[HUNTER GRAY  MAY 30, 2002]








[HUNTER GRAY  MAY 30, 2002]

Note by Hunterbear:

There's a rope on the ground and, at the end of it, an empty collar.

But, in reality, there may never have been  -- functionally -- much at all
within that particular confine.

There  certainly has never been any halcyon period in which the Federal
Bureau of Investigation has functioned within the framework of the United
States Constitution, sensitively followed the narrow trail of due process,
worked to protect the rights of all of the people.  From the point of its
founding a better part of a century ago and the emergence of its historic
Leader, J. Edgar Hoover -- a classic totalitarian mentality [a word I do not
use lightly] -- its role has been, with varying degrees of public candour
and arrogance, or cunning subterfuge -- a power structure-serving and
primarily political secret police operation.

In the South of the Movement era, we always viewed FBI as an enemy.
Frequently, it worked hand-in-glove with local "lawmen."

In the post-Watergate era, there were some "reforms" forced upon FBI [and
other intelligence agencies] by public concern and such courageous
Congressional persons-of-conscience: e.g.,  Senator Frank Church,
Congressmen Don Edwards and Ed Boland.  This did have some effect and, from what has surfaced over the years in retrospect, did effectively restrain FBI
to some extent  -- although much of its creative energy immediately went
into skirting and circumventing those relative restraints.

A quick contextual aside:  My many years of college/university teaching have
been well received by virtually all of my students regardless of race,
ethnicity, gender, social class -- or even political orientation.  When
teaching evaluations came into vogue, mine have been consistently
excellent -- and almost all students have expressed considerable
appreciation for my bringing substantive pieces of my own experiential
background into lectures and our free-wheeling discussions.  Here is a bit
of that right now:

As I've indicated on other occasions while getting into a discussion of all
of  this: On Christmas night, 1979, I sat in a hospital waiting room at the
reservation border town of Gallup, New Mexico.  My youngest daughter, Josie,
was being born and, while I did the usual smoking/pacing ritual, I also
wrote out, on a sheet of yellow legal-size paper, my formal request to the
FBI FOIA/PA office -- for my "FBI file."  Josie arrived in fine form,
brought to me by Navajo nurses, shortly after midnight, December 26. And a
sleepy hospital clerk notarized my letter which I then mailed in the
hospital mail box.

Josie was finishing fifth grade at St Mary's in Grand Forks, ND by the time
I had everything from my many and various FBI files that they were willing
to give me -- short of a heavy Federal court fight.  There are over 3,000
pages -- much of this blacked out -- which covers the period from the latter
1950s to 1979.  There are several hundred additional pages which FBI refuses
to give me on various grounds involving  what it calls national security,
protection of its agency methodology, protection of its "informants" [i.e.,
finks]. At various points, early on and as I went along, I was listed in
such high priority FBI special subversive categorizations as Section A of
the Reserve Index, Security Index, Rabble Rouser Index.

As the post-Josie-arrival years passed and I systematically pursued my
efforts to secure FBI documents relating to me -- often helped by
Congressmen Boland and Edwards especially -- my thrusts broadened beyond
simply D.C:  I wrote directly to all of the FBI regional/field offices
involved with me [and, given my foot-loose nature, there were many indeed]
and secured a great deal of material from them -- "raw data" which had never
gone to FBI headquarters in DC.

If the material from the FBI's Mother Church on the Potomac was damning
enough, the regional/field office stuff -- despite its heavily blacked-out
scenery -- was a massive indictment of just plain vicious and often very
crude FBI Machiavellianism.  Here were direct efforts to pursue defamatory
campaigns against me with employers and potential employers and people in
the neighborhood.  One of a great many examples:

FBI at Seattle went to the University of Washington career placement office
in the spring of 1968 and secured a list of colleges and universities to
which I was having my credentials sent. Several of these job-getting
negotiations were proceeding in a very promising way -- and then they all
died, abruptly. Every single one of them.

Here's another situation -- eleven years later:

In 1979, while at Navajo Community College [now Dine' College] at Navajo
Nation, and much involved in a variety of social justice and anti-uranium
campaigns, there was yet another of the vastly many FBI regional/field
office projects focused on me.  This one involved a blatant and calculated
effort by the Albuquerque FBI regional office through its Gallup field
office to  confuse my identity with a  very erratic and unstable "John R.
Satter" [a possibly concocted figure]  whose war-induced emotional problems
had necessitated VA hospital sojourns.   I have never been in an VA hospital
and the only involvement I've ever had with VA was to receive all of my
several years of GI Bill of Rights educational benefits and to use my
one-time GI Bill housing loan.  Interestingly, the FBI made no effort to
deal with College authorities.  Since childhood, I've been very well known
in Navajo circles. The founder of Navajo Community College, the late Ned A.
Hatathli, was a very long time art student of my father's and an extremely
close family friend -- as were and are many others in Navajoland. Many ,
many indeed of the Navajo people know us very well.  When I finally got
these particular New Mexico FBI materials in the mid-1980s, I raised bloody
hell and secured a formal FBI apology [!] along with their promise to remove
those things from my files.  This situation -- weird even for FBI -- is laid
out, with some documents, in a section on our large website:

[FBI wasn't omnipotent.  In the summer of 1960, it was conducting a frenetic
search for my whereabouts -- with its focus inexplicably on Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania!  In reality, I was working in a very remote, isolated location
in the mountains spanning the Arizona / New Mexico border.]

And now the Justice Department is removing even any theoretical fetters from
its regional/field FBI operations.  All rationales notwithstanding, this is
simply more poison  blatantly dumped into the rivers and waters of Freedom.

Contacting Congresspeople about this -- for sure!  And Fast.
Demonstrations, political action -- certainly.  Civil rights and civil
liberties litigation, always!

And, in time, there'll  be the usual retrospective expressions-of-regret
about the massive violations of civil rights and civil liberty that are now
spreading out across our land like the overflowing Red River of the North
raising its incredibly destructive chaos over a vast region. And, who knows,
there may even eventually be a few apologies to some of the many, many of
those whose lives and careers were and are being injured or wrecked right

We do have a lot of positive protest underway.  We need much, much more --
and pronto.  And I'm far more concerned about Bush-Ashcroft repression --
and all of its other collaterally dangerous and destructive dimensions --
than I am of certain fellow-Left organizations or whether Paul Robeson
belonged to something when I was a high school freshman.

An excellent prof in one of my grad courses in criminology/penology -- a
good and decent and honest guy in the Arizona State University of the Red
Scare epoch -- was a consistent critic of the FBI.  He always called for the
break-up of FBI and the systematic subordination of its components under
what he referred to as "civilian control."  I agreed with him then.   And I
certainly do now.

The following new story post is short but revealing -- especially between
the lines.  BTW, I can't type anymore.  My half-Bobcat is perched alongside
the keyboard, batting crabbily at my fingers.  The Sun has just emerged over
the mountain ranges to the east and she wants her morning walk with me.  I
can fight the FBI -- always have and always will -- but I damn sure can't
fight her.

Yours -

 Hunter Gray  [ Hunterbear ]  Micmac / St Francis Abenaki / St Regis Mohawk  ( strawberry socialism )
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´

Justice to Lift FBI Restrictions

Associated Press Writer

May 29, 2002, 7:52 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department is lifting restrictions on the FBI to
make it easier for agents to begin and pursue terrorism investigations without
approval from FBI headquarters.

The changes, to be announced Thursday by Attorney General John Ashcroft,
also lift restrictions on the FBI's use of the Internet and public libraries to
give agents more freedom to investigate terrorism even when they are not pursuing a particular case.

The new guidelines, obtained by The Associated Press, allow officials
running any of 56 FBI offices around the country to approve new terrorism
investigations. Under previous rules, only FBI Director Robert Mueller or
his assistant directors could approve them.

Local FBI officials still must notify headquarters and be able to show
"facts or circumstances reasonably indicating the existence of a (terrorist)

The new rules also give local FBI officials more authority to approve
undercover operations in emergency situations and let agents conduct
preliminary investigations for up to six months without special approval
from headquarters. Currently, inquiries must develop into full criminal
investigations within 90 days.

Under existing rules, FBI agents are not allowed to do general research on
the Internet or at public libraries unless the information sought directly
relates to a current investigation or to leads being checked out.

Those limits "extended even to publicly available information that everyone
else is free to access, and even to information that could plainly be
valuable in generally facilitating investigative activities and preventing
terrorism," according to a Justice Department memo.

The new rules allow agents to conduct "general topical research" and "pure
surfing" designed to find Web sites, chat rooms or Internet bulletin boards
with information about terror, bomb-making instructions, child pornography
or stolen credit cards.

* __

On the Net: FBI:

Copyright (c) 2002, The Associated Press




Chili notes by Hunterbear:

This -- pc stuff -- certainly isn't going to put bread on workers'  shelves,
break chains, free oppressed peoples.

I hope we're finally seeing a vigorous reaction against this.  The Dawn has
to arrive sometime.

When the Christian Right and the Shadows of the Bosses have their fingers in
this game, we're more than just not surprised -- we're justifiably angry.
When the "liberals" and the "liberals' left" get into this, it's often too
easy for some on the Left -- not all --  to suddenly become inhibited.

There are, obviously, genuinely racist and ethnocentric and sexist and
homophobic and other such issues that need to be sensibly and effectively
addressed. Some lines are fuzzy, a great many are not either way -- but the
broadening swamp of censorship has gone far, far beyond any Reasonable
Reason. This pc crap -- and that's just what it is --  constitutes a direct
threat to creativity and to free  inquiry by free minds and to just plain
democratic health. It's certainly super dangerous when it attacks things
like books.

Whatever happened to the recognition that "democracy is a calculated
risk" -- placing its faith in the free minds of people to accept Truth and
reject Error?  That recognition still exists, fortunately -- along, of
course, with its strangling antithesis. And the ages-old struggle of
Humanity to get to the Light continues on the River of No Return.

Once again, James T. Farrell:  "Neither man nor God is going to tell me what
to write."

There are always some old roots in this kind of profoundly constricting
thing -- and the oft-relentless censorship directed against our Left comes
immediately to mind. Much of this current crop of poisonous p.c. growth,
however, does stem from the late '80s and the '90s when, unwilling to tangle
with the big  and bona fide social justice and peace issues, many cowardly
liberals and that pallid and prattling fringe of the Left got heavily into
the pc game -- where these things also blended easily with the frequently
cut-throat career politics in the Groves of Academe.

The Bushies have their Ashcroft and the FBI and the Patriot Act for their
proliferating hatchet jobs and corrals.  But let's never forget that many of
the many  nefarious things presently being done by Bush/Ashcroft et al. are
built directly on the foundations [e.g., 1996 "Anti-Terrorism" Act] laid by
Billy Clinton and his sanctimoniously hypocritical  and often cut-throat
groupies. Politically correct nonsense was a well-known and favorite device
of the Clinton Crowd -- frequently serving faithfully to divert constructive
activist attention away from the many basic justice and peace issues which
that administration not only failed to constructively confront but initiated
and/or magnified to the point of horror: horror quiet, and horror open.

Fraternally -

Hunter [Hunterbear]


I wrote this [under my original name of John R Salter, Jr]  and published it
in The Dakota Student [University of North Dakota] on April 30, 1991 -- and,
as I knew it would, it angered several of our administrators.  It was
subsequently published in the May / June 1991 issue of the excellent
socialist journal, Against the Current, under the title, "Defeat Racism,
Don't Censor It."

I stand, of course, by every word I said, then and right to the present


SPEECH BAN WON'T END RACISM  -- John R Salter, Jr  [Hunter Gray]

I'm completely against any efforts to ban racist or sexist speech, or any
other speech, on college and university campuses -- or anywhere else.

I speak as both activist and academic and as one who has been involved in
social justice pursuits and teaching since the mid-1950s.

American Indians have traditionally recognized the right of everyone to be
heard -- no matter how unpopular or  even noxious the verbiage.  Whatever
its many limitations, my native state of Arizona has never deteriorated --
despite the presence of the copper bosses and the farming magnates, among
others -- into the sort of closed society once exemplified by Mississippi.
In part, at least, this has been because of the libertarian traditions of a
far-ranging frontier where "things open out instead of in" and where free
speech has generally, however grudgingly, been respected or at least

I've never known any effort anywhere to ban speech that  really "worked."
I've known few such efforts that, sooner or later, weren't turned against
the advocates of constructive social change.  Hell, look at human history.

Frankly, some of the most sanctimonious proponents of suppression of racist
and sexist speech in university settings have been, in my observation,
administrators whose real commitment to, say, affirmative action has been
Zero -- and who frequently have worked against anything of a tangible nature
that would increase the numbers and morale of women and minorities in
meaningful positions.  Other, more well meaning official folk, worry about
"negative speech," expressing their concerns in the context and style of a
prattling timidity that brings out the worst in everyone.

Here at the University of North Dakota, in a state and region where Native
Americans are the most substantial minority, our Department of American
Indian Studies offers several sections of a course called Introduction to
Indian Studies -- which fulfills a state teacher certification necessity and
also meets certain humanities and social science requirements.  About 350
students per year pass through these courses [I teach 200 or so personally];
the majority are Anglo, with a good number of American Indians and other
minorities represented.  In this classroom setting, academic dimensions are
heavily laced with confronting all kinds of people hang-ups and we deal with
these in a non-guilt-trip, "say what you please" hang-loose sort of

This works -- and often these students go on to take other courses of ours,
such as Contemporary Indian Issues or Federal Indian Law and Policy or
Plains Indians.  Common interests, common concerns, and common allies

And in many other sectors, in and out of the university setting, we
challenge all kinds of anti-people words and deeds and patterns.  We've done
it openly and candidly -- and without tearing people down.  Our efforts are
interracial and intercultural.

We've seen things improve enlightenment-wise with the students, considerably so,  and with many townspeople.  But we still have a long, long way to go in getting minorities and women hired in solid and influential university positions.  Academics -- including academic liberals -- are  certainly often harder to deal with than an essentially nice Anglo kid who has some

The kid is usually honest enough to face up and change, given a firm push or
two or three -- done in a friendly fashion.

We just have to keep fighting, all of us together, step by step.  But let's
not waste time on dangerous gimmicks like gag laws and regulations.  The
real prize lies "over the mountains yonder" and we can catch it -- if we
don't allow ourselves to be de-railed and diverted into the canyons.

[Editor's note:  Salter is chairman of the Indian Studies Department.]

Hunter Gray  [ Hunterbear ]  ( strawberry socialism )
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´