a kangaroo court
      by definition -- in an antidemocratic effort to override the
      law stipulated by The People. Having been found guilty of
      growing cannabis, Peter McWilliams now faces sentencing.

      When we also consider the recent persecution by the legal
      system of investigative journalists James Sanders and David
      Hoffman for their separate efforts to make evidence about
      the Flight 800 crash and the Oklahoma City bombing known,
      [3] it becomes clear that U.S. authorities are bypassing
      traditional restraints on the abuse of power -- restrains
      that differentiate democratic from fascist societies.
      McWilliams, Sanders, and Hoffman are all well-known
      authors and outspoken critics of the authorities, they
      are the "loyal opposition" by definition, and they are the
      kind of people who end up in jail in totalitarian societies.

      While being financially devastated in the process, both
      David Hoffman and James Sanders narrowly escaped prison
      time for their "crimes" against authoritarianism. Now
      another anti-authoritarian author, Peter McWilliams, is
      staring down the barrel of a 5-year-prison sentence. You
      may be able to help end this assault on both freedom and
      democracy by writing a *cordial* letter to Judge King on
      McWilliams behalf: http://www.petertrial.com/letters.htm

      [1] http://www.mcwilliams.com/books/books/aint
      [2] http://www.aclu.org/news/1999/n021899d.html
      [3] http://users.erols.com/igoddard/sanders.htm#15
      Also see: http://users.erols.com/igoddard/sanders3.htm



      My name is Peter McWilliams. I am a cancer survivor
      living with AIDS. I was arrested in July 1998 on
      federal medical marijuana charges, even though I
      live in California, a state that approved medical
      marijuana use in 1996.

      In November 1999, the federal prosecutors
      success fully obtained an order prohibiting me from
      mentioning to the jury that I have AIDS, that
      marijuana is medicine, that the federal government
      supplies eight patients with medical marijuana each
      month, or that California has a law permitting the
      very act that I was accused of violating.

      As I never denied my medical marijuana cultivation,
      that left me with no defense whatsoever. To avoid
      an almost certain guilty verdict and a ten-year
      mandatory-minimum sentence, I pled guilty to a
      lesser charge. (The whole story is at
      http://www.petertrial.com ) My sentencing for
      this charge will be on March 27, 2000. The
      deadline for turning in letters of support is
      February 20, 2000.

      Would you please take the time to send a letter,
      or a fax, or even an e-mail, to the judge on my
      behalf? It would make all the difference in my

      The letter need not be long or eloquent. One
      sentence is sufficient.

      The judge can sentence me to 0 to 5 years. The
      federal sentencing guidelines place my recommended
      (but not mandatory) sentence in the 5-year range.
      It is probably unavoidable that I get a sentenced
      to some time -- perhaps the full five years.

      What I am asking the judge -- and what I am asking
      you to ask the judge -- is that I be able to serve
      my sentence under "home detention," also known as
      "electronic monitoring." (An electronic
      transmitter would b permanently fastened to my
      ankle and my whereabouts would be monitored 24
      hours a day. I would not be able to leave my home
      except for medical or court appointments. As I
      live in Los Angeles, this will allow me to write
      my books, including Galileo LA.)

      In writing the Judge King, please observe these
      commonsense guidelines:

      1. Please be respectful. The judge owes me, or
      you, nothing. You are asking for a favor.
      When Judge King was asked to allow me to use
      medical marijuana while out on bail, he said
      to the attorneys on both sides, in a voice
      trembling with compassion, "I am struggling
      mightily with this. Please, struggle with me."
      Alas, there was nothing in federal law that
      permitted him to allow me to break federal law,
      even to save my life, but I believed the
      sincerity of his struggle. Personally, I don't
      want judges rewriting law as they see fit.
      Judge King is a good judge upholding a bad law.
      My sentence, however, is at his discretion.
      I believe he will be fair, that he will read
      the letter you send, and he will be moved by
      your heartfelt request. I believe we owe
      courtesy to the King.

      2. Please focus on my health
      and my contributions to society (through my
      books -- http://www.mcwilliams.com/books) as
      reasons why I should receive home detention
      or electronic monitoring (the term can be used
      interchangeably). The legal arguments will
      be made by my attorney.

      3. If you know me, please say so, and state any
      positive character traits you may have noticed
      wafting by from time to time. (This letter is
      not written under oath, so you will not be
      arrested for perjury.)

      4. If you have read any of my books, please say
      so. If they helped you, please say how.
      (Exception: Please do not mention "Ain't
      Nobody's Business If You Do." See 5.)

      5. Please do not give your opinion of the War on
      Drugs (unless you're in favor of it), how the
      government treated me in this case (unless you
      approve), your views on medical marijuana
      (unless you're against it), or anything else
      critical of the status quo. Save those
      remarks, however well-reasoned and accurate,
      for letters-to-the-editor. Such comments may
      be counterproductive in a letter to a federal

      6. If you can, please keep the letter to one
      page, and no longer than two.

      Actual letters (those things made popular in the
      last millennium, printed on paper, put into
      envelopes, and sent through the Post Office) are
      best. Typed is better, but handwritten is fine.
      Please use the most impressive letterhead to
      which you have legitimate access. (Your business
      stationery is better than your personal
      stationery, for example.) If you don't have
      stationery, you can create a letterhead on any
      word processor in about two minutes.

      Please address the letters to "The Honorable
      George H. King" and begin the letter "Dear Judge
      King,". Please mail the letters TO ME at:
      Peter McWilliams, 8165 Mannix Drive, Los Angeles,
      CA 90046.

      If you know you're probably not going to get
      around to writing a letter (and I know just how
      you feel -- I don't know where to find an
      envelope any more, much less a stamp -- please
      send a fax (signed, on letterhead, if possible,
      but if not, that's fine) to (323) 650-1541.

      If you think you might not get around to sending
      a fax, please send an e-mail. Please write at
      the bottom of the e-mail "You have my permission
      to reformat this letter, print it, and sign my
      name at the bottom." Your name will be signed
      for you, next to which will be the initials of
      the person signing it. Please include your
      complete mailing address. The e-mail address is

      Finally, please circulate this request as widely
      as you can -- post it on bulletin boards, send it
      to receptive people on your e-mail list, send it
      out in newsletters, put it on your web page.
      Kindly use your creativity, but, please, no

      If you cannot post the entire message of this
      missive, the online address of this request is

      Thank you from the bottom of my weary but very
      grateful heart.

      Peter McWilliams

      WACO BOMB?: http://users.erols.com/igoddard/wacorom2.htm

      "There are times when you cannot keep your job and
      put alternative explanations for data on the table."
      Former FBI Special Agent Dr. Frederic Whitehurst

      Disinfo.Con: February 19, 2000

      Disinfo.Con will be the first event of its type in New York since the
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      Featuring a line-up of speakers drawing from the best of the underground
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      n New York City's majestic Hammerstein Ballroom into an 11 hour Technicolor
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      The event will be one part rave, one part performance, and one part mind fuck.

      * Marilyn Manson in a satellite presentation!
      * Kenneth Anger
      * RU Sirius
      * Grant Morrison
      * Robert Anton Wilson
      * Genesis P-Orridge
      * Paul Laffoley
      * Joe Coleman
      * Douglas Rushkoff
      * Adam Parfrey
      * Kenn Thomas (Steamshovel Press)
      * Robert Sterling (The Konformist)
      * Greg Bishop (The Excluded Middle)
      * Howard Bloom will present a special video lecture.

      There will also be an exclusive preview of the new Disinfo Nation TV series
      produced for Channel 4 in the UK, featuring a behind the scenes look at the
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      Disinfo.Con 2000 will take place on Saturday February 19, 2000 at the
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      rate reserved at the New Yorker Hotel, next door to the Ballroom. Passes for
      the full 12-hour event cost $99.95 and for the evening session only $49.95.
      Attendees can register online at <http://con2000.disinfo.com/>


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