Anderson Valley Advertiser
News update: February 3, 2005
AVA Oregon ceases publication due to lack of public interest
a "left" publication that defends the FBI against the successful civil rights lawsuit Bari v. FBI
AVA moved to Eugene, Oregon in the summer of 2004 after alienating nearly everyone in its home community of Mendocino County, California. This move followed publication of "Liar Unlimited," a report that catalogued most of the AVA's hoaxes and smear campaigns.
AVA is now "Anderson Valley Advertiser Oregon" and ridicules evidence of Republican dirty tricks to steal the 2004 "election"
this website predicted in the summer 2004 that it would be attacked by AVA for daring to point out this history, and it only took a few issues of the "new" AVA Oregon.
AVA's editor admitted in August 2004 on Jefferson Public Radio that he makes up lies about his political opponents.
February 5, 2005:
When Powell's books in Portland decided (on their own) not to sell AVA, Anderson said that he hoped that Amazon.com drove them out of business. (Powell's is one of the largest, if not the largest, non-chain book stores left in the country.)
At least Mr. Anderson has the comfort of knowing that the neo-cons are amplifying his smear campaigns, even if most people in Eugene aren't interested in reading his hoaxes.
Perhaps this will be the last word on the long history of the AVA ... and maybe one day the hoax generators and supporters will apologize for the hurt that they caused (perhaps they'll have their "Lee Atwater" moment, realizing that making up nasty things about people that are not true can cause pain).
Rob Anderson, Bruce's brother, points out that the AVA's obsession with the Judi Bari case is full of lies
The sordid history of Bruce Anderson and the Anderson Valley Advertiser
primary reference on the AVA's proclivity to invent fiction about people the editor does not like -- published a few months before Mr. Anderson announced he was finally moving out of Mendocino County
www.fojb.org - Friends of Judi Bari
www.judibari.org - accurate information about Judi Bari (a primary target of the AVA)
One of the bookstores in Eugene managed to sell 28 copies in almost three months. They put a copy of a kid's book about the history of farts on the front shelf where they originally had AVA Oregon for sale after reading some of this publication's nasty commentaries.
February 5, 2005
Newspaper folds amid money woes
By Sherri Buri McDonald
A start-up newspaper whose motto was "The Oregon newspaper that tells it like it is," won't be telling anyone anything anymore.
Bruce Anderson, former publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, an iconoclastic 3,000-circulation weekly in Northern California, launched AVA Oregon! in November.
The Feb. 3 issue of the left-leaning weekly will be its last.
In the end, it was all about money - or, not enough of it.
"I'm out of money, and out of business," Anderson wrote on the front page of Thursday's issue.
"I could borrow but I have no way of paying it back," he admitted. "Start-up costs were quadruple what I'd expected."
Anderson could not be reached Friday evening for comment. The newspaper's phone number is out of service.
In his statement in AVA Oregon's final issue, Anderson speculated that his fledgling paper would have caught on in about a year had he had the money to sustain it until it became self-supporting. Anderson pledged to give refunds to recent subscribers "when I've cleared away the accrued financial wreckage," he wrote.
Anderson said that he will stay in Eugene and help edit his former paper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, based in Boonville, Calif.
"I will also be working on some writing projects independent of journalism," he said.
Bruce Anderson will be a guest on JPR's Jefferson Exchange Friday morning from 8 to 10 am (1280 AM), and the program is repeated from 8 to 10 pm. Anderson is the outspoken editor/publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser (AVA) in northern California who's commuting back and forth to Eugene and plans to start a newspaper here called 'Gene. What's Anderson all about? His fans, such as columnist Alexander Cockburn, say Anderson is "one of the most vivid pens of our time" and compares him to "Paine, Twain, Steffens and H.L. Mencken." His opponents, such as Mike Sweeney of Ukiah, say Anderson will "deliberately lie in order to sell papers, settle scores, or just abuse people for his own pleasure" (see Sweeney's 24-page exposé of Anderson at www.LiarUnlimited.com). A July 14 article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat says Anderson "is known for a bruising, confrontational style that some say often overlooks reality and fact, though Anderson defends as satire the fictional interviews, quotes and anecdotes he's published. … Cruel, crazy, brutal, abusive and outright fictional are some of the terms used by some of his past targets." The article also quotes former AVA writer Michael Koepf saying, "Only crazy people will miss Bruce Anderson" when he moves to Eugene. Well, folks, he's already here, he's itchin' for a fight, and he's on the radio.
Friday, August 06, 2004
The contemporary state of “muckraking”; opinion journalism from Mendocino County, California to Lane County, Oregon. Bruce Anderson is the editor of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, a weekly opinion paper recently based in Boonville, California (Mendocino County). Now Anderson has moved the paper to Eugene, along with its criticism of sports, hippies, public radio, and much more.
Today’s program is live from KRVM-AM 1280 in Eugene. Phone numbers are 541 687-3370 and 1-800 285-2895
The AVA's obsessive smear campaign against environmentalist and labor organizer Judi Bari
If you visit the AVA's webpage at theava.com - there is a link to "Judi Bari" near the top of the page. If you click on that, you are brought to a page full of long debunked smears -- www.theava.com/bari.html -- many of which are blatant fiction made up by the paper. Even most corporate "mainstream" publications don't invent fake quotes to attribute to their political enemies - this behavior is more worthy of Fox TV or The National Enquirer, not a left-wing publication that claims to be one of the best papers in the country.
Judi Bari was an activist with Earth First! who was attacked in 1990 by a pipe bomb placed under her driver seat in her car, nearly killing her. She died in 1997 from breast cancer. Her estate won a more than four million dollar legal victory against the FBI in 2002 for the violations of her civil rights -- see www.judibari.org for the details on this history.
The AVA led the charge to discredit the lawsuit while it was being prepared. Why would a "left wing" publication work hard to disrupt one of the best legal challenges to FBI abuses in recent history? Reading the history of this smear campaign is very disturbing, and shows that just because a publication professes to be left wing or contrarian does not mean that they are accurate. It is impossible to know if there's more to the smear campaign than mere jealousy of Judi's effectiveness or national attention (it could be just extreme obnoxiousness) but it does parallel similar tactics used during the 1960s by the FBI to disrupt and discredit social change organizations. That campaign, called COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) created fake leftist groups to target genuine activists in the civil rights, peace, women's, Native American and environmental movements (among others).
Judi Bari Tells All
by Judi Bari
Editor's note. The late Judi Bari, through her executor Darlene Commingore, left me the following letter with a strict instruction that it not be made public until five years after her death
The Anderson Valley Advertiser printed this alleged last words of Judi Bari last winter. It is a bizarre, nasty work of fiction and slander, indicative of a very disturbed personality. This is not investigative journalism. It must have been a cold and stormy night in Mendocino when these alleged last words from Judi were written.
More fiction at www.theava.com/bari.html
"I Bombed Judi Bari"
by Mike Sweeney, as told to Bruce Anderson, January 7, 2004
"I Was a Communist for the FBI"
by Mike Sweeney, as told to Bruce Anderson, December 31, 2003
When Mr. Anderson appeared on The Jefferson Exchange (see above), he admitted on the show that these stories were fiction. It's a strange and twisted sense of humor for this outrageous material to be published under the guise of journalism -- it is actually a "National Enquirer of the Left." The show's host, Jeff Golden, was flabbergasted at this admission. It's not every day that a spreader of malicious lies admits they like to smear people.
In fairness, Mr. Anderson claimed the reason that he wrote these lies was to incite Mr. Mike Sweeney (Judi Bari's husband, who she divorced years before the bombing) to sue him. That lawsuit, he proclaimed, would then give Mr. Anderson the legal tools to investigate Sweeney for supposedly planting the bomb in Judi Bari's car, even though there is no evidence to justify this accusation, and lots of evidence pointing in other directions. It is a reckless attack that would earn most small-time publishers a libel lawsuit, but as Mr. Andrerson is reportedly related, by marriage, to an heir to the massive fortune behind the Oracle Corporation (one of Silicon Valley's largest software companies), it would be very difficult to remedy these abuses in court. Anderson has repeatedly issued taunts that he has yet to be sued by Sweeney for libel, implying that this is evidence for Sweeney's guilt, but Sweeney's publication of "Liar Unlimited" is a cheaper and probably more effective means of exposing the AVA's libelous smears in the court of public opinion. Is it a coincidence that Anderson moved out of Mendocino County immediately after Liar Unlimited was published (in print and on the web)?
The FBI, a federal court, numerous newspapers, local prosecutors and many others have been unable to find any reality to the AVA's mean campaign regarding the Bari v. FBI trial.
There is zero evidence for the AVA's claim that Judi bombed herself (which was made after she stopped writing for that paper), or the later claim that her ex-husband somehow put a device in her car with a 12 hour timer on it while several counties away.
These claims have been "psychological warfare" against those who dared to sue the government for civil rights violations, and they've been the primary effort to run "interference" for the government.
Judi had done a tremendous amount of research before reaching the conclusion
that it was the FBI, in collusion with the timber corporations of the north
coast, who held the key to the identification of the bomber. Even Anderson
Valley Advertiser publisher Bruce Anderson, who believes Judi’s ex-husband
to be guilty, admits that the FBI was swarming all over the north coast during
this time period, including conducting simulated car-bombings on timber corporation
- former Congressional Representative Dan Hamburg, March 11, 1999
Bruce Anderson calls a major civil rights lawsuit victory against the FBI a "heist" against the taxpayers. Why does a muckraking journalist take the FBI's side? Is this a COINTELPRO disinformation campaign -- or merely insanity?
May 22 / 23, 2004
New from Ecotopia
The Truth About the Wine Business; Mexicans and Mendolibs; Geezer Charged with Trying to Fry Spouse
By BRUCE ANDERSON
".... the recent Bari-Cherney-Sweeney Gang's federal heist of $4.4 mil, a robbery far more brazen and implausible than the Redwood Valley Brinks Job"
Rebuttal from Darryl Cherney
That these guys think what we did was a heist is incredible. 14 years. Judi's
dead. We're both car bombed. And if the husband did it, that doesn't
mean it still wasn't a breach of our rights. In fact, it would make it more
so. But what the "heist" implies is that Judi (and me) were
in on it. If it were simply her husband being guilty, then why would it be a
heist for Judi to collect for being falsely blamed. See, those guys are certain
Judi did it. And me too, otherwise it would just be a heist for Judi and Mike,
And to rationalize this crap, they paint a false picture of amazing proportions. Mike and Judi were married and we were having an affair which pissed him off. We covered up for him so we could take 14 years to sue the FBI and fooled everyone in the process. Mike is guilty because they claim he engaged in an arson (read: monkeywrenching) 14 years earlier. God, I could go on.
None of the above is essentially true. But worse, they have to dismiss Redwood Summer, Forests Forever and Earth First! and the logger union organizing and anti-abortion movement and ta da!, the FBI's prior recent attacks on Earth First! as unimportant political developments in order to cast their eyes away from the actual suspects.
Whenever I address this stuff, I say show me a document, show me some proof of anything you've got to say. Anything! Because I know there is none.
Most importantly, they hate Judi and want to bring her down. I knew, more than anyone, Judi's faults. But even the people she kicked out of camp know that Judi was the most brilliant organizer that graced our area. She was also abusive and dismissive herself. And some of the people she dissed are coming back to get her after she's dead.
But to quote Bruce's father (according to Rob Anderson) about Bruce when he was ten years old, "Bruce would rather lie than tell the truth."
Federal Court Snubs "Flatanderson" Campaign (AVA, et al)
Judi Bari - FBI Trial Delayed As New Evidence Emerges
Albion Monitor, October 7, 2001
"Obsessed persons" blocked from irrelevant testimony
Judge Wilken approved a Bari/Cherney motion to restrict "testimony by obsessed persons with fixations against plaintiffs," as the motion described Anderson Valley Advertiser publisher/editor Bruce Anderson, Sonoma County Free Press publisher/editor Mary Moore and a handful of others who have since early 1999 been promoting their own theory about who bombed Judi Bari. Judge Wilken said if any of the challenged persons turned up on the defense witness list she would ask what they would testify to, and allow it only if relevant. In the end it was unnecessary, because none of them were on the defense witness list filed September 17.
Anderson, Moore and their group presented their theory to Mendocino DA Norman Vroman on the ninth anniversary of the bombing in 1999, and they petitioned him to open a new investigation focusing on their suspect. On local radio the same day, Vroman said that the case they presented him was not factual, but instead was "conjecture, innuendo, speculation (and) guesses." A few days later the Ukiah Daily Journal asked Vroman if he was pursuing a new investigation of the Bari bombing, and Vroman answered, "I am not investigating anything. I have nothing to investigate and you can quote me on that." Nevertheless, Anderson has continued to obsessively promote his theory and to disparage Bari, her associates, her lawyers and her lawsuit not only in his own newspaper but in letters to the editors of other papers, on radio talk shows and in a series of speaking engagements which also featured Irv Sutley. Judge Wilken denied Bari/Cherney motions to keep out of evidence the previously mentioned gag photo of Bari holding Irv Sutley's "Uzi," and "one small ziplock bag with green leafy material inside" found in Bari's bombed car. The photo will be allowed only if police can show it influenced their decision to arrest Bari and Cherney, but according to the plaintiffs, there is no mention of the photo in the police files until two months after the bombing. Sher contended that because FBI agents did not go after Bari for marijuana, it was evidence they weren't trying to set her up. As Cherney said after court, "they want to use (the baggie) to show that they are such nice people that they didn't attempt to accuse Judi Bari of being not only a bomber but a dope-smoking bomber."
Counterpunch magazine (Alexander Cockburn), the leading defender and promoter of AVA, lends support to the fraud:
BREAKING NEWS IN FEBRUARY 1, 1999 ISSUE:
FORENSIC REPORT SHEDS
NEW LIGHT ON THE
BOMBING OF JUDI BARI
Nearly nine years after a homemade bomb almost killed forest activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in their car in Oakland, Don Foster, the scholar who made his reputation by identifying Joe Klein as the "Anonymous" of Primary Colors, has buttressed suggestions by a California north coast writer, Ed Gehrman, that investigators of the bombing should focus far greater scrutiny on Bari's former husband, Mike Sweeney. ....
As a conspiracy theorist, Gehrman wasn't discouraged by these realities. His
other investigative forays included claims that aliens had landed at Roswell,
New Mexico, where secret autopsies were done on their bodies, and an article
claiming AIDS was a U.S. government conspiracy. He pieced together malicious
gossip from several of Bari's enemies to fabricate a story of domestic conflict
between Bari and Sweeney. Then he added a novel twist—supposedly scientific
literary analysis suggesting Sweeney could have been the author of an anonymous
letter taking credit for the bombing. This analysis was provided by
Donald Foster, an English professor, who claimed to use computers to identify
authors by their literary style.
Foster is an old-fashioned charlatan who could have walked right out of the pages of a Mark Twain novel. He was able to pass himself off as an expert literary detective for several years (to the indignation of legitimate scholars) until he exposed himself in a comical series of frauds. He got caught offering himself to both sides in the sensational JonBenet Ramsey case, first telling the mother he knew “absolutely and unequivocally” that she was innocent, and then turning around and telling the police he could identify her as the perpetrator. Earlier Foster became obsessed with the internet postings of a fan of the case, and faxed his literary agent that he had discovered that this fan was actually JonBenet's male half brother and had certainly written the incriminating ransom note. It turned out that the internet fan was a 48-year-old North Carolina housewife.
The climax of the Don Foster story came in 2002 when he was forced to admit that his original claim to fame, the discovery that William Shakespeare was the anonymous author of an obscure Elizabethan funeral elegy, was false. (New York Times, 6/20/02). [More on Foster.] Eventually, Foster would admit that the alleged technique of computer analysis of text was bogus (Santa Barbara News-Press, 8/11/03). What Foster had been doing all along was just guessing at “results” he thought people wanted to hear, or would get him attention.
But before his self-destruction, Foster was recruited into the Judi Bari mystery. Ed Gehrman claims he gave Foster a selection of writings from a small number of people associated with Judi Bari and Foster obliged Gehrman by asserting that Sweeney's writings most closely resembled the anonymous letter claiming responsibility for the bombing. But Foster hedged by noting there was no assurance that Gehrman's small pool really included the actual author of the anonymous letter. And he would later admit the link to Sweeney was “inconclusive” (email, 5/11/00). But it was enough for Gehrman. He published an article in an obscure conspiracy theory magazine demanding Sweeney be investigated as the likely bomber.
This bizarre stew was very tasty to Anderson, who quickly realized it gave him a weapon against the reputation of Judi Bari far more sensational than anything he had been able to concoct on his own.
Anderson quickly forgot his past assertions, including : “Mike Sweeney certainly didn't do it.” (AVA, 5/29/91) and “The simple truth of the matter is that Bari and Sweeney separated peacefully and cooperatively.” (AVA, 5/11/94). Overnight in 1999, he became the leading booster of the Sutley-Gehrman theory, adding numerous inventions of his own and claiming that Bari herself was his source. Sometimes he offers the alternative theory that Sweeney built the bomb and Bari was knowingly transporting it. (“There is also the possibility he built the bomb for some hare-brained scheme of Judi Bari's.”) (AVA, 9/29/99) Week after week, he filled the AVA with every falsehood and slander he could find against Sweeney, Bari, Bari's supporters, and anyone who dared speak up in protest against his attempted lynching. He spurned demands that he produce actual evidence, anything at all, to prove his libels.
His own brother, Rob Anderson, who Bruce had entrusted with the editorship of the AVA when he was jailed for contempt of court, broke with him over Bruce's obsession with Judi Bari and Mike Sweeney: “The AVA is bombing its own credibility every week…chewing over the same cud of rumor, half-truth and baseless accusation,” Rob Anderson wrote in March, 2000 in his own newsletter, Mendoland.
More on Don Foster, the star witness of Counterpunch and AVA
Very long history of Don Foster's history of literary hoaxes and exaggerated claims regarding Shakespeare texts and high profile crime cases
Foster blames Steven Hatfill (who was probably falsely accused in anthrax investigation) without using any actual evidence.
STEVEN J. HATFILL,
v. C.A. #04-cv-_______-A
DONALD FOSTER, Ph.D.;
Indymedia postings about the AVA campaign
The Indymedia network of websites is an amazing publishing system that allows excluded voices to be aired on the internet free of any censorship. Unfortunately, the open publishing model also allows wingnuts and disinformation agents to "muddy the waters" with nonsense, polluting the outreach of genuine investigation and information campaigns. One posting about the Sierra Club supporting the Bari trial drew these two comments, which are representative of many others:
A Full Senate Investigation
by Pam Monday, Apr. 08, 2002 at 12:57 PMA full Senate investigation would be wonderful. A federal grand jury investigation would be welcome, a police department reopening of the bomb case would be useful. Any and all of these investigations ought to take a long hard look at Bari's ex-spouse, Michael Emmet Sweeney the garbage czar of Mendocino County. Any good investigation would also look into the racketeering and corrupt practices of Darryl Cherney and his phony front group, Environmentally Sound Poductions, as well as a complete delving into of the finances of the so-called Redwood Summer Justice Project which has already scammed over a million dollars in contributions from the gullible and guilt-ridden (and who have now apparently taken in the entire leadership of the Sierra Club). It is encouraging to note that the weekly Anderson Valley Advertiser of Boonville, California will have reporters covering the trial every day of the proceedings. While the AVA is not on line, it is available at many bookstores in the Bay Area and subscriptions can be obtained by contacting the Anderson Valley Advertiser, 12451 Anderson Valley Way, Boonville, CA 95415. Telephone: 707 895-3016, Fax: 707 895-3355 or email at <email@example.com> The AVA has already exposed this lawsuit as fraud. This ECOFRAUD cries out for a RICO investigation of Cherney and his co-conspirators.
Answer to Craig
by Solidarity! Thursday, Apr. 11, 2002 at 11:02 PM
Why don't you ask the supposed "investigators" of the case this question? The FBI was supposed to investigate this case so ask them what's up with the DNA? Of course they don't know and don't care. So since they have refused to do thier job, others have had to do it for them.
To answer your question, re. DNA as far as I know, it was several of the suspects DNA that was tested, and linked to certain letters via stamps & envelopes, not directly to the bomb itself (yet). The results are not as specific as you might hope nor have they all been released. One of the suspects "male relatives" seem to match up rather than the suspect himself. But they don't know for sure which male relative it is. And it's possible that the person who wrote the letter was different than the person who licked the stamp. ("Hey bro, do you mind dropping this letter in the post for me?")
The FBI consistently refused to do DNA testing and actually tried to block DNA testing from being allowed as evidence in this trial. DNA testing was paid for by the only people who seem to be acutally doing an investigation, that is the plaintiffs. The results of this testing are not necessarily linked to this trial, since the trial is not a "whodunnit" case. It is simply a lawsuit against the FBI and OPD for not doing a REAL investigation, and for lying, blaming the victims and trying to discredit them. The results of the DNA therefore are not necessarily all going to be heard within this trial and may take even longer than the trial to nail down "whodunnit". There are many suspects and many DNA tests and they cost quite a bit, which neither the feds nor law enforcement are paying for. The plaintiffs (Darryl and the Bari estate) are extremely busy with the case at hand, and so the full results of all DNA testing may not be finished in time for the trial verdict. As much as everyone would like to see the name of the bomber all over the headlines by the end of this trial, it's not very likely that that will happen. If the FBI had done a proper investigation in the first place, including DNA testing years ago, then the bomber might be sitting in jail right now. But the FBI clearly had no interest in finding the real bomber, and that is why they are being sued!
Re: Regarding the previous wingnut, flatland conspiracy comment. Go fuck yourself, your arguements are bankrupt, your proof is nil, your evidence is contrived and not even deemed admissable or even useful by the FBI themselves (who Bruce Anderson offered to help - but they shined him). John Foster is a phony, Irv Sutley is a gun-crazed spook and Bruce Anderson is a misogynist, alcoholic, washed-up, has-been who has globbed on to this ridiculous fiction that came straight from the king of misinfo, the police informant himself, ie Irv. And Jim Martin is being played like a cheap harmonica. Suckers!!
(well thought through analysis of COINTELPRO and this smear campaign)
If the FBI were acting (again) as a political surveillance and provocateur clearinghouse, their forensic examiners and telephone eavesdroppers could have compared notes and fabricated a phoney letter trail to cover for their terror while retaining enough credibility to be taken seriously, even without an FBI-built bomb. The Nazis didn't burn down the Reichstag themselves, they duped Marinus Van der Lubbe into doing it for them.
If the FBI was merely opportunistic in its campaign of blame against Earth First! and Judy Bari, then the investigation should have been renewed with the aquittal of Bari and Cherney, if only to defend against the lawsuit against the bureau. If Mike Sweeney really was the bomber, proof of that fact should have come out in the searches of Bari and Sweeney's shared home, and that evidence would have been placed at Bari's feet. In fact little or nothing linked the bomb to Judi. That's why no one but the FBI still maintains she did it.
Please keep in mind that Richard W Held, an FBI agent accused by a fellow agent of railroading Geronimo Pratt into prison in the COINTELPRO against the Black Panther Party in 1972, was the Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco FBI when Judi's car was blown up in his territory. He retired in 1993.
also at that site
excellent summary of the case
a good history of COINTELPRO scandals at the FBI
"There (is) a cultural problem in the FBI that needs to be addressed. If it isn't, it's going to destroy itself."
Former FBI Special Agent Dan Vogel, speaking on CBS 60 Minutes II, May 29, 2001
"We take people’s freedoms away. We put your son, we put your daughter in jail. We take away your freedom. We take away your house. We take away your assets. We compile files of your information-FBI dossiers- on you. If that doesn’t give you pause for thought, nothing in this life will."
Paul Mark Moskal, Special Agent, Buffalo, NY
Collected here are a few of the public scandals which have come to light about the FBI. (Index to Agents of the FBI)
(It does not pretend to be a comprehensive list)
1917 - IWW 'Wobbly' raids
1919 - 1920's Infiltration of UNIA and targeting Marcus Garvey
1919, 1920 - Palmer Raids
1920 - present - Communist Party U.S.A. infiltration
1920 - 1971 - Investigation of the Ameican Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
1941 - 1976 - Socialist Worker's Party infiltration, burglaries, etc.
1953 - 1966 - Surveillance of Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz Al-Sabban)
1956 - 1971 - COINTELPRO Panthers, Anti-War Movement, Puerto Rico, KKK
1963 - 1968 - Surveillance and Threats against Dr Martin Luther King, Jr
1968 - 1970's - Infiltration and frame-ups against the Black Panther Party
1972 - 1976 - FBI actions against the American Indian Movement (AIM)
1973 - 1988 - Library Awareness Program
1979 - 1989 - Investigation of General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS)
1981 - 1986 - Burglaries and harassment of CISPES
1989 - 1990 - Earth First! (Arizona Five and Judi Bari)
1989 - 1991 - VANPAC
1992 - Randy Weaver standoff and Vicki Weaver assassination at Ruby Ridge
1993 - World Trade Center Bombing
1993 - 'Waco' seige and inferno (Mount Carmel)
1995 - Oklahoma City (Murrah Building bombed)
1995 - 1997 - SPLITRAIL (under construction)
1996 - TWA flight 800 crash investigation
1996 - The Centennial Park Bombing - FBI leaks Richard Jewell's name as a suspect.
1997 - FBI Labratory misconduct (Whitehurst allegations)
1999 - SPAM from the Law Enforcement Online project (ANSIR e-mail)
2000 - CARNIVORE by any other name, would bite as hard
2000 - FBI attempts to squelch web sites (Mike Z, Cyptome.org, IndyMedia)
2000 - FBI gets caught lying to FISA Court
2001 - FBI gets caught witholding thousands of documents (4,034 pages) from McVeigh Defense Team
2001 - FBI researcher releases Sircam internet worm to the net
2001 - Did the FBI know something about 9/11 before it happened?
2001 - Mass Detentions and Racial Profiling post-9/11
2001 - Who killed John P. O'Neill?
AVA moves to Oregon
Carpetbagger -- A nonresident who meddles in politics (Webster's dictionary)
Defending Republicans from charges of vote fraud
Attacking Judi Bari (the same tired song of lies)
Attacking the first Mayor of Eugene not in the pocket of the developers
Attacking the publisher of this website (as predicted)
One of the local businesses targeted by AVA Oregon was freaked out by the sheer nastiness of the AVA's invective toward them. Who benefits from this abuse -- it's not anyone working for a more positive society, more peaceful planet.
If there's any sincerity behind this, perhaps it's just a problem of seeing the nastiness of the dominant paradigm and thinking this is the only way to operate in the world. However, making a better world would require different, nicer ways to treat each other.
Perhaps one day Anderson will have a "Lee Atwater" conversion and realize that these smear campaigns cause psychological wounding. (Atwater realized at the end of his life that his nastiness had made for a worse society, and expressed profound regret.)
Several issues of "AVA Oregon" have flatly misrepresented local politics and basic facts here in Eugene. Eugene's liberal / left is much more cohesive these days than it has been in years, in part due to the local election of a majority City Council not in the pocket of the timber barons. It is revealing that AVA Oregon is hurling abuse against the Councilors who oppose the sprawl sought by these timber barons, and is silent on the conflicts of interest of the soon-to-be minority faction on the Council.
Two years ago, the "Gang of Nine" campaign here in Eugene involved a transplanted Californian trying to derail environmental causes in the community via not-funny nastiness. Gang of Nine and AVA Oregon are mirror images -- one "right wing," one "left wing," but their tactics and targets are very similar.
AVA is helping the Republicans by:
-- ridiculing citizens who dare to talk about evidence of Republican dirty
tricks (third issue),
-- complaining about efforts to force a recount in Ohio (December 16),
-- lying about Republican violence directed against Democrats (second issue)
-- publishing inaccurate claims about local liberal politicians that they've never met (while being silent about the timber baron backed politicians) (second issue?, and December 16)
Anderson Valley Advertiser (Oregon)
December 9, 2004
Powell's, despite repeated calls to them, and our having endured whole minutes of supercilious twit-voice on the book cannibal's telephone devices, is not interested. Here's hoping they're eaten by Amazon.com.Small circulation publications have a tough time geting out there even if they get themselves a bar code and on into Borders and Barnes and Noble. ....
[an awfully strange, nasty comment by someone who professes to support independent book stores, which Powell's is, over corporate stores like Amazon]
... as most of us lib-labs like to assume, places like Sundance Natural Foods are thought to be eager to carry dissident pubs like AVA Oregon. Wrong! These folks, like ayatollahs everywhere, have got to be satified that the content of the publication doesn't violate their dim perceptions of the good and the true. In the instance we're about to get to, Sundance Natural Foods, the manager gave us the bounce on the basis of what she heard was the partial content of my previous publication. And this green fascist got her information about the content of AVA Oregon from a fat guy with orange hair! Nothing against fat guys with orange hair, I assure you; some of my best friends are fat guys with green hair, but I really need to talk to this guy in person.
LOOKING FOR ROBO. There's this character named Robonowitz [sic] going around town lobbying stores against selling AVA Oregon. I don't know the man. When I asked around, I was told 'Mark's a pudgy, boring guy with orange hair; a conspiracy nut. He's the resident intellectual at the Eugene Weekly.' A boring, pudgy guy with orange hair ought to be easy to find even in a perpetual costume show of a town of this size, but there's no sign of intelligent life let alone an intellectual at the Eugene Weekly, so where the heck could Robo be? I tried to find a phone number and street address for ol' Orange Hair but, I suppose, if you're the kind of dangerously in the know person whose every move is tracked, round the clock, by all the world's intelligence agencies, I guess you're wise to make yourself scarce. If not invisible, unnatural carrot tops notwithstanding. The fact that Robo is considered plausible by anybody, let alone political progressives who, until the fairly recent past were at least assumed capable of accurately decoding the mother tongue, is mildly shocking in a town advertised as teeming with smarties. It's teeming with creepy little neo-commissars, in my brief experience with the annointeds.
[Absolutely none of the "facts" in this paragraph are true, but that shouldn't be a surprise for anyone familiar with the history of the AVA's hoaxes, hopefully it will titillate readers who like to read abuse about people they've never heard of before. This particular hoax has eight mentions of the alleged "orange" hair, which is as inaccurate as the rest of this rant. It does read like the COINTELPRO documents from the 1960s sent to peace and civil rights and other social justice groups to sow dissension and discredit activists.]
... Sundance Natural Foods at 24th and Hilyard threw us out last week because the store's manager said I'd "trashed" the late Judi Bari. Not hardly. The late Bari wrote for my California paper, and we were close friends for years until I said I thought her ex-husband had tried to kill her via the famous car bomb and she ought to say so publicly because she'd been saying he'd done it privately ever since the day it happened.
[More outrageous lies from someone who has spent more than a decade smearing Bari, wrote a nasty obituary, and continues to smear her long after she's dead, even as he has relocated his operation from Boonville to Eugene. He even had the nerve to claim she was carrying the bomb herself -- even though it was an anti-personnel weapon with a motion sensor to trigger it, placed directly underneath the drivers' seat. Shame!]
She got mad at me, her national cult got mad at me, too. But the obvious fact that hubbykins did it is an opinion shared by the few disinterested persons who've bothered to look hard at the facts of the Bari Bombing.
[The FBI was sued by Bari and Cherney for the blatant violations of their civil rights, and absolutely NO evidence was every disclosed by anyone to justify this paranoid fantasy. Surely, the FBI and the Oakland Police Department would have had tremendous motivation to use Anderson's endless accusations if there had been the tiniest piece of truth to them.]
but the Husband Did It is not a perspective allowed among the non-reading sectors of the lock-step left, and there seem to be thousands of them stuffed into the Eugene-Portland corridor to whom Bari is one more station on their mindless cross. Eugene apparently has never heard the full argument, and is unlikely to hear it, given the closed nature of its "progressive" institutions. The Bari mythologists have prevailed because they have bigger megaphones like the one at Democracy Now, for instance, where a hagiographic and entirely false account of the Bari saga, narrated by the faux anarchist Utah Phillips has been played everywhere in the country on public, ie., tax funded, "free speech" radio stations.
Without getting into the particulars of a complicated case, two pending books on the matter, one of them by Susan Faludi, the other by Kate Coleman will, I'm confident, support my opinions. (Persons honestly interested in the case are encouraged to go on-line to visit http://www.theava.com/bari.html.)
[This is the same website that contains hoaxes Mr. Anderson admitted to inventing during his August 2004 appearance on Jefferson Public Radio. Obviously, AVA hopes that this admission was not heard by his readers.]
Local Business offers support for dealing with this nonsense
(no Bruce, it's not your business to know who wrote this - but they won't be selling your rag anymore)
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 17:28:01 -0800
Subject: Idiots on the loose
From: ... Books
Mark, I read Anderson's latest rant after you called. This to me is
the first time he's gone completely and insufferably off the deep end since
he started this thing in town. I have no doubt he will soon be run out of this
burg too, at least so far as a publisher of a newspaper. You are right to not
take him on in any straightforward manner. I feel for you (or anyone who is
so insufferably slammed) for having to put up with such idiocy. ... Do you know
? She loathes this guy even more than you (and if you don't loath him, you're
possibly a saint).
Our bottom line here ... is: anyone in this community who claims to be on the progressive side of the center, who both viciously AND openly rips into his/her fellow compatriots, rightfully or otherwise, needs to apologize, then shut up. And certainly, they need to stay away from us .... . Take heart
Rebuttal to AVA's claims the Democrats attacked Republicans at a peaceful vigil on the Ferry Street Bridge
I will comment on the fight between the Democrats and Republicans on the Ferry Street bridge. I got there to demonstrate just a few minutes after the fight had happened. I was cautioned by some of the men from the Kerry group to stay away from the Republicans because they were " loose cannons". That's to put it mildly!!!! My ire was immediately piqued, because I can't stand being pushed around by anyone, so I stood next to the last Republican in their line. He kept trying to push me backwards, by getting closer and closer. The guy was one of the most nuts person I've ever been around!!! And I've been around some pretty weird people. He was so violent I couldn't believe it. He kept up a constant stream of yelling, including yelling absolute tripe at me, i.e. " Democrats don't work, all they do is lay around and collect money from the gov't while the rest of us work our #$^^%*$@! butts off to support them- they're all a bunch of lily- chicken crooks, blah, blah, blah"" On and on and on. Every few minutes, I would say something to him, because I couldn't resist- i.e. " if you think the war in Iraq is so great, why don't you sign up and go there?!!!"" " Yeah, let's do that, let's both sign up- let's go right now- you look like you're in such good shape, I'm sure they'll take you!!" All of his remarks accompanied by a screaming demeanor and lots of sneers. It was all I could do to keep from getting into a fist fight with him myself, because I found him to be totally disgusting!! When I asked him if he had served in VietNam, since he was so much in favor of war, he launched into a diatribe about working in Alaska to provide oil for everyone, did I drive a car, yeah you drive a car, you know what oil is, blah, blah blah.....He was absolutely insane, and I couldn't think of any way to counter him other than to stand my ground and smile dumbly at him! And then every now and then poke him with another question. The saddest thing was that a young man stood next to him and was getting totally fired up by him. When I asked that young man why he didn't sign up for the war if he was so much for it, he said he had been there and would go back if he was called up. That's one of the things that I found the saddest- that young men would be encouraged to throw their lives away without thinking about it too much!! ( Today I heard the report on the news about the young man who is on trial in Iraq for killing a badly injured young Iraqi. His defense was that he killed him to put him out of his misery. I grew up on a farm, and it was not unusual to kill an animal that was in misery- to save it from suffering- but it struck me as immensely sad that this young American, who very well might be from a farming or mountain community couldn't differentiate between killing an animal to keep it from suffering and preserving a human life, and instead administering first aid. I grieve over the war machine taking advantage of young men, and twisting their thought processes. When I watched C-Span and saw a soldier asking Rumsfield why they had to dig through the scrap heaps to get pieces of metal to reinforce their vehicles, I had to cheer- mostly because he wasn't a snot nosed young bungler from some backwoods who could be easily put down, but was a very sturdy, dignified soldier. I heard this morning that he is becoming a folk hero now for his questioning! Of course , the military had their press conference yesterday to respond to it all and give reporters the view that all vehicles were being retrofitted.) Well, at any rate, I'm getting tired - but all the Republicans I saw that day at the Ferry St. bridge were nuts!! That includes a woman about my age who kept going up and down their line, saying " they want to fight, I'll show them how to fight, I can take any of them out, I really know how to fight, etc!!" My brain won out over my hormones and I resisted grabbing her by the throat and ripping every hair out of her head!! Ciao, Barbara
from Monty Python's The Life of Brian - a parable about many things, including ultra-sectarian leftist groups
BRIAN: Brothers! Brothers! We should be struggling together!
FRANCIS: We are! Ohh.
BRIAN: We mustn't fight each other! Surely we should be united against the common enemy!
EVERYONE: The Judean People's Front?!
BRIAN: No, no! The Romans!
EVERYONE: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yes.
BRIAN: Are you the Judean People's Front?
REG: Fuck off!
REG: Judean People's Front. We're the People's Front of Judea! Judean People's Front. Cawk.
BRIAN: Can I... join your group?
REG: No. Piss off.
BRIAN: I didn't want to sell this stuff. It's only a job. I hate the Romans as much as anybody.
PEOPLE'S FRONT OF JUDEA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.
JUDITH: Are you sure?
BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.
REG: Listen. If you really wanted to join the P.F.J., you'd have to really hate the Romans.
BRIAN: I do!
REG: Oh, yeah? How much?
BRIAN: A lot!
REG: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front.
FRANCIS: And the Judean Popular People's Front.
P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
LORETTA: And the People's Front of Judea.
P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
LORETTA: The People's Front of Judea. Splitters.
REG: We're the People's Front of Judea!
LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
REG: People's Front! C-huh.
FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
REG: He's over there.
Maverick publisher headed to Oregon
Anderson Valley Advertiser creator plans new paper in Eugene
June 19, 2004
By MARY CALLAHAN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The sacred cow -- already threatened in Mendocino County by the ruthless pen of newspaper publisher Bruce Anderson -- may soon be endangered in parts north with Anderson's move to Eugene, Ore.
Still settling into his new community -- though perhaps not its embrace -- Anderson said he plans to launch a second newspaper, similar to the wildly scornful, many say recklessly libelous, Anderson Valley Advertiser, which he has published from his Boonville home for 20 years.
Though he ultimately may sell the Advertiser, Anderson said by e-mail this week that it "will remain pretty much the same" for now, with its publisher contributing from afar and traveling back and forth, at least until he sells his Anderson Valley house.
The new paper, to be called 'Gene!, will focus on Lane County, Ore., where he is said to be staying with friends while buying a home. He hopes to begin publication in January.
In the meantime, he plans to distribute the Advertiser around town "so people can get an idea of what to expect, and they can start building the wall of hostility between me and the rest of the community," he told the Eugene Register-Guard.
Anderson, a 64-year-old former Marine and Peace Corps volunteer, is known for a bruising, confrontational style that some say often overlooks reality and fact, though Anderson defends as satire fictional interviews, quotes and anecdotes he's published.
His departure may mark a new, safer era for public officials in Mendocino County, nearly all of whom have been caught in his sights in what are often personal, brutal tirades.
Cruel, crazy, brutal, abusive and outright fictional are some of the terms used by some of his past targets to describe Anderson's work. And though many readers understand that he takes liberties with the truth -- some calling it entertainment -- others said too many readers take it as fact.
"Best news since the Nazis were driven out of Paris," one person said about Anderson's move, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear that "anything I say will be used against me."
"Only crazy people will miss Bruce Anderson," said writer Michael Koepf, a contributor to the Advertiser for its first six years, until he turned witness against the publisher over his treatment of two teens in a group home he operated.
The abuse allegations surfaced after Anderson appealed the county's refusal to grant him a foster care license. Though an administrative judge said she didn't believe the allegations were true, she ruled against him on other grounds.
A few fans
Anderson has defenders who say his relentless critiques have focused scrutiny on areas that needed attention -- conditions in the Mendocino County Jail, for example, witnessed first-hand during a 35-day stay for decking a school superintendent who called him a "third-rate McCarthyite" during a public meeting.
Some even say his contentious, caustic approach masks a soft heart for children and underdogs.
"He's shined a light on a lot of things that needed illumination," said Mendocino County District Attorney Norm Vroman, whose initial election is credited by some to Anderson's verbal pounding of former District Attorney Susan Massini.
A conciliatory Massini said: "He obviously carries things too far ... but that's part of getting people to pay attention to what they haven't been paying attention to."
But Massini also said Anderson misused his intelligence and writing talent on unnecessary, personal attacks on people and their families.
Mendocino County Supervisor Richard Shoemaker distinguished, for instance, the stinging barbs printed about public officials from the "cruel" and "tabloidish" personal attacks made against citizens not otherwise in the public eye.
"Whether you agree with him or not," said Vroman, "it's nice to have a newspaper that's not beholden to anyone and doesn't have a political agenda."
For his part, Anderson -- an occasional political candidate whose newspaper's banner urges "Peace to the cottages! War on the Palaces!" -- has taken pride in offending people from all political stripes, as well as aging hippies, environmentalists, ranchers and the wine culture.
He said his idea when he bought the Advertiser in 1983 "was to put out a paper that alienated all of them," columnist Alexander Cockburn wrote recently, quoting Anderson saying, "I unified the community -- against me."
Anderson appears poised to do the same in Eugene, declaring it rife with "whole regiments of highly irritating people -- Mendocino County squared," according to "An Interview With Himself" announcing his move in the June 2 edition of the Advertiser.
Can he stay away?
Some are skeptical that Anderson will stay in Eugene, a community selected in part because his wife, Ling, has close friends there but where he has no following.
He announced a similar, later-aborted move to Humboldt County in 1995, telling readers: "When you get to where about half the people you see in Mendocino County inspire intense homicidal fantasies, it's clearly time for a change of terrain."
Koepf said he could imagine Anderson coming back this time, too. "In Eugene, he's just an aging Marxist nursing his latte at Starbucks," he said, "blowing off steam with the other old liberals."
But Anderson, in a column called "Oregon, First Impressions," published June 9, said he wouldn't "miss progressive Mendocino County in the least."
"It's an institutionally cruel and stupid place, politically considered," he said, "and the people who seem to think they stand for something better, don't."
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or at mcallahan@ pressdemocrat.com.
North Coast Journal
December 16, 2004
AVA publisher pulls up Mendo roots
by HANK SIMS
A pugnacious newspaper publisher who delighted and appalled North Coast readers
for almost two decades has set up shop in Oregon.
Bruce Anderson, whose Anderson Valley Advertiser had a small but devoted readership in Humboldt County, began publishing AVA Oregon last month, after selling his Mendocino County paper and relocating to Eugene over the summer.
So far, the left-wing editor who happily skewered bureaucrats and "tofu totalitarians" in the local environmental movement seems right at home.
"If you think Arcata's a politically correct place, try Eugene," he said. "You have a lot of these associate professors -- like 35 years old. They're your multiculturalist and language police, but they totally miss the big picture," such as endemic poverty in the region.
Since taking over the Anderson Valley Advertiser in the mid-'80s, Anderson has attracted a national readership with his unique combination of scathing wit and muckracking reportage. At the same time, he frequently invoked the wrath of critics by stretching the boundaries of what many would consider acceptable newspaper content -- including publishing fictional interviews with former Congressman Doug Bosco and Earth First! activist Judi Bari, assuming that readers would take them as satire.
Anderson's reputation -- he is often portrayed as the last of the old-school American newspapermen -- has made his move north an attractive subject for feature writers at large papers. The AVA Oregon launch was greeted with profiles in the Oregonian, the Sacramento Bee and the New York Times. Anderson said that the trade magazine Editor and Publisher is scheduled to run a cover story on the new publication next month.
The new paper has enlisted a number of Beaver State writers, including the former director of sports information for the University of Oregon and several local free-lance journalists. Many of the columnists who wrote for the old AVA -- including Petrolia resident Alexander Cockburn and Anderson's son Zack, an experimental writer of fiction and sports commentary -- will continue to contribute.
So far, AVA Oregon has published stories about a fistfight between Bush and Kerry supporters in downtown Eugene during the run-up to the recent election, the alleged inanity of Oregon's native right-wing radio talk show hosts and Anderson's own travails in getting the paper up and running.
Some of the paper's content continues to touch on North Coast issues. In a caustic profile of political consultant Michael Grossman -- whose firm, the Seattle-based Fifty Plus One, produced television advertisements advocating the recall of District Attorney Paul Gallegos last spring -- reporter Hart Williams reveals that two of those ads won national awards from the American Association of Political Consultants.
Reached at his Eugene home last week, Williams -- who has written for the Oregonian, the Los Angeles Times and numerous other mainstream papers -- said that his weekly column in the new AVA is done for love, not money.
"I get to write the kind of journalistic pieces that always get quashed by editors at other publications," he said, adding that he heartily approved of the paper's motto, a saying that is attributed to publishing magnate Joseph Pulitzer: "Newspapers should have no friends."
"That's the way it ought to be," he said "The Fourth Estate is supposed to keep tabs on these people."
But Anderson conceded that lack of friends could jeopardize AVA Oregon's chances of getting off the ground. Though he said the paper is carried by retail outlets in every part of Oregon and is selling fairly well, his current weekly circulation of around 1,000 will have to improve if the venture is to survive beyond January.
It appears that may be an uphill battle. In last week's issue, Anderson told readers of his frustrated attempts to get the paper into Portland's venerable Powell's Books. He capped the story with a fervent wish that the store be "eaten by Amazon.com."
Closer to home, Sundance Natural Foods -- a Eugene health-food store -- stopped carrying the paper last week, apparently after receiving complaints from its clientele. In an e-mail to Anderson, store owner Gavin McComas explained that the decision was literally based on his understanding of the principle of karma.
"I have the ultimate responsibility to decide what constitutes nourishment and what policies and practices express our sense of kinship with all sentient beings, in particular our customers, staff and vendors," McComas wrote.
Even though such reactions may spell trouble for the paper, Anderson seemed disinclined to tone things down in an effort to placate his potential distributors.
"Yes, I'm having trouble with the PC people -- these people that fancy themselves on the cutting edge of everything that is true in America," he said. "A bunch of adenoidal little assholes."
Eugene's critical new paper already has some flinching
Publisher Bruce Anderson says no target will be spared by AVA Oregon, a
style that earned him admirers and enemies elsewhere
Sunday, October 31, 2004
EUGENE -- A California newspaper publisher known for riling factions ranging
from school superintendents to environmental activists is set to launch a
new weekly newspaper in Eugene that promises to provoke the powerful, rattle
the comfortable and please almost no one.
Bruce Anderson says he's already sniffed out one ongoing target: Eugene's
left-leaning alternative community.
"I hope to blow the doors off this kind of sanctimonious consensus here
that's developed in the liberal progressive left and the right," says
Anderson, who calls himself an "unapologetic socialist."
"There's a growing class of angry, estranged people here in Eugene," he
says. "But go to the university area and there's this idea that 'everything
is just fine here. We're fighting the good fight.' "
Anderson ran the Anderson Valley Advertiser in Boonville, Calif., for 20
years. He moved to Eugene this summer, he says, to be closer to friends. He
launches his new paper, AVA Oregon, on Thursday.
If anyone is equipped to blow the doors off anything, say his supporters,
"He reports on what is happening in local communities, the court system, the
school board -- institutions where power is administered and exhibits itself
in all its corruption in every county in America," says Alexander Cockburn,
a nationally syndicated columnist and a contributor to the Anderson Valley
Advertiser since 1986.
Cockburn calls Anderson "one of the most vivid pens of our time" and puts
him in the ranks of Thomas Paine, Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken. The AVA, he
maintains, "is the greatest newspaper in America."
But Anderson's no-holds-barred style has also won him a host of detractors,
mostly in Mendocino County, where his editorial whipping posts lived and
worked. Many residents still won't talk publicly about Anderson for fear of
feeling the sting of his printed barbs.
But Norman de Vall, a former Mendocino County supervisor, says he has
nothing to lose by talking. Anderson "did more damage and caused more hurt
to the civics of Mendocino County during his term as editor of the AVA than
any other one person or group," de Vall says.
"He chased and scared wonderful people from sitting on commissions and
boards and running for office. He attacked them, and did so viciously."
David Colfax, a current county supervisor and a former friend of Anderson's,
says he used to brainstorm ideas for the paper with Anderson but backed away
as the editor's style became more strident.
"Bruce is a talented guy who has wasted that talent and used it in a way
that saddens me," Colfax says. "He could have been a real force for positive
change in Mendocino County and he let his ego get in the way."
In person, Anderson hardly seems like the type who could intimidate an
entire county. A trimmed, whitish beard frames his round, red-cheeked face.
His eyes are a snapping blue. He's big, but approachable. In different garb,
he could pass for Santa Claus.
Still, the ex-Marine and former Peace Corps volunteer admits he's been
jailed for punching a school superintendent at a school board meeting. He's
also gone to jail for refusing to turn over to authorities a letter sent to
him by an inmate in a murder case.
And he agrees he's left behind a host of enemies. "And some serious ones,
too," he says. "Ones who'd like to kill me."
He also acknowledges that he has sometimes used unconventional means to get
his points across. He chuckles remembering the time he printed a news
release saying the county's superintendent of schools was sponsoring a
"He had the nerve to threaten me with a lawsuit, so we reprinted that one,"
Anderson alienated himself from a good portion of Mendocino County's
activist community by turning against Judi Bari, an Earth First protester.
Bari was injured in 1990 when a bomb exploded in a car she was in with
fellow activist Darryl Cherney. The FBI accused the two of making and
transporting the bomb.
Bari and Anderson had been friends, but the two had a falling out a few
years after the bombing, says Alicia Littletree, a Bari supporter and
longtime Mendocino County resident.
Anderson subsequently mounted a campaign to undermine Bari's civil rights
lawsuit against the FBI, says Littletree, who worked on the case.
"During three or four years, he put out a bunch of false accusations over
and over again, every week in the paper. You repeat something enough times,
people begin to think of it as something that should be asked about,"
Bari died of breast cancer in 1997. Cherney won a $4.4 million verdict
against the FBI in 2002. No one else has ever been charged in the bombing.
Although he has been threatened with libel suits, Anderson says none of them
has stuck. The reason, he says, is that he printed the facts. "They spoke
for themselves," he says.
Don Kahle, editor of a humor magazine in Eugene called Wink, says the city
desperately needs a voice like Anderson's to call attention to its blind spots.
In local conversations, "being polite far outweighs telling the truth," says
Kahle, a former president of the Eugene City Club, a group of business
owners, elected officials and involved citizens.
"We refer to minorities in the right way, we congratulate ourselves for
talking right, but we continue to oppress them. I think Bruce will lance
The Eugene-based AVA Oregon will carry contributing writers from Portland,
Ashland, Coos Bay and Oregon City, home of writer and contributor Jeffrey
St. Clair. The paper won't take advertising and will be sold on the street
for $1 an issue. It also will be available in bookstores and by subscription.
Anderson's potshots already have begun. He recently derided the alternative
Eugene Weekly as "soft."
Weekly editor Ted Taylor defended his paper, saying the publication is soft
only "in terms of trying to be respectful of our sources and not strident in
our coverage of the issues."
Taylor called Anderson's articles entertaining, but says "they don't appear
to be fact-based."
In Mendocino County, Littletree says she and others are basking in the
relative harmony that has fallen on their community since Anderson left.
"It's calm and peaceful down here now," she says. "People are speaking out again."
Alice Tallmadge: 541-741-6256; firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2004 Oregon Live. All Rights Reserved.
Anderson admits to hoaxes in New York Times article
New York Times
November 30, 2004
He Ranted, He Raved, He Rode Out on His Own Rail
By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN
BOONVILLE, Calif., Nov. 26 - Annie Esposito, the news
director at KZYX, the local public radio station, is one of
many people here who were not exactly heartbroken when
Bruce Anderson, the rapier-witted, acid-penned editor of
the weekly Anderson Valley Advertiser, announced that he
was moving to Oregon.
To Mr. Anderson, the town muckraker and ranter in chief,
KZYX was a "hippie-ding enterprise," a symbol of the
"wine-and-cheese gentry," the "lib-lab yuppie hypocrites,"
the "educrats," the "thumbsuckers," the "New Age
barnacles," the "feral enviro-Druids" and other
well-meaning ineffectual "Nice People" who flocked to
hippie festivals in the early 1970's and stayed.
"There were all sorts of theories about Bruce," said Ms.
Esposito, 62, whose offices include an old caboose. "That
he was crazy. That he worked for the F.B.I. But the real
reason he flamed us horrible wimpy liberals was, it sells
In 1984, after stints in the Marines and the Peace Corps
and running a foster home for delinquent boys, Mr. Anderson
bought the boosterish local paper for $20,000. Borrowing
mottos from the French Revolution - Peace to the cottages!
War on the palaces! - he transformed it into one of the
country's most idiosyncratic and contentious weeklies. Half
of its 2,500 readers live safely out of firing range
outside Northern California.
In its Dickensian pages unfolded the texture of life in
this isolated, now chic and ethereally beautiful region
about 120 miles north of San Francisco. Once best known for
Boontling, a strange turn-of-the-century jargon, Anderson
Valley, named for an early settler not related to the
editor, was home to loggers, sheep ranchers and apple
farmers, then hippies and back-to-the-landers. In its
latest incarnation as the next Napa Valley, gourmands and
oenophiles jet in to sample the acclaimed sparkling wines
and pinot noir with cherry overtones as migrant workers
struggle to find housing.
Armed with a satirist's eye and occasionally a fiction
writer's imagination, Mr. Anderson and his newspaper
combined exposés on corruption in high places with weekly
columns on marijuana, long letters to the editor (with
acerbic replies) and folksy news about the blueberry
cobbler at the senior center and gophers decimating the
No one was spared, not local celebrities like Alice Walker,
not the transplanted suburbanite "hill muffins," not even
children on electric scooters ("Why aren't the little
pre-diabetic pudges encouraged to propel themselves on
Like Giverny to Monet, Boonville was Mr. Anderson's canvas,
minus the lilies. "It was a case of an unexploded bomb
finally finding a fuse," said Alexander Cockburn, the
politically left-wing columnist and regular contributor to
Mr. Anderson, who is 65, sold the paper four months ago for
the same price he paid for it. The buyer was David Severn,
62, known as King Fix-It, a volunteer ambulance technician,
a hardware store clerk and a father of eight who writes
"Vine Watch," a column on the "imperialist colonizers," as
he calls the wine industry. Mr. Severn and Mark Scaramella,
60, the paper's longtime lead reporter, continue to publish
out of The Advertiser's headquarters, "Fort Despair," a
scrappy fenced compound where a poster of Lenin communes on
a wall with Babe Ruth.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Anderson said his reasons for
leaving were both professional and personal. His wife,
Ling, whom he met while a Peace Corps volunteer in east
Malaysia, had begun to feel "oppressed," wearying of her
husband's notoriety and "drunks in the middle of the night
wanting to talk about the Kennedy assassination and
tourists stopping by at all hours wanting to meet the
crazy, cranky editor."
The changing nature of the valley was also a factor, Mr.
Anderson said. "Suddenly it became a wine region, with
total strangers dominating the political life," he said. "I
began daydreaming about murdering certain people. I said,
you know, this place isn't really healthy for me anymore."
Mr. Anderson leaves a tidal wave of opinion in his wake."
A lot of people feel there were two Bruces," said K. C.
Meadows, the managing editor of The Ukiah Daily Journal.
"There was the nice, caring guy who loved his community.
Then there was the Bruce who sat down behind that
typewriter and just slammed people."
Mr. Anderson has been jailed several times, most notably
for punching a former superintendent at a school board
meeting ("He called me a 10th-rate McCarthyite," Mr.
Anderson said. "I thought I was at least first-rate").
Over the years, Mr. Anderson broke stories about a school
official's financial improprieties, exposed illegal
practices at a foster home and wrote ceaselessly about
Eugene Lincoln, or Bear, who was accused of killing a
sheriff's deputy in a shootout in 1995 on an Indian
reservation and was eventually acquitted of murder.
At times, he has strayed into fiction. Two years ago, he published a bogus interview with Mike Sweeney, the former husband of an Earth First activist, Judi Bari, in which Mr. Sweeney confessed to having planted the bomb that maimed her in 1990 (she died of cancer in 1997). Mr. Sweeney set up an anti-Anderson Web site, www.LiarUnlimited.com. "I regret it," Mr. Anderson said of the article. "It was kind of over the top."
He may claim to regret it, but the Anderson Valley Advertiser in California still promotes these hoaxes on the website, and the "new" AVA Oregon has already published similar stuff (third issue).
This "regret" apparently wasn't strong enough to remove it from the AVA's archive of their favorite stories
I Bombed Judi Bari
by Mike Sweeney, as told to Bruce Anderson
In 1988, he published a fabricated interview, intended as
satire, with Douglas H. Bosco, a congressman, in which Mr.
Bosco railed against his dope-smoking constituents.
"His biting sarcasm always had enough of a kernel of truth
that it stuck," Mr. Bosco, now a lawyer in Santa Rosa,
said. "He's a good writer. So even if you were being
completely maligned, at least you had the honor of it being
done in good style."
Frank Zotter, chief deputy for the Mendocino county
counsel, keeps Mr. Anderson's insults pinned to his office
bulletin board along with favorite cartoons and family
photographs. "He said I bring 'a bland, irritatingly
good-German obtuseness' to my work," Mr. Zotter said. "He
called me 'a willing conscript of the forces of reaction
and oppression.' It's kind of nice to be insulted by
someone with such a good command of the English language."
Mr. Anderson leaves behind local landmarks like the
Boonville Hotel, once a brawling loggers' hostelry
nicknamed "bucket of blood" and now a "yup hut" restaurant
where cable television shoots close-ups of pumpkin curry.
"We need the dialog," John Schmitt, the chef and
proprietor, said of the newspaper. "We all live up dirt
roads separated by geography and economics."
Mr. Anderson moved to Eugene, where his wife has a close
friend, and started publishing AVA Oregon!, "the Oregon
newspaper that tells it like it is." He has taken on a
police scandal, the "slurbing out" of the freeways and the
community sports complex, "an Albert Speerish
goosestepperish fantasy come alive."
As for their new editor, readers in Eugene may want to
follow some advice recently dispensed in Charmian
Blattner's column in The Advertiser. Musing about life in
general, Ms. Blattner wrote, "When something defies
description, let it."
Mr. Anderson admitted he "knows beans" about his new turf.
Nevertheless, as he recently informed his readers, "Just
because I got into town five minutes ago doesn't mean I
don't have opinions about the place."
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Wall Street Journal has praise for AVA Oregon
Best of the Web
BY JAMES TARANTO
Friday, November 12, 2004
The Problem Is Reality
From a report in the Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard about a new left-wing weekly newspaper, AVA Oregon, published by Bruce Anderson:
"I've noticed there really is a very irritating sort of dogmatism, a kind of a piety, a starkness, I guess you could call it that," Anderson said. "They have all of these correct positions and it's as if they already live in some kind of nirvana while the reality around them is problematic to say the least."
There's a good slogan for the Dejected Left: The reality around us is problematic.
ultra conservative Bradley Foundation amplifies AVA smear campaign
The AVA's tired smear campaign against environmentalist / labor organizer
Judi Bari has been picked up and amplified by the ultraconservative Bradley
Foundation, an organization that helped with the smear against Anita Hill and
published the "Bell Curve" book that most reviews concluded was racism
masquerading as science.
This smear campaign is a core part of the upcoming book "The Secret Wars of Judi Bari," to be published next month by Encounter Books, a project of the Bradley Foundation. See www.colemanhoax.com for details.
According to the Media Transparency web site:
"[the Foundation's] resources, its clear political agenda, and its extensive national network of contacts and collaborators in political, academic and media circles has allowed it to exert an important influence on key issues of public policy. While its targets range from affirmative action to social security, it has seen its greatest successes in the areas of welfare 'reform' and attempts to privatize public education through the promotion of school vouchers...."
"The overall objective of the Bradley Foundation, however, is to return the U.S. -- and the world -- to the days before governments began to regulate Big Business, before corporations were forced to make concessions to an organized labor force. In other words, laissez-faire capitalism: capitalism with the gloves off."
"To further this objective, Bradley supports the organizations and individuals that promote the deregulation of business, the rollback of virtually all social welfare programs, and the privitization of government services. As a result, the list of Bradley grant recipients reads like a Who's Who of the U.S. Right ... Heritage Foundation ... Madison Center for Educational Affairs ... American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and is believed to fund the Project for the New American Century via the New Citizenship Project. It has funded authors such as Charles Murray (The Bell Curve) and Dinesh D'Souza (The End of Racism), former conservative officeholders Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Jack Kemp and William J. Bennett, and arch-conservative jurists Robert H. Bork and Antonin Scalia...."
"Other Bradley grantees include ... Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation" ... Potomac Foundation."
Why has the AVA been fixated on Judi Bari?
This was written by a long time observer of Northern California environmental politics...
Judi Bari's book "Timber Wars" was written before her split with Bruce Anderson, and most, but not all, of the book's contents were first published in Anderson's paper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, in the period from 1990 through 1992 when she was a frequent contributor.
The split began in February 1993 over Anderson's publishing of a misogynist cartoon strip titled "Dr. Doo." The strip portrayed local women environmental activists in offensive, sexist ways. Judi complained to Bruce, who said he had no problem with the strip and accused her of trying to censor it. Judi and several women friends staged a prank feminist commando action where they went to the AVA's printer and distracted the paper's courier while others of the group stripped the offending cartoon from the AVA paste-ups and inserted their own "Dr. Don't" cartoon in its place. The replacement cartoon showed a group of women and a cartoon cat kicking the Dr. Doo cartoonist's ass. The prank was discovered by the courier during the press run, and when he called Bruce to report it, Bruce bellowed "stop the presses." He ordered the Dr. Don't cartoon removed and replaced it with a "Censored" graphic. He also called the cops and demanded that Bari and friends be arrested. The cops questioned them but declined to arrest them, and no formal charges were filed. (You can see some of the cartoons at www.liarunlimited.com Page 2)
Judi said she could no longer write for an editor that tried to have her arrested for a prank, who refused to apologize for calling the cops, and who continued to run offensive Dr. Doo cartoons, including one that portrayed her in Nazi uniform giving the Heil Hitler salute. So she quit writing for the AVA. For the next several months there were a series of letters to the editor by Judi and her friends and nasty editorial replies by Anderson, but Judi continued to boycott the AVA, and Anderson continued to publish digs at Judi.
A year or so later, in late September 2004, Judi got some very newsworthy information through her lawsuit against the FBI. The bureau had conducted a "bomb school" to train police bomb scene investigators just a month before she was bombed in 1990. The main instructor at the FBI bomb school, SA Frank Doyle, was also the man who showed up at the scene of her bombing in Oakland and took control of the crime scene investigation. It was Doyle who said he could tell that the bomb was in the back seat, where Judi would have seen it, and therefore it was her own bomb. As other officers at the scene had previously observed, and as the physical evidence clearly showed, the bomb was hidden completely under the driver's seat, and probably was intended to kill her. But Doyle insisted he was right, and because he had the most experience in bomb investigations the others deferred to him. As evidence and testimony showed in the 2002 trial of Bari's suit against the FBI and Oakland Police, the FBI and cops made no effort to solve the bombing, but only tried to frame Judi and Darryl Cherney for it.
Since she was still boycotting the AVA, Judi gave the hot news about FBI bomb school to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, a regional daily. The story ran on page one on Friday 9/30/94. The next day the Press Democrat ran an editorial calling for "full disclosure" by the FBI about the bomb school. In the very next issue of the AVA, 10/4/94, Anderson ran a nasty full-page personal attack on Judi headlined "Full Disclosure Time, Judi" in which he supported the FBI frame-up line by writing: "Many reasonable people believe she was knowingly carrying the bomb that made her famous." (Note the nasty innuendo that Anderson is famous for: the implication that Judi may have deliberately bombed herself to get publicity and fame.) Judi was horrified and depressed by this attack by her former close friend, and she told a friend that it brought on post-traumatic stress syndrome and nightmares, where even her staunch supporters were turning against her and trying to help the FBI send her to prison. Two weeks after Anderson's attack, Judi sent him her article titled "FBI Bomb School and Other Atrocities" which analyzed the FBI bomb school evidence. It was the last article Judi sent the AVA. You can read it at www.judibari.org/bomb-school.html
Anderson's second major attack came in May 1995. It was in reaction to a Press Democrat featured interview with Judi as the 5th anniversary of the bombing approached. It became evident that Anderson was jealous of the Press Democrat reporter, who had access to Bari when he no longer did. And he was clearly envious of the media attention Judi was getting. Every time Judi was mentioned favorably in the press, Anderson followed with another attack on her.
Anderson has a long history of turning viciously against former friends and employees, even his own brother Rob Anderson, who worked on the AVA staff for a period in the late 1990s but resigned in protest when Bruce began enthusiastically promoting the idiotic Flatland Magazine attack on the Bari case in February 1999. Anderson has also attacked former contributors Mike Koepf and Mark Heimann and his longtime Page One political cartoonist "M." Heimann was the AVA's sole reporter for several years. Heimann split with Bruce in 2001 when one of the AVA's serial libel victims sued both Bruce and Heimann, whose byline appeared on the libelous story. Heimann said that editor Anderson inserted the gratuitous libel into his story without his knowledge. Heimann wanted to accept a settlement offer by Phil Tymon, the libel suit plaintiff, but Anderson refused. They had a shouting match, and Anderson sought and obtained a restraining order against Heimann, who has since moved to New Orleans.
Anderson is at his obsessive, nutty worst when it comes to Judi Bari. He has published literally hundreds of pieces attacking her, her FBI lawsuit, and her friends and supporters. It has been an obvious vendetta, driven by his burning grudge against Judi for rejecting him, and probably for getting more public attention than him. Anderson's writings about Judi Bari are a testament to the power of bias to blind someone to the truth. Anderson can make no pretense to being Judi's friend or even a neutral commentator. And yet he did and probably still does falsely claim to be her friend in an effort to gain credibility as he attacks her.
So fervently did Anderson jump on the Flatland Magazine bandwagon -- and grab the reins -- that people started calling it the "Flatlanderson" campaign. Virtually every issue of the AVA in 1999, and probably half the issues in 2000, included Anderson pressing the Flatlanderson attack. Eventually, even loyal AVA subscribers who accepted his false premises began writing letters complaining of his obsessive focus on Bari, and Anderson jokingly acknowledged it. But Anderson was not content to hack Bari and her supporters only in his own newspaper, he wrote attack letters to the editors of other papers, including the Press Democrat and the Ukiah Daily Journal.
Anderson also organized more than half a dozen public speaking appearances in various cities from the San Francisco Bay Area to Humboldt County, promoting the Flatland theory of the Bari bombing, which is that her ex-husband, Mike Sweeney, did it for personal reasons. There is no credible evidence for that, and considerable evidence, including written death threats Judi received, that the timber industry was behind it. Sweeney answered Anderson's attacks by putting up the www.liarunlimited.com website and publishing a hard copy version of its contents.
Anderson also had a hand in a soon-to-be-published, right-wing attack book on Judi Bari from Encounter Books, a neo-con propaganda publisher funded by the arch-conservative Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. With $585 million in assets, Bradley is the number two national funder of conservative policy causes, according to "Axis of Ideology: Conservative Foundations and Public Policy," a report by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. The book, "The Secret Wars of Judi Bari: A Car Bomb, the Fight for the Redwoods, and the End of Earth First" by Kate Coleman will be published in January 2005, and will ship from the publisher on Dec. 30, 2004. Coleman, a Berkeley freelance writer, wrote about the Bari case in her first article for the AVA published 12/29/1999. The article was little more than a rehash of Anderson's rantings over the previous year. Six weeks after her AVA article appeared, Coleman emceed one of Anderson's Flatlanderson road show appearances at a Berkeley bookstore in February 2000.
Based on her AVA article, and with the reported help of leftist-turned-hard-rightist David Horowitz, Coleman got a book contract with Encounter Books. Peter Collier, Encounter's publisher, has collaborated with Horowitz since the pair co-edited Ramparts Magazine in the late '60s and early '70s, and ran it into the ground. They have co-authored several books, including the first ones published by Encounter. Like Encounter, Horowitz also gets funding from the Bradley Foundation through his "Center for the Study of Popular Culture" which publishes neo-con propaganda aimed at college campuses nationwide, including Front Page Magazine www.frontpagemag.com and the now-defunct print tabloid Heterodoxy.
Coleman has had several articles published in both Heterodoxy and Front Page, including "The Last Panther" in July 1997, www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=3323 . It was one of several pieces Coleman has written attacking the Black Panther Party as "a criminal organization doing drugs and rackets." Coleman also wrote "The Political Extremes of David Horowitz" in the LA Weekly issue of January 23–29, 1998. Horowitz was apparently pleased with her writing about him.
To understand exactly who are the forces that Anderson, the self-styled socialist, has aligned himself with, note the following excerpts from a July 3, 2000 article in The Nation by Scott Sherman titled "David Horowitz's Long March" www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20000703&s=sherman&c=1 :
(Begin quotes from The Nation article)
In 1968, at the behest of his old Berkeley comrade Robert Scheer, Horowitz returned to California to work at Ramparts, which, under Scheer and Warren Hinckle, had become one of the New Left's most vibrant publications. But internecine conflict quickly erupted, and Scheer was ousted by Horowitz and Peter Collier. Today, Scheer attributes his removal to the fact that he wasn't "left enough" for the fiery insurgents. In Radical Son, however, Horowitz argues that Scheer was expelled in a popular revolt by beleaguered staff members. In the fall of 1969 Horowitz and Collier took over Ramparts, but they lacked their predecessors' journalistic and literary imagination, along with their ability to raise funds from wealthy individuals. The magic was gone, and the New Left's flagship publication perished in 1975.
... in the fall of 1987, Horowitz received a phone call from the office of Elliott Abrams, an Assistant Secretary of State. It was time to fight the Communists. "Are you willing to serve your country?" one of Abrams's young assistants jauntily inquired. A few weeks later, Horowitz found himself in Managua, Nicaragua, where, at the expense of US taxpayers, he offered tactical advice to anti-Sandinista labor unions, politicians and journalists, and, in the dining room of the Intercontinental Hotel, thundered, "For the sake of the poorest peasants in this Godforsaken country, I can't wait for the contras to march into this town and liberate it from these fucking Sandinistas!"
(Horowitz's) self-appointed mandate is to sniff out and expose leftist chicanery--real and imagined--wherever it may exist. He is a busy man. "One has to stigmatize the left and segregate it," Horowitz told Insight magazine in 1989. Last year, when the anthropologist David Stoll challenged the veracity of Rigoberta Menchú's autobiography, Horowitz rushed to purchase advertisements in six college newspapers announcing: "Rigoberto Menchu Nobel laureate and marxist terrorist now exposed as an intellectual hoax."
Such crusades have hardly damaged his career. He has a column in the online magazine Salon, he contributes Op-Ed pieces to leading newspapers and rarely a day goes by when he doesn't appear on television or talk-radio. He is currently [in 2000] involved in efforts to create a conservative talk show on PBS. His funders admire that tireless spirit. "He's an extremely articulate man and a very determined fighter. I think he brings a great deal of intellectual power and energy to his work," says Michael Joyce, president of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, which has given Horowitz more than $3.5 million since 1988.
Lately, Horowitz has stepped into a new role: Republican Party theoretician. His pamphlet The Art of Political War: How Republicans Can Fight to Win, is causing a stir on the right: Thirty-five state Republican Party chairmen have endorsed it, the Heritage Foundation sent 2,300 copies to conservative activists and House majority whip Tom DeLay provided copies to every Republican Congressional officeholder, with a cover note praising its contents. On April 5, (2000) Senators Arlen Specter, Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback, plus a dozen members of the House, hosted a soiree for Horowitz in Washington, at which $40,000 was raised for his activities.
(end quotes from The Nation)
Kate Coleman's book on Judi Bari is an extension of the Flatlanderson attack, this time with the funding and national reach of an extremely wealthy right wing foundation, the same Bradley Foundation that funded an attack book on Anita Hill, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. The foundation also funded the racist book, "The Bell Curve" which argued for the genetic inferiority of the Black race.
Among other people targeted by Encounter Books ( www.encounterbooks.com ) are Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Noam Chomsky, California Hispanic legend Joaquin Murieta, and Fidel Castro. (At least Judi Bari is in good company for the most part.) On the other hand Encounter's books praise conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, 1950's anti-communist Catholic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, and anti-affirmative-action figure Ward Connerly. Among issues, institutions and movements skewered by Encounter Books are affirmative action, the Muslim religion, abortion, public schools, the New York Times, the New Left movement of the '60s, gender equality, and "deviance" from conventional "attitudes toward teenage sex, suicide, substance abuse, and other questionable behaviors" (such as homosexuality). To that list, the environmental direct action movement is added by Coleman's book.
Armed with an early draft of Coleman's book, which accuses him of bombing his ex-wife, Mike Sweeney last year posted a website to debunk the book at www.colemanhoax.com The site will certainly be updated as the Coleman book's release nears. Encounter Books publicity department has scheduled book signing events where Coleman will appear at bookstores around the nation to talk about and promote her book. Check your local announcements for an event near you. People who would like to help defend Judi Bari's legacy from this corporate attack would do well to visit the Coleman Hoax site for verifiable information. Coleman will likely be appearing on radio and TV talk shows, particularly on Fox (unfair and unbalanced all the time).
The most complete and authoritative sites for information about Judi Bari are:
The Judi Bari website maintained by Redwood Summer Justice Project at www.judibari.org
The Judi Bari Resources page of the Albion Monitor, and independent Internet newspaper at www.albionmonitor.com/bari
Encounter Books was created in the late 1990's as the "publishing arm" of the ultra-right-wing Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which invested $3.5 million in the start-up. (Nation magazine, 11/22/99)
The Bradley Foundation is the nation's largest and most influential right-wing foundation with a history that includes early funding for the John Birch Society and financial backing for most major right-wing causes in recent decades, according to Media Transparency ( www.mediatransparency.org/funders/bradley_foundation.htm)
Encounter Books isn't the Bradley Foundation's first foray into publishing. Bradley funded David Brock's hit-piece on Anita Hill which smeared her as "a little bit nutty, a little bit slutty." (Milwaukee Shepherd-Express, 7/12/01) Bradley also provided much of the big money that was behind the sustained attacks on Bill Clinton including Whitewater and Paula Jones.
From 1989 to 1999, Bradley Foundation gave $3.79 million to David Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture. Horowitz is the outspoken left-wing turncoat, once editor of Ramparts Magazine, who defected to the extreme right in the 1970's and has made a reputation as the right wing's pit bull attacking Democrats, liberals, peace advocates and progressives at every opportunity. Horowitz's magazines Heterodoxy and Front Page have published articles by Kate Coleman attacking the Black Panthers. Horowitz is also the co-author with Peter Collier, who is now publisher of Encounter Books, of a series of adulatory biographies of rich people, including the Rockefellers, Kennedys, and Fords. Horowitz and Collier also collaborated on a book attacking the 1960's student movement as the "Destructive Generation."
In addition to the hit-piece on Hilary Clinton (The Hilary Trap), Encounter Books currently features books attacking "the child care establishment," political correctness, Mexican immigration to California, and racial diversity. It also features books praising genetic engineering, school vouchers, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Encounter for Culture and Education
To support Encounter Books
Continued support of Encounter Books
Encounter for Culture and Education, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
More info culled by Media Transparency
Total $ Granted:
2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1995 1992 1991
The Flatland Flap
Statement from Redwood Summer Justice Project
February 19, 1999
Blatantly false charges are being spread by long-time enemies
of Judi Bari claiming that new "evidence" shows that the bomb that
nearly killed her in 1990 was planted, not by timber or government agents intent
on quelling her organizing in defense of the old growth forest, but by her ex-husband.
Not surprisingly, on even cursory examination, the whole bizarre "new evidence"
theory evaporates into a puff of smoke.
With Judi no longer even alive, clearly the targets of this hateful attack are her innocent children and her civil rights lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland Police. The suit, filed in 1991, was intended to stand up to the environment of terror created by the bombing and to protect the right of all activists to work for social change without fear of government repression.
Judi Bari Was A Political Target
Everything obtained through the lawsuit discovery process indicates that Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were targeted because of their organizing of Earth First! Redwood Summer, and that there were police dirty tricks involved. Judi, until her death in 1997, and members of the legal team have spent the last eight years studying the thousands of pages of FBI and police documents, evidence photographs and the sworn testimony of FBI and police agents. Indications abound of an FBI COINTELPRO-style, "dirty tricks" operation against the activists.
In the months leading up to the bombing, Judi received many threats, including threatening her with death if she did not stop her activism. Nearly a year before the bombing, Judi and her passengers were injured when her car was rammed from behind by a logging truck that Earth First!ers had blockaded only the day before.
Oakland Police photos show the FBI and OPD lied even about the placement of the bomb. They then used the bombing as an excuse to investigate environmental activists rather than the attempt on Bari's life. In one of the more sinister revelations uncovered in the lawsuit investigation, the FBI conducted a bomb investigator training school four weeks before the bomb exploded in Judi’s car. Held on Louisiana Pacific land in the heart of the redwood region, FBI and police agents practiced blowing up cars with pipe bombs and then investigating.
The evidence of police misconduct is so strong that both the U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have denied the FBI's and Oakland Police's multiple motions to have this highly political case thrown out.
The Latest Attack
Yet now, nine years after this high-profile assassination attempt, there is a campaign to make people believe that Judi was not at all a political target but instead was bombed by her ex-husband, the father of her two daughters.
This latest campaign of disinformation originates from Irv Sutley and a small group of his supporters at the Sonoma County Free Press, an on-line newspaper which has been a center of vitriolic anti-Bari activity for years. The incredible accusations appear in an article by Sutley's supporter Ed Gehrman in Flatland magazine, an obscure publication which, according to their website, promotes books about UFOs, alien abductions, and "fringe science."
Gehrman told people he contacted early in his investigation that his goal was to clear Irv Sutley, feeling Sutley had been inaccurately characterized by Bari as a snitch or undercover police agent who had offered to set Bari up for arrest in the months prior to the bombing. Gehrman, a regular writer for the Sonoma County Free Press, signed an online petition in support of Sutley in that conflict.
Although Gehrman has supplied advance copies of his article to media outlets near and far, Redwood Summer Justice Project and lawyers on the bombing case have yet to see it. We did see an earlier draft and have read the promo of the article now being widely circulated, including in Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Clair's CounterPunch newsletter and the Anderson Valley Advertiser.
Whatever Gehrman's "investigation" consisted of, it did not include interviews with anyone involved in the eight-year-long lawsuit and investigation, and he made no request to examine any of the thousands of pages of primary documents and evidence photos.
The Document "Expert"
Gehrman told one reporter that after nearly three years of investigation, he didn't feel he had a persuasive enough case against Sweeney, so he sought out Don Foster, who holds himself out as a document comparison expert. Flatland will also print a companion article by Foster, touted by Flatland as a nationally respected academic.
Foster does what he calls "textual analysis," which involves looking at such things as punctuation, word choice, spacing, style, and the like. This is not an accepted forensic science. Former FBI profiler Greg McCrary told the Boulder Daily Camera that, as far as he knows, even the FBI has never presented text analysis as court evidence.
Although Foster does teach freshman English and literature at Vassar College, he admits that his document analysis work is a sideline, not part of his academic work there. He told a reporter that he has never testified as an expert witness in court, and has never taught a course or published professional journal articles about his "analysis" technique.
The Boulder Daily Camera described Foster as a "controversial linguist" who seeks notoriety by involving himself with sensational cases like the Unabomber and JonBenet Ramsey cases. According to the Rocky Mountain News, Foster wrote to Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet’s mother in 1997, saying that, based on his analysis of the ransom letter, he was sure of her innocence. ("I would stake my reputation on it," he wrote.)
Later, however, Foster offered his services to Boulder Police as a witness against Patsy Ramsey -- based again on his analysis of the same ransom note. FBI profiler McCrary, quoted by the Daily Camera, called this flip-flop by Foster "morally indefensible."
The Document "Analysis"
In the Judi Bari case, Foster examined documents provided him by Gehrman and Flatland, focusing his "analysis" on the Lord's Avenger letter, a letter sent to the press shortly after the May, 1990 bombing. On its face the letter appears to be from a religious extremist enraged by Judi's counter-demonstration at an anti-abortion rally.
The letter writer claimed to have put the bomb in Judi's car and gave detailed information on the make-up of the bomb, much of it accurate. Clearly, whoever wrote the Lord's Avenger letter was either the bomber, a confederate, or more likely someone in law enforcement with access to the evidence collected at the bomb scene.
But Foster proceeds on the false assumption that only the bomber could have written the letter, and he concludes that the author is Mike Sweeney. His "evidence" is pseudo-scientific speculation at best, and at worst simply laughable. For example, both Sweeney and the Lord's Avenger capitalized the word Communist, sometimes wrote words in all caps for emphasis, and both use that more often than which. Comparisons like these are the entire basis of Foster’s "evidence" that Mike Sweeney is the Lord’s Avenger, and therefore the bomber!
When a Redwood Summer Justice Project representative spoke with Foster by phone, he admitted that of the few writing examples he examined, "the only writer whose language even came close to matching the language of the Lord's Avenger letter was Sweeney." He also admitted he had very few examples of Irv Sutley's writing, and that it was still an open question whether or not Sutley wrote the snitch letter. Known as the Argus letter, this was a letter sent to Ukiah police offering to inform on Earth First! and to set Judi up for arrest. (For the record, Judi Bari always assumed the FBI wrote the Lord's Avenger letter, not Sutley. As for the letter offering to snitch Bari off to the local cops, even Foster won't rule Sutley out as the author.)
So that's all the light there is to the CounterPunch headline, "Forensic Report Sheds New Light on the Bombing of Judi Bari." No forensics ... no light ... and certainly nothing new.
One more point for the record: Despite the Sutley-ites’ repeated insistence that Judi was dividing the political community by refusing to "mediate" their differences, the truth is otherwise. When she participated in third-party mediation with the Sutley forces in late 1993 or 94, Judi proposed that they both agree to make no further public statements about each other. When Irv refused, Judi then unilaterally made that commitment, and for years refrained from making public comments about Sutley despite his continuing attacks on her.
Sutley, however, has done little else but hurl increasingly bizarre charges against Bari -- charges that get embellished with each new airing. In 1995 he claimed that years earlier Judi had attempted to hire Sutley to kill her ex-husband -- a claim that has surfaced and resurfaced (now Gerhman apparently says Sutley was approached on three separate occasions), and has been on the Sonoma County Free Press website ever since. Just click on "Who Bombed Judi Bari?" and you get this garbage instead.
And now these new baseless accusations that Mike Sweeney put the bomb in the car. It didn’t fly that Judi tried to kill Mike, so let’s see if it’ll fly that Mike tried to kill Judi.
This would all be simply pathetic if it weren’t so ugly and destructive.
Please take a stand for responsible journalism
Zap your thoughts to:
CounterPunch website-- email@example.com
Flatland -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't buy the Anderson Valley Advertiser -- email@example.com
The Falsehoods of the Flatlandersons
by Darryl Cherney
[Authors note: This was written in July of 2000, two years before we took the FBI and OPD to trial and won. So it is a bit outdated. I have refereed to myself in the third person for ease of understanding and quotability.]
"The Bombing of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney--New Evidence" an article by Ed Gerhman published in the UFO/Conspiracy Theory Magazine Flatlands , contains so many factual errors and deliberate misrepresentations it was apparent from the beginning that it was no sincere attempt to try to solve the bombing case the article is named for. Rather, it was clear that the article and subsequent pieces heralded the beginning of a campaign to discredit Judi Bari, her organizing partner and fellow victim, Darryl Cherney and their civil rights lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland Police Department.
Gehrman's goals in his article are twofold: First, exonerate a suspected police informant in the case, Irv Sutley. The second is to pin the bombing on Bari's ex-husband, Mike Sweeney, currently the recycling director for Mendocino County. Gerhman's error-filled theories have gained a tiny collection of followers, most of whom had serious, political and personal differences with Judi Bari that went on for years. Since Bari' death in 1997, these people have escalated their attack, beginning with two insulting obituaries. In the past, many of these people vehemently called each other liars and police informants for years in the pages of the Anderson Valley Advertiser and the Sonoma County Free Press. But they have come together in their common goal of wanting to discredit Judi Bari, and for a diversity of reasons. If one is to consider their theories at all, one must also be apprised of both their inaccuracies and their motives.
The cadre, which this writer shall call the Flatlanderson Gang (after the Flatlands and Anderson Valley Advertiser publications in which most of the accusations appear in writing) consists of the following individuals:
* Bruce Anderson of the Mendocino County political gossip weekly, Anderson Valley Advertiser (also called the AVA). Anderson, commonly uses fabricated stories and hearsay to attack his opposition. He trashes "the left" every week in his paper. There are many hundreds of activists Anderson has called names and heaved personal insults at in the pages of his paper. Those relentless weekly bashings are one of the reasons people buy his paper, which in no exaggeration, has all the veracity of the National Enquirer. He alters submissions to change their nature, like adding paragraphs to a positive review of Bari's book to make it a negative one. Mike Sweeney and his recycling policies have incurred years of Anderson's criticisms and wrath.
* Mary Moore of the Sonoma County Free Press. Moore incorrectly blamed Bari and her associates for having Moore's first night of sex with a Black Panther and Green Party member named Kwasi Nkruma described in, yes, the AVA ("The Joyless Grapple," by Anderson, 1992). Moore, understandably humiliated and enraged, devoted several issues of her Sonoma County Free Press in 1992 denouncing Anderson, even interviewing twenty-seven activists, all of whom described him as a racist, sexist, bully, movement disrupter and liar. Moore waged war on Anderson and also Bari, an AVA staffer at the time, through the day she died and on into the present.
* Jim Martin and Ed Gerhman of Flatlands Magazine and Website. Martin publishes some right wing material and is a true believer in UFO's. Gerhman is an obscure political activist based in northern California. He interviewed a total of two people (Don Foster and Irv Sutley) to develop the theory for his article, which he claims took three years to research.
* Irv Sutley, "the man behind the curtain," is a gun-rights activist and former member of the Communist Party USA and a founding member and first Chair of Peace and Freedom Party. He is well-known and documented for turning his political opponents into the authorities, physically assaulting them, intimidating women with loaded guns and sending menacing material through the mails. He spent eight years in the Marines (some as a reservist). Some are certain, for good reason, that Sutley played a role in sending a police informant letter and a death threat in an attempt to disrupt Bari's work. Sutley's ex-wife, Toni Novak, also of the Peace and Freedom Party, serves as his defender and occasional accomplice.
* Steve Talbot of PBS-TV, who produced the 1991 documentary also called "Who Bombed Judi Bari. " The show virtually failed to identify the name of a single large corporate timber company Bari was fighting (GP, LP, MAXXAM) or state a word about the FBI's COINTELPRO operations in its quest to solve the case. Bari subsequently wrote a front page article for the SF Weekly called "Who Bought Steve Talbot" to expose Talbot's cover-up of the entities with the biggest motives to try to kill her.
* Alexander Cockburn, former columnist for the Wall Street Journal who now writes for the Nation and the AVA. He consistently calls the AVA the best newspaper in America. With almost cult-like behavior, Cockburn has taken Bruce Anderson's word on the Bari bombing case without seeking any corroborating documentation. Once a supporter of Bari's, Cockburn suddenly started despising her on Anderson's prompting and wrote an insulting, mean-spirited obituary of Bari for The Nation in 1997.
There are a handful of other characters in this circle, but these are the principle individuals involved.
What follows is a series of refutations to the most fundamental of the falsehoods told by those above mentioned people. Be forewarned, this piece is not for the uninitiated. This is a point by point response to the falsehoods broadcast by those who are relentlessly attempting to undermine the civil rights lawsuit filed by Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney against the FBI as it winds towards its trial date of October 1, 2001.
1) Falsehood. Darryl Cherney and the estate and associates of Judi Bari have
no interest in finding out who bombed Bari and Cherney and have refused to cooperate
with law enforcement for fear it will turn out to depoliticize the case.
Truth. Judi Bari, her estate and Darryl Cherney have relentlessly pursued an investigation at every conceivable level. Cherney spoke to the Oakland Police over a four hour period immediately after the bombing and offered in writing to do so again a few weeks later. The FBI had the right to question Bari under oath as part of her lawsuit against them. Instead Bari's attorneys had to fight FBI's attempts to prevent Bari from testifying shortly before she died. The FBI delayed Judi's deposition until she was almost too weak to talk, disrupted her testimony with constant objections, and then asked her no questions when she ultimately gave her deposition just weeks before her death. Bari pursued Congressmen Frank Riggs, Dan Hamburg and Don Edwards in getting a congressional investigation and hearing and, in all cases, succeeded in attaining limited inquiries into the case. Cherney spoke to Mendocino Sheriff Tony Craver (before his election) and elicited a promise to investigate after he was elected. He hasn't thus far, but is keeping an open mind. Bari got the nine-man Willits Police Department to conduct a limited police investigation in which some forensics were conducted. The Willits Police were forced to stop due to FBI stonewalling. An ongoing petition campaign to Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and the City Council demands an investigation into the bombing. However, Ed Gerhman, the writer for Flatlands, wrote to Mayor Brown telling him that Bari and Cherney's team "have done everything in their power to suppress and distort the information [Gerhman gathered]" and that "...Bari's defenders do not seem to want the truth told." (AVA 10/13/99). None of the above-mentioned requests had requested any limitation as to where the investigation should lead. Additionally, Bari and Cherney have conducted their own investigations using private investigators. Suspects have been looked at, leads followed, and progress made, but one can only go so far without police powers or cooperation.
2) Falsehood. The current petition to Mayor Jerry Brown of Oakland asks that
the entire files be sealed on the case.
Truth. That petition asks that the record of the arrest be expunged so that Cherney and Bari do not have four felony arrest counts on their records. This is particularly relevant because this record can show up when Cherney is stopped for a traffic violation, applies for a job, or crosses a border. It also asks that the entire record be OPENED, unredacted and turned over to Bari and Cherney's legal team. The lawsuit itself has put much, if not all of the arrest records into the public record and has photocopied these documents in a 600 page filing that can be purchased for copy costs. Additionally, the petition asks for an investigation of OPD behavior regarding the bombing, a disbanding of their political activist intelligence gathering unit, an apology and an investigation of the bombing. These requests are also made as part of the lawsuit itself and corresponding demands are made of the FBI and the Justice Department.
3) Falsehood. Mike Sweeney, Judi's ex-husband, is a plaintiff, researcher,
and/or beneficiary of the lawsuit against the FBI/OPD and if Bari/Cherney win,
Sweeney will receive money.
Truth. Mike Sweeney has never worked on the lawsuit and has never been a plaintiff. He has been paid no money for any reason by anyone regarding this case. He is not the trustee of his children's winnings, should Bari/Cherney win the suit. Bari assigned the children a trustee to be in charge of that matter. He has no financial stake in the lawsuit.
4) Falsehood. Mike Sweeney bombed Judi Bari, placing the bomb in the car in
broad daylight in front of the Mendocino Environmental Center and opposite the
Mendocino County Courthouse; or, alternatively, Bari and Cherney were knowingly
carrying the bomb in a "hare-brained" scheme on behalf of Sweeney
but he double crossed them by activating the bomb without their knowledge.
Truth. Mike Sweeney has consistently provided an alibi of his whereabouts during the timespan that the bomb could have logistically been put in the car. Sweeney was in Redwood Valley, sometimes working at home and sometimes at his girlfriend's house, who lived 100 yards away, and with his (and Bari's) young children (one was at school nearby during the day) on May 23rd through the morning of May 24th, 1990. The notion that he drove to town on May 23rd (with young daughter in tow) to put the bomb in Bari's locked car (filled with valuable musical instruments) in broad daylight with his many acquaintances walking about the busy area during a busy time does not make sense, especially when one considers that Sweeney had access to the car the previous night through the morning of May 23rd. According to police reports, the anti-personnel pipe bomb contained a pocketwatch as a timing device and also a motion detector, meaning that it was designed to go off in a moving vehicle but only after a timer concluded its cycle. Noon on May 23 is technically the earliest it could have been placed in the Bari's car. However, it was parked in front of the busy-at-the-time Mendocino Environmental Center opposite the courthouse. Folksinger Utah Philips, traveling with Bari, even strummed guitar outside the Center for a time in view of the car. More likely and practically, it was placed in the early morning hours of May 24th while Bari slept in Oakland at an acquaintance's house, though no one knows for sure.
The Flatlandersons unequivocally state that Sweeney bombed and tried to kill Bari, but then speculate that well, maybe, Bari (and Cherney) were carrying the bomb for Sweeney, taking up the FBI position that Bari and Cherney were knowingly carrying the anti-personnel device. Clearly, they do not even believe or remain consistent to their own statements.
5) Falsehood. Bari and Cherney are covering up that Mike Sweeney, her ex-husband
bombed her because it would make the case non-political and hurt their abilities
to raise funds for the FBI lawsuit.
Truth. Even if the attacker was a non-political adversary, the behavior of the FBI and OPD remains politically motivated to the most extreme degree conceivable. Thousands of pages of files show a political interest by the FBI in Bari and Cherney and the attempt to frame them as terrorists proves that. The FBI had been investigating Earth First!, since 1982, almost since it was founded and has been targeting Earth First! to the present day. The FBI had targeted and arrested Earth First! activists in politically-motivated operations in Arizona and Montana in large scale operations twice in 1989. In 1990 The OPD had been maintaining files on EF! and 300 other activist organizations. The FBI and OPD jointly observed a search of Darryl Cherney and Tracy Kattleman's cars in 1990 on April 24--one month before the bombing--after a failed Earth First! attempt to hang a banner from the Golden Gate bridge. This was done in Marin County out of the jurisdiction of both the Oakland Police and the FBI. Grand jury investigations of Earth First! activists and FBI disruption of environmentalists continues through the present and is well documented by the media.
6) Falsehood. Bari and Cherney rode from Ukiah together on May 23, the day
before the bombing, following a rally in Ukiah.
Truth. There was a press conference, but no rally in Ukiah, and Cherney was in Berkeley, not Ukiah, engaged in a roadshow for Redwood Summer, which Bari took part in when she could secure child-care. Bari met up with Cherney the evening of May 23rd in Berkeley. This is an important point because it pertains to the victims whereabouts shortly before the bombing and relates to who was targeted by the bomb (Bari). This is another simply, public and key fact the Flatlandersons have wrong.
7) Falsehood. Mike Sweeney wrote an article for Ramparts in which he describes
a bombing of the Isla Vista Bank of America in a way that he had to be intimate
with the bombers. He was present at the event.
Truth. The Bank of America was burned, not bombed, in a riot in 1970. Mike Sweeney wrote a lengthy 1970 article for Ramparts exposing Bank of America for its investments in the Vietnam war and other unholy endeavors. He briefly quotes a San Francisco Chronicle article on the riot and arson as a brief introduction to his voluminous article, but displays no inside information. He states he was not present at the riot itself.
7) Falsehood. Bari and/or Sweeney were connected to three or four bombs prior
to being bombed herself.
Truth. The Flatlandersons claim that Mike Sweeney, married to Bari at the time, bombed the Sonoma County airport in the 1980's, although the airport was burned, not bombed. The arson case remains unsolved, and Sweeney denies the charge. Sweeney and Bari were involved in an open and public petition campaign in order to stop small aircraft from buzzing the neighborhood and scaring children and animals. The Flatlandersons claim Bari praised the bombing of power lines in Santa Cruz in 1990. The lines were cut and toppled, according to reports, not bombed as anyone remotely familiar with that time knows. Bari, aside from offering a sarcastic comment in a newspaper after the fact, was in no way connected to the power-line toppling. She was in Mendocino County during the incident and had no foreknowledge of the event. They also connect Bari to the bombing of the Cloverdale mill in May of 1990. There is no connection at all to this except that the Flatlandersons claim Sweeney did it and Bari is his ex, and therefore she's connected. The fourth "bomb" is the aforementioned Bank of America burning, and was not a bomb at all and neither Sweeney nor Bari attended the event. So three of the four bombs the Flatlandersons lay at Sweeney and Bari's feet aren't even bombs at all.
8) Falsehood. TV producer Steve Talbot discovered that the "bombing"/arson
of the Sonoma County Airport in 1980 bears a resemblance to the bombing of the
Cloverdale Mill in 1990.
Truth. If this shocking statement is true, why did Talbot not think enough of it to include it in his documentary "Who Bombed Judi Bari?" From newspaper accounts, the devices appear to be completely different from each other.
9) Falsehood. Ed Gerhman spent three or four years researching his story about
Truth. Ed interviewed two people, as far as the citations in the article indicate. If that took three years, he's a very slow researcher. He made no attempt to interview Bari (when she was alive), Cherney, Sweeney or any witnesses to the bombing case. He interviewed Irv Sutley and a nationally exposed and many-times discredited quack named Professor Don Foster. He did not review the thousands pages of FBI and OPD files on the bombing which would have been available to him had he asked.
10) Falsehood. Professor Don Foster of Vassar College is a textual analysis
expert, has helped on various police cases and solved some mysteries.
Truth. Don Foster is not a certified expert on anything. Don Foster has worked as a consultant for the FBI on the Unibomber case which tells us that his impartiality is already impaired. He is about to have an autobiographical book published. He claims to have advised the FBI that the documents found in Ted Kazynski's cabin belonged to Ted Kazynski. It was the unibomber's brother made the discovery of who the Unibomber was. He claims to have found lost Shakespearean Sonnets, which scholars disagree with. He worked on the Jon Benet Ramsey murder case, but his work was scandalous and made the headlines for disrupting the case even more. He first worked with the parents saying he believed they were innocent. He subsequently reversed his opinion and told the media and police the parents were guilty, thus damaging the investigation further. In 1999, an episode of 48 Hours was dedicated to exposing his fraudulent practices on national TV.
11) Falsehood. Foster cleared Irv Sutley for writing the Lord's Avenger letter,
the Argus Letter and Bari's first threat and confirmed that Sweeney wrote them.
Truth. The Flatlands piece written by Foster states that his findings are not conclusive. With Sutley providing his own documents, it is not known if Sutley or Sweeney wrote any of the pieces that were submitted to Foster. The Flatlanderson Gang has refused to show the documents they submitted to the public. It is quite possible that some of the documents submitted to Foster were not even written by the attributed authors.
12) Falsehood. Sutley is an innocent, hapless individual who has been unjustly
portrayed as a police informant and/or suspect in the bombing case.
Truth. Three Peace and Freedom party candidates, Gene Pepi, Peter Urban and Elvis Dizon, were reported by Irv Sutley to the District Attorney's office, according to Peace and Freedom party members. The DA prosecuted them for using a different address on their candidate forms than the one they were actually living at. Sutley himself is guilty of fraudulently giving the street address of his post office in Glen Ellen as his home address on at least one candidate filing, an fact documented by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat ("The Homeless Candidate," 1992). Sutley sent threatening letters to P&F assembly candidate, Gene Pepi (one proclaiming the biblical reference, "The end is near."). Sutley was indicted for the 1975 assault of P&F Party member and assembly candidate Carolyn Ruby Patrick, who went to the hospital for her injuries. P&F party member, Tom Dumphy, claims that Sutley beat his head into the muddy ground about 30 times after a meeting. Sutley pointed a loaded gun at Earth First! activist Pam Davis in 1989, according to Davis. Sutley pulled out a gun at a child-care center, in front of two adult witnesses, in what was supposed to be an attempt to defend the center from an angry woman neighbor wielding a knife from an adjoining parcel. Sutley violently poked his finger into the chest of reporter Nick Wilson, on a 10th anniversary of the bombing rally the Flatlandersons staged to denounce Bari and Cherney in Ukiah on May 24, 2000. (Anderson also challenged another Bari supporter, Mendocino Environmental Center landlord and benefactor John McGowen, to a fight at the same rally.)
One of Sutley's guns was used in a murder investigated by the Oakland Police in the early 1990's. Sutley claims the gun was stolen from his luggage at the airport as he returned to San Francisco from Minnesota. Sutley has been known to carry guns in the trunk of his car. Perhaps most revealing, Sutley's ex-wife and current political supporter, Toni Novak, wrote an unauthorized letter on Peace and Freedom Party letterhead in 1992 to the judge in the FBI lawsuit case on behalf of Sutley, falsely stating that Judi Bari engages in litigation for revenue enhancement. Bari had an outstanding suit for being rear-ended by a logging truck (six others, Cherney, Pam Davis, and four children were in the car). The letter created serious division in the Peace and Freedom Party.
Sutley asked Bari and Cherney if they wanted to pose with an Uzi he kept in the trunk of his car in November of 1989. This occurred the day after the three of them plus Pam Davis had taken part in a pro-choice counter-rally against anti-abortionists at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Ukiah, California. Pam Davis, Bari's close friend and Sutley's landlord, was the photographer. Davis had the black and white photos developed in duplicate and kept them on a shelf in a nook in the kitchen. Sutley went through the photos without Davis's knowledge or permission and sent one to the AVA. He also sent at least one to Darryl Cherney who was considering using them for an album cover. Pam, a single mother of two boys, has stated publicly that she was angry that Irv had gone through her photos and taken some. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, an identical copy of the photo Sutley sent to Cherney was also sent to the Ukiah Police, with an informant letter attached. The envelope is postmarked January 16, 1989, a mere six weeks at after the photos were developed. The letter contained detailed information known to Irv in a configuration only Irv would know. The only other person with a copy of that photo was Cherney. While Davis had access to the photo, she remained Judi's friend to the end and denies sending the photos to anyone. Judi Bari did not have access to the photo until late 1990, early 1991, after a KQED investigative/production team discovered the photo and letter's existence in the hands of the Ukiah Police.
The writer that typed the informant's letter identified himself as "Argus" and was typed on an Olympia manual that was the same model Sutley had access to in the Peace and Justice Center, where he worked. Preliminary Willits Police tests showed the typewriter may have been the same one, but the results were not conclusive. The Argus Courier is the name of the paper in Rohnert Park where Sutley spent much of his time. Sutley also ran for Sheriff of Sonoma County, showing an affiliation for police work. In a letter to the editor of the AVA, Sutley accuses then-State Senator Barry Keene of purchasing marijuana from a "third-party registrant," showing now only a willingness to turn political opponents in for marijuana possession, but also revealing that "third-party registrants" sell marijuana.
It is this person who has provided much of the grist for the attack mill against Judi Bari.
13) Falsehood. Irv Can't Type because of an injury, so he couldn't have possibly
typed the threats.
Truth. Anyone with one finger can type, but even Irv admitted on video tape at an Oakland presentation in 1999 that he typed in the 1970's. Further, there are three typewritten documents signed by Sutley dated after 1990. Two a letters to Covert Action Quarterly and the other an open letter to Judi Bari. The denial of being able to type a short document is ridiculous and only adds suspicion because it is patently false. But if Sutley didn't type the letter, he could have instead simply provided the Uzi photo to someone else who did which presents the possibility of an accomplice.
14) Falsehood. Sutley took a lie detector test and proved himself innocent
of being a police informant.
Truth. While lie detectors themselves are not admissible as evidence and are greatly discredited by experts, a greater travesty in this claim lies in that the four questions Irv was asked were designed to enable him to avoid incriminating himself. The test actually sheds greater suspicion on Sutley because the questions and answers were calculated and evasive. For example, Sutley answers that he did not write the Argus letter in 1989 or 1990. As the Argus letter was postmarked January 16, 1989, it could well have been written in late 1988 and certainly could not possibly been written in 1990. He is not asked if he knows who wrote it or if he supplied the photo to someone who did. Writings signed by Sutley, especially the typed ones, further seem to indicate a collaborator. In 1988-89, Bari was not well known, yet whoever got the uzi photo had to know who it was a picture of her, all the details contained in the letter, and where to find the pictures.
When asked if he is a paid police informant, Sutley responds, "no," but he is not asked the whether he ever worked with or for any law enforcement agency in any capacity. He is not asked if he knows any person working with a law enforcement agency, or if he worked for or with the timber industry. Or if he worked for any of these entities for free or in exchange for something other than money.
15) Falsehood. Anderson/Moore/Gerhman and company were Judi Bari's friends
and they support the suit.
Truth. Anderson and Mary Moore fought bitterly, heavily and constantly with Bari for five years prior to her death. Bari barely knew Ed Gerhman, if at all, and he never interviewed her for his article while she was alive. Anderson started accusing Judi of bombing herself in 1994. Bruce was bitter because of disagreements he had with Bari over several issues including her leading the settlement of a harassment lawsuit Louisiana Pacific had filed against over sixty activists. Bruce was still smarting after Bari and several other women attempted to switch a sexist cartoon in Anderson's paper with a cartoon of their own in 1991.
Finally, Anderson's hate campaign against Bari went into overdrive in 1994 after Bruce refused to print Bari's amazing article called "Bomb School." The article exposed the fact that the FBI held a bomb school on Louisiana Pacific(LP)land one month before the bombing of Bari's car. The FBI focused on blowing up the interior of cars, teaching the students that if a bomb blows up inside a vehicle, the occupants are guilty. Five participants from bomb school showed up to the car-bomb scene on May 24, 1990, including the instructor, FBI Special Agent Frank Doyle. Someone exclaimed on videotape that "This is the final exam." The article revealed an ongoing business relationship between LP and the FBI. After Anderson censored her article, Bari gave the scoop to the Santa Rose Press Democrat and Anderson has accused her of bombing herself ever since.
16. Falsehood. Judi was leaving/fleeing her ex-husband and neighbor, Mike
Sweeney, in fear just before the bombing.
Truth. Bari and Sweeney had settled their land division arrangements 50/50. Bari took a free cabin shell to live in outside of Willits, California. Before the bombing, Bari had begun slowly renovating the cabin. Bari and Sweeney were formally divorced in 1988, though Bari chose to live just a few feet away from Sweeney (who purchased a trailer he set up next to Bari's house, while he built a larger structure on the same parcel). Her departure from Redwood Valley was calm, methodical, and took months.
17) Falsehood: Sweeney had a long, historical pattern of violence against
Bari and his previous wife, who had a restraining order against him.
Truth: Sweeney has denied the charge and a search of records has produced no restraining order against him ever. The divorce records of both women show no such order nor any reference to violence. People have searched the courts of two counties without success for documentation that Sweeney has been arrested or reported for a violent act against either woman. The Flatlandersons have failed to produce any document to the contrary.
18) Falsehood. Judi slugged an activist at a Redwood Summer meeting.
Truth. Judi never slugged anyone at any meeting.
19) Falsehood. Members of the lawsuit team have called venues attempting to
get the Flatlanderson Roadshows canceled and have called the media and tried
to get coverage stopped.
Truth. It is true that Mike Sweeney and Tanya Brannan have written letters to some media outlets reminding them that falsely calling someone a bomber and attempted murderer is subject to libel laws. This is a reasonable response from the father of Judi's kids or anyone who considers himself falsely accused. Cherney has never called up any outlet to try to censor anything. He called up the Chico State environmental club host to discern whether they were aware this was an anti-Judi Bari presentation. It turned out the student in the college club, Andrew Parker, who also used an alias, was a middle age, verbally violent man who made false accusations and threatened Darryl via phone message (still on tape) even after Darryl promised not to interfere with his show. He later apologized after Darryl said he was going to the Chico Police, which Darryl did, in fact, do.
20) Falsehood. The FBI is an inept, bumbling agency who never killed anybody
and ended its disruption campaigns against activists in 1967.
Truth. One can be inept and bumbling and still burn 80 people to death in Waco, Texas. You can do a tremendous amount of damage and being inept and bumbling probably helps. The Flatlandersons confuse issue of whether the FBI is inept at solving crimes (they are) and whether they are inept at disrupting movements (they are not). These are two completely different skills. The FBI's campaigns against the American Indian Movement, Black Panthers, CISPES, Earth First! and many other groups are well-documented by both Congress and many books. One of J. Edgar Hoover's COINTELPRO operatives, Richard W. Held, was the agent in charge of the FBI San Francisco Bureau, which handled Bari and Cherney's case. Held took a great interest in the case, holding a press conference and writing a letter to the editor of the SF Examiner about it. Testimony shows that his conference table was used to display evidence in the case and he was given regular updates on the case.
21) Falsehood. Susan Jordan was Bari's original FBI lawsuit lawyer and was
fired under suspicious circumstances.
Truth. Susan Jordan was one of Bari's defense attorneys after the bombing and was never retained on the bombing lawsuit. Bari continued to work with Jordan after the bombing on a lawsuit against Redwood Coast Trucking for the incident where Bari, Cherney, Pam Davis and 4 children were rear-ending by a log truck eight months before the bombing (8/89). This incident marked an escalation of violence against Earth First!
Falsehood. Mike Sweeney is depicted in a photograph on the back cover of Flatlands.
Truth. Sweeney is the photographer and the man attributed as Sweeney is actually a foot shorter. Considering Gerhman claims three years of research on his public indictment of Sweeney, and that Sweeney works as recycling commissioner in a public office in Ukiah, it seems reckless and ignorant of Gehrman to misattribute the photo. Further, when the error was pointed out, Flatlands was unable to articulate a sincere retraction on its website. (It hasn't printed another hard copy issue in over a year and a half).
Falsehood. Bari and Cherney signed off on the Headwaters deal to the democratic
party and sold out to Charles Hurwitz.
Truth. The AVA has refused to print (censored?) the last fifty or more news reports and press releases that document Cherney's relentless campaign to stop and then undo the Headwaters deal. Issues developed in these materials include massive tax breaks for MAXXAM, criminal activities of MAXXAM, a mineral rights scandal on the Headwaters acquisition, the alliance with the United Steelworkers of America against MAXXAM, the ongoing $832 million savings and loan trial against MAXXAM that Cherney works on, the debt for nature campaign against MAXXAM, most of the blockades of MAXXAM's logging operations, Cherney's writing to twenty-five federal banking prosecutors to attempt to get an indictment against Hurwitz, the www.jailhurwitz.com website that offers a $50,000 reward for the incarceration of Charles Hurwitz and much more. Anderson is accusing the people continuing the fight against Hurwitz and MAXXAM of selling out while he does not report on the huge campaign waged by those very people to undo the damage the democratic party and MAXXAM have done through the deal. Why? Bari fought the Headwaters agreement before she died. Her principle contribution to the Headwaters Campaign was organizing huge rallies and base camps and developing proposals for keeping timber workers employed in restoration forestry. She despised the political arena and certainly never signed off on any deal. Check out the www.jailhurwitz.com to read the years of intensive work censored the AVA.
Conclusion. One need not look further than San Francisco Bureau Chief Richard Held of the FBI to understand that Bari and Cherney were targeted politically. Held worked under J. Edgar Hoover as part of the COINTELPRO program to disrupt and neutralize dissident groups in the United States, including the American Indian Movement and the Black Panthers. The FBI used the bombing of Bari and Cherney as an excuse to investigate hundreds of people they believed to be environmentalists. The Flatlandersons put on a roadshow is called "Who Bombed Judi Bari and Who's Bombing Her Now?" It's a self-fulfilling title as the very people conducting the show seem to have nothing better to do with their time then lob disinformation bombs on the Bari/Cherney suit. This is a suit designed to expose FBI infiltration of activists and it is gaining steam. After a stunning appeals court victory re-instating conspiracy charges against the FBI and OPD, the Judge recently gave the case a trial date of October 1, 2001. This disruption of the Bari/Cherney suit against the FBI and OPD comes at a time when the case is nearing trial. The FBI's COINTELPRO campaign was (and is) designed to take existing movement divisions and aggravate them to the point where progressives are neutralized. Without question, the Flatlandsons have engaged in a campaign of slander that J. Edgar Hoover would be proud of. Fortunately, the Bari/Cherney case rolls full steam ahead toward trial and justice.--
Environmentally Sound Promotions
PO Box 2254
Redway, CA 95560
You never succeed the same way twice--Darryl's 15th Rule of Activism.
NEWLY REBUILT & UPDATED Darryl Cherney's music homepage: http://www.darrylcherney.com
On the bombing and attempted frame up by FBI of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney: http://www.judibari.org
$50,000 Reward for info leading to incarceration of Charles Hurwitz:
To hear "Bush It" by Darryl Cherney and the Chernobles (lyrics included):
For Remedy's tree sit blog page check out: http://www.contrast.org/treesit/
For activities in Houston, Texas against MAXXAM see http://www.Sacredredwood.org
For Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters (Berkeley) see http://www.HeadwatersPreserve.org
AVA is No. 1 disinfo source re Judi Bari
by C. Light Sunday, Apr. 14, 2002 at 10:22 AM
Bruce Anderson's AVA is by far
the number one source of malicious lies, unfounded rumors, gossip, innuendo,
speculation, guesses and disinformation about Judi Bari and her FBI suit.
You see, Judi had the gall to criticize Anderson as a misogynist years ago, and his poor bruised ego never got over it. He carries a giant grudge against her, and now that she's dead he uses every opportunity to settle the old score.
If what Anderson published in his rag was true, Judi's suit would have been settled years ago for $20 million "taxpayer dollars." It's a "rolling scam." It's just about money. Tony Serra quit the legal team long ago. Dennis Cunningham is a "bumbling pot-addled movement attorney." Everyone who supports Judi and her case is a "Bari-ite" and a "cultist." There's no left in this country, only a fake-left.
Anderson's sustained attacks on Judi are typical COINTELPRO. The FBI's history is to exploit existing splits and animosities within targeted groups and movements. They covertly insert disinformation to exacerbate the internal fights, isolate the leaders and disrupt and neutralize the group.
In a way it's too bad that the AVA is not online, because then it would easy for readers to see Anderson's unbroken record -- actually it's more like a broken record, in a pre-CD sense -- of vicious personal attacks on Judi, her friends, her family, her supporters, her organization, her legal team, and her suit vs. the FBI.
Of the other disinformation sources Pam listed, the Sonoma County Free Press is thankfully defunct, the Flatland Books UFO and Conspiracy website hasn't updated its Bari case disinformation in two years, and Alexander Cockburn's Counterpunch website's only mention of the case was three years ago, and then it was a totally false and biased story fed to him by his buddy Bruce Anderson.
All of the sources Pam mentioned are channels for disinformation that came from Irv Sutley, the man who tricked Judi into posing for a photo with his Uzi for a joke photo inspired by Patty Hearst's SLA Tania photo. Then he mailed the photo anonymously to Bruce Anderson, who published it as the 1989 April Fool issue AVA Poster Gal of the Month.
But Sutley had also anonymously mailed the photo and a letter to Ukiah police, claiming it showed that "Earth First! has recently begun automatic weapons training."
The anonymous letter writer said he had joined EF! in order to spy on their activities for the police. He offered to set Judi Bari up for a federal bust for mailing pot. He used the code name Argus, which happens to be the name of a local newspaper where Sutley lives. DNA testing has linked the Argus letter to Sutley, and also linked him to the first death threat that Judi received by mail.
Sutley often sends letters and emails to Anderson, which Anderson has published in the AVA. Sometimes Anderson puts Sutley's letters in anomymously (Sutley's favorite mode) like when he attacked Tanya Brannan, director of Judi Bari's Redwood Justice Fund which raises money to support the FBI lawsuit.
Sutley is the source of the big red herring story that came out in Flatland magazine in early 1999, claiming "new evidence" that Judi was bombed by her ex-husband. (A red herring is a sensational false issue intended to divert attention from the real problem.) But there was no new evidence, just a compilation of bullshit, rumors, anonymous gossip and speculation by a gullible writer who was put up to writing the story by Sutley. The writer admitted in his article that he wrote it to defend Sutley from Judi's accusation that he was a police snitch and agent provocateur against her.
Anderson immediately and enthusiastically jumped on the Flatland/Sutley bandwagon. He wrote articles repeating it over and over in every issue of the AVA for the next year. He organized road shows where he appeared at bookstores and libraries together with Sutley to flog this very smelly red herring. He campaigned for the Mendocino D.A. to open a new investigation of the Bari bombing and go after her ex-husband. The D.A. finally went on the radio and dismissed the so-called "new evidence as "conjecture, innuendo, speculation, guesses," and said there was nothing to investigate.
Watch closely as COINTELPRO kicks back into gear to discredit Judi and undercut the FBI suit. It started again on KQED last Friday, when ex-boy-wonder Steve Talbot went on This Week in Northern California and told what he claimed Judi told him in secret about her ex-husband while he was making a 1991 TV documentary about the bombing case. Talbot's performance was yellow journalism at its worst. Steve's big brother David Talbot is the "founder, publisher and editor-in-chief" of salon.com. Bruce Anderson says in an email that Talbot will be submitting a big story about the Bari case for publication in Salon. It's warmed over red herring for dinner!
I see that the Flatlanders have their little elves Craig and Pam regularly posting disinfo as footnotes to every article and press release on this newswire. Wake up kids, don't be duped by the latest COINTELPRO.
And remember, if you want the absolute best source of disinformation about Judi and the FBI case, the AVA is number one.!
Who Bought Steve Talbot?
by Judi Bari
(Originally published in the May 29, 1991 issue of Anderson Valley Advertiser)
(Republished in Timber Wars, Judi Bari's 1994 book compilation of her writings)
.... The most outrageous of his charges is that my ex-husband, Mike Sweeney,
may be the bomber. Talbot has only the most wildly circumstantial evidence to
make him think Mike Sweeney could possibly be capable of making a bomb. He has
no evidence that Mike is crazy enough to try and kill the mother of his children.
My ex-husband and I have a cooperative relationship in our divorce, and he has
no motive at all to bomb me. Mike was taking care of our children at his girlfriend's
house when the bomb was planted, and she can verify that Mike did not leave
her house at any time when he would have had an opportunity to place the bomb.
And I know my ex-husband didn't do it, because he couldn't look me in the eye
if he had.
But none of this was enough to convince Steve Talbot. He conducted a hostile investigation, trying to turn up anything he could against Mike, while refusing to pursue leads that would exonerate him. Then he wastes 6 minutes of the documentary on a wild goose chase that tried but failed to link Mike Sweeney to the bombing. In the course of it, he brings out a man who charges that my ex-husband and I burned down his airport 10 years ago. Although they say there is not evidence of this, I have to answer this totally extraneous charge. Talbot tries to verbally exonerate me (but not Mike) from the fire. But of course on television the visuals are more important than the words. And there are photos of this spectacular airport fire (somehow associated with me and my ex) that parallels earlier photos of feller-bunchers burning (which have also been falsely associated with me).
Why does Talbot drag me through the mud just so he can make this unconvincing charge against Mike Sweeney? I think Steve Talbot actually convinced himself that, in the midst of this incredibly heated political situation, in which timber and police were cooperating to set me up like a bowling pin for assassination, my ex-husband stepped in and did the job for personal reasons. I don't think anyone would have even considered the ex-wife as a suspect if the assassination victim were a man. But men seem to have a hard time taking a woman seriously enough to consider her a political target instead of a personal/sexual target. To prove in his documentary why my ex-husband should be a suspect, Talbot brings Mr. FBI Liar out on screen again to say that 90% of all homicides were committed by a spouse or close friend. Well, this wasn't a homicide. It was an assassination attempt. And 90% of assassinations of political dissidents in this country are committed by the FBI.