With much sadness I have to inform everyone that Ted Gunderson, friend and colleague of the Civilian Intelligence Network, has lost his battle with cancer and has passed away on July 31, 2011.
Ted Gunderson was one of the finest, most noble Americans we have ever known.
May his soul rest in peace.
God bless Ted Gunderson for his 30 years of exposing outrageous government crime and corruption.
Those of us who knew Ted sorely miss his big smile, radiant personality and patriotic dedication to truth, justice and preserving the American way of life.
I first met Ted in 1992 in Arcadia, California, in a conference which Gary Schultz and I organized that exposed the dark side of the Wackenhut Corporation.
I heard him speak at a 1995 Patriot/Militia conference held in Palm Springs, after the OKC bombing incident.
It was Ted Gunderson who inspired me to get involved with the Patriot/Militia movement in 1995.
Ted Gunderson investigated the Ruby Ridge incident, the 1993 Waco incident, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing incident, the OKC bombing incident and countless number of covered-up incidents, not to mention the 9/11 incident of 2001.
My friend, Anthony J. Hilder, knew Ted Gunderson very well.
He and Ted did lots of conferences together.
Ted Gunderson also spoke at many conferences where I was also a speaker.
Ted Gunderson participated in our 1999 People’s Rally at Area 51.
I can state that the Ted Gunderson that I personally knew was one of the kindest, gentlest persons that I have ever come to know.
He was a gentleman and a scholar in the truest sense of the word.
He will always remain our hero.
Conspiracy of Silence - Illuminati Pedophiles in Washington D.C.
From Senator John Decamp: In mid-1993, after The Franklin Cover-Up had been circulating for almost a year, the British-based TV station, Yorkshire Television, sent a top-notch team to Nebraska to launch its own investigation of the Franklin case. Yorkshire had a contract with the Discovery Channel to produce a documentary on the case for American television. Finally, the big day came. Their documentary was to air nation-wide on the Discovery Channel on May 3, 1994. It was advertised in the TV Guide and in newspapers for that day. But no one ever saw that program. At the last minute, and without explanation, it was pulled from the air. It was not shown then, and has never been broadcast anywhere since. I have a copy of that program, which arrived anonymously in my mail in late 1995. When I watched this pirated copy, I could see clearly why the program had been suppressed. Conspiracy of Silence proved, beyond doubt, that the essential points I had stressed in the book (and more) were all true.
The Franklin Cover-Up Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska
By Senator John W. DeCamp
Dedicated to the children who have been, or will be, abused because of the Franklin cover-up.
Excerpts from Chapter 21:
Drugs and the Monarch Project
On August 18-20, 1996, a California newspaper, the San Jose Mercury, published a series of articles implicating elements of the U.S. government in running tons of cocaine into U.S. cities during the 1980s. Based upon recently declassified government documents, eyewitness reports, and court records, Mercury reporter Gary Webb provided a detailed account of how the Contras financed their war against the Sandinista regime of Nicaragua by flying tons of cocaine into the West Coast, where it would be turned into the deadly, instantly addictive "crack," and sold to such street gangs as the Cryps and the Bloods.
All of this began after the U.S. Congress in the early 1980s passed the Boland Amendment, which stopped all official financing for U.S. intelligence’s "covert war" in Nicaragua. The whole project was taken "off-line," and financed by drug sales-the subject of Webb’s articles.
Indignation exploded when Mercury series hit the streets. Maxine Waters, Congresswoman for South-Central Los Angeles, one of the areas hardest hit by crack and drug-related violence, sent a letter to Central Intelligence Agency chief John Deutsch demanding an investigation of the Agency, in which she said, "As someone who has seen how the crack cocaine trade has devastated the South-Central Los Angeles community, I cannot exaggerate my feelings of dismay that my own government may have played a part in the origins and history of this problem. . . . The impact and the implications of the Meneses/Blandon/Roiss Contra CIA crack cocaine connection cannot be understated. We all have an obligation to get to the very bottom of the origin, development, and implementation of this seedy enterprise."
While many were shocked at the news of apparent U.S. government drug-pushing, to me it was one more confirmation of a key aspect of the Franklin case. As I had discovered early on (as had Gary Caradori), the sexual abuse of children was only one part of the Franklin story. During the 1980s, many of the children, such as Alisha Owen and Paul Bonacci, said that they had been used as drug couriers to bring cocaine in from the West Coast for Alan Baer, Larry King, and others.
Then, on September 11, 1996, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Representative Harold James, chairman of Pennsylvania’s Legislative Black Caucus, and a former undercover narcotics cop himself, also put out a call for an investigation. In the course of that press conference another name popped up, that I knew well from the Franklin investigation: George Bush. Flanked by political leaders of both the city and the state, James declared: "As a retired undercover Philadelphia police officer who worked on narcotics cases, I know we can better impact the flow of drugs if we stop drugs from coming into this country, arrest those at the top levels of control, and punish the white-collar dealers who try to keep their hands clean while they run the entire operation. On this occasion, we must not allow anyone to use the ’pretext of national security to accomplish another cover-up. We need an investigation that goes right to the top."
As to where the "top" might be, James charged, in his release to the press, "previous investigations of the Iran-Contra scandal, particularly the U.S. House and Senate joint hearings in 1987, revealed the central role played by then Vice-President George Bush in covert intelligence operations. . . . One of Bush’s key lieutenants was Oliver North. Bush was also appointed by Reagan to run the National Narcotics Border Interdiction Sys- tem, which supposedly coordinated efforts of all federal, state and local anti-drug agencies, especially along the south Florida coast. Bush was responsible for the White House anti-drug effort while, at the same time, according to the recent newspaper reports, tons of cocaine were allegedly supplied to street gangs by CIA-related networks."
Concluded James, "There’s something wrong with this picture." In response to a question from one of the ten reporters in attendance about the role of Bush, Philadelphia City Council President John Street replied, "If George Bush is involved in it, someone should find it out. This kind of activity has been going on for well over a decade."
Lt. Col. Oliver North - whom at least one witness reported seeing at a party thrown by Larry King-had overseen the Contra resupply effort, and had been fully aware of the plane-loads of drugs coming into the United States. A U.S. Senate subcommittee report under Massachusetts Senator John Kerry cited extensive evidence that the Contras were involved in drugs, and North had noted the fact in his publicly exposed note-books.
From what I know from my own corner of the world, there is excellent reason to investigate Bush for possible involvement in the dope business. Think back to what I reported in Chapter 13, "The Washington Connection," about how George Bush and Larry King were linked in multiple ways, including eyewitness reports placing Bush at King’s sex parties. Think about the constant rumors that King was financing the Contras, who have now been proved to have been running dope by the ton.
The first investigative reporter to ever look at Franklin, the World Herald’s James Flanery, told associates that King was "running guns and money into Nicaragua," and that the CIA was heavily involved. (Flanery was soon taken off the story and shipped out of state for a year.)
Records exist to show that Larry King was a top contributor to a Contra "support committee," the Citizens for America (CFA). King’s own public relations firm was also used by the Contras.
I became convinced early on that King was deeply involved with the Contras. I am reminded of the phone call State Senator Loran Schmit received on the Senate floor as the Franklin case was just beginning to break. The caller warned him off the case, because "it would lead to the highest levels of the Republican party." I am reminded of when Larry King was finally arrested-just as he was about to go to a breakfast party in Omaha for his buddy, George Bush! I am reminded of the reports I used to hear that certain people in Omaha were charging that Omaha Police Chief Bob Wadman was protecting the expansion of the Cryps and Bloods into Omaha-far from their home turf of Los Angeles.
So, was Larry King’s buddy George Bush the country’s "drug kingpin" in the 1980s? I don’t know. But what I do know, is that if Bush were running the Contra affair, and drugs were a big part of it, that would certainly jibe 100% with everything known or rumored about Bush, Larry King, and the Franklin Credit Union. Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Representative Harold James are right - let’s investigate!
As follow-up investigation from the Franklin case shows, drugs are not the deepest level of government -sponsored evil. I think the lowest level of Hell is reserved for those who conjured up and carried out the "Monarch Project."
"Monarch" refers to young people in America who were victims of mind control experiments run either by U.S. government agencies such ’as the Central Intelligence Agency, or military intelligence agencies.
The story told by Monarch victims - one of whom is Paul Bonacci - is that they were tortured for the purpose of creating "multiple personalities" within them. These multiple personalities could then be programmed as desired - as spies, "drug mules," prostitutes, or assassins.
Because of legal cases still pending, I am severely limited in what I can say about the Monarch Project. Suffice it to say at this point:
Major intelligence programs in this country did and do exist for the purpose of protection of this country and to learn what other countries, particularly our Cold War enemies, were doing in this area of mind control.
I asked Bill Colby to tell me what he could or would, about this. He said:
"Of course the CIA in particular was involved in investigating, learning and, on occasion, using, everything we could learn about mind control-and with extremely good reason. Following the Korean War, this country’s military and intelligence communities went through a period of absolute paranoia about just how far our enemies were ahead of us in mind control and related activities.
"There was no particular program called’ Monarch,’ contrary to what you want to think. ’Monarch’ was merely a name that some participants in the program-who knew very little about it, other than from their own limited participation-were given to identify themselves. But, as far as the CIA was concerned, there was no such program named ’Monarch.’
"But, with respect to mind control, I will tell you that this country spent millions upon millions supposedly catching up to our Cold War adversaries, because we believed they had developed mind control technology which exceeded anything we had. In fact, we at the Company [CIA] truly believed for a substantial period of time, that technology and techniques and drugs had been developed by Russia which would enable them to have agents who in fact really were able to have and use ESP-extra sensory perception.
"Can you imagine," Bill continued, "how dangerous for this country it would be if you could have had someone meeting the President of the United States, who was actually able to read what was in the President’s mind?
"I know," Bill continued, "it may sound silly today to get all carried away with this fear; but I can tell you that we took it all very seriously and believed this ESP thing for some significant time period.
"I will tell you one other thing," Bill said, somewhat ominously, "we are not behind in knowledge of mind control. In fact, we never were, but we only found that out much later, after we had poured incredible resources into this area. And yes, I am sure, there were some problems and abuses that occurred and we will talk about them at another time."
We did have that other talk. And, I intend, when I am freed from court restrictions, to tell that entire story in an upcoming book. I have deposited extensive documentation on the Monarch Project with people who have the means, the motivation, and, most importantly, the guts, to print the entire story, should I suffer an "accident" before I get around to it. Here, I will merely quote from the work of one of America’s finest investigative reporters, Anton Chaitkin.
I had known of Chaitkin, who writes for Executive Intelligence Review magazine, from the book he co-authored with Webster Tarpley, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography. This 659-page-book is a devastating expose of Bush, and it played a notable role in helping to shape the 1992 presidential campaign, which Bush happily lost.
Perhaps it was because the name "Bush" was all over the Franklin scandal, that Chaitkin showed up one day in my Lincoln law office. I told him, "Look, I know you have been in some tough spots before, but are you really sure you want to poke around in this? This question of ’mind control’ - the Monarch Project - is the most scary and, dangerous thing I have ever encountered." As I came to know Anton, probably all that little lecture did was to spur him on. Chaitkin got his story on the Monarch Project, and printed it in the December 13, 1993, New Federalist newspaper under the headline, "Franklin Case Witnesses Implicate FBI and U.S. Elites in Child-Torture and Murder." Here follows an abbreviated version of that article:
What is the FBI protecting?
Since the 1992 publication of John DeCamp’s book, The Franklin Cover-Up, Paul Bonacci has filed new affidavits and has given extensive interviews to investigators including reporters for Executive Intelligence Review and New Federalist. Bonacci’s disclosures have been cross-gridded with evidence supplied by authorities in law enforcement, psychiatry, and the intelligence community. The result goes a long way to explain the high stakes involved, and the frantic nature of the Franklin cover-up. . . .
Paul Bonacci has described in detail being dragged to Washington for use as a sex toy for Larry King’s clients. Bonacci told investigators he was in one of the private White House tours for young male prostitutes conducted by lobbyist Craig Spence, a close political associate of Larry King in the cloak-and-dagger Contras enterprise. Spence turned up dead in a Boston hotel room in 1989, soon after his and King’s "compromising" business was exposed in a Washington Times June 29, 1989 story, headlined: "Homosexual Prostitution Inquiry Ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush."
’Monarch’: or, Auschwitz - Take 2
From very early childhood, Paul Bonacci was subjected to tortures as profound as any the Nazis inflicted on their captives. This is not merely a comparison; rather it is an actual continuation, as we shall see. From sexual degradation, from witnessing and forced participation in Satanic cult murders, Bonacci suffered the cracking of his mind into what is called "multiple personality disorder" (MPD). Tens of thousands of American children have been diagnosed MPDs; virtually all of them are thought to have resulted from sexual abuse, of which perhaps 85 percent were cases of Satanic ritual abuse.
Psychiatric professionals specified in Paul Bonacci’s legal proceedings that through it all, Paul’s different "personalities" have emerged incapable of lying, with an ultra-sharp memory. In one instance detailed in The Franklin Cover- Up, Paul was taken by Larry King and others to a wooded area in California - identified after publication as the Bohemian Grove. There Paul and another boy were forced to do sex acts with and to consume parts of a child whom they had watched being murdered by the cultists. The body was to be disposed of by "the men with the hoods." A "snuff" pornography film was made of these events; it was directed by a man the party had picked up in Las Vegas whom Paul identified as "Hunter Thompson" -the same name as a well known sleaze-culture figure.
Paul has told investigators that the ring which plunged him into Satanism was centered at Offutt U.S. Air Force Base near Omaha; that he was taken to Offutt to be sexually victimized by a babysitter’s boyfriend when he was about three years old, around 1970. Offutt is the headquarters for the Strategic Air Command, and has had a cadre of thousands of intelligence personnel.
At Offutt, and later at other military installations, Paul says this ring "trained" him by tortures, heavy drugging, and sexual degradation, while instructing him in military arts including assassination. In fact, his personal knowledge in these realms can scarcely be accounted for other than by crediting the indictments he has made.
Larry King, FBI agent Gerry Wahl/ Alan Baer, Harold Andersen, and former Omaha Police Chief Robert Wadman have all been reported as collaborators with this Satanic military-based ring. King reportedly told Paul’s captors at Offutt, "He’s young-but you trained him good." A member of Nebraska’s Concerned Parents group reported hearing from two North Omaha witnesses that "King used to send limousines down to Offutt Air Base to pick up CIA agents for parties." Larry King reported his own adoring relationship to the late CIA Director William Casey in a Sept. 7, 1988, interview in the Omaha publication Metropolitan.
Psychiatrists who have treated a growing number of MPD cases, victims of Satanic ritual abuse, report an alarming pattern of findings in many of their child patients. There is a structure to the personalities, conforming to what is evidently a deliberate breaking and reshaping of the mind. This phenomenon was identified to Paul Bonacci by his tormenters, and to other victims and witnesses, as the "Monarch" project. At Offutt Airbase, Paul was told that what he and other children were being subjected to was in aid of national security.
The use of mind-altering drugs, sensory deprivation, and other brainwashing techniques on U.S. citizens as subjects was the admitted practice of the CIA, certain military arms and private institutions joined in the MK-ULTRA, Artichoke, and Bluebird projects beginning in the early 1950s. A national security pretext often cited was the need to keep up with the Soviets in the race to develop a workable Manchurian Candidate human robot. With the "Monarch" (or whatever official title may be attached to it) project, the idea is extended to the production of a horde of children in whom the soul is crushed, who would spy, whore, kill, and commit suicide.
The material presented here, on this subject, must be under- stood to be only a bare introduction to a complex story with immense political and strategic ramifications. It is a beginning. Professionals probing the child victims of "Monarch" say there are clearly two responsible elements at work: the government/military, and cooperating Satanic (or more exactly pagan) cults. These are multi-generation groups, where parents donate their own children-who are proudly called "bloodline" or simply "blood" cultists - to be smashed with drugs and electric shock, and shaped. Other children are kidnapped and sold into this hell, or are brought in gradually through day-care situations.
Paul Bonacci and other child victims have given evidence in great depth on the central role of Lt. Co!. Michael Aquino in this depravity. Aquino, alleged to have recently retired from an active military role, was long the leader of an Army psycho- logical warfare section which drew on his "expertise" and personal practices in brainwashing, Satanism, Nazism, homo- sexual pedophilia and murder.
A former director of the CIA was asked directly, "what about ’Monarch’ "? He replied angrily, and ambiguously, "We stopped that between the late 1960s and the early 1970s." If a statement of fact, this would presumably relate to official participation of the CIA.
Some Codes and Assignments
The disclosures of Paul Bonacci, which cohere with reports of MPD professionals in other cases, point to a particular artificially induced mental structure as common to many victimized children. Space permits only the briefest treatment of this here; this is intended mainly to begin to "blow the circuits," so to speak, when followed up by professional therapists and investigators.
These are some of the widely occurring separate "persons" which have been formed under torture, and the corresponding "triggers":
* General personality-accessible under the code name ALPHA, with possible Alpha-001, Alpha-009, etc. "persons" with distinct task orientations.
* Sex programs, accessible through code name BETA; particular programs (and thus commands) are for pornography, acting, oral sex, etc.
* Assassination programs, utilizing very specific modes, and espionage, accessible through code DELTA.
* OMEGA, self-destruction programs, ranging from self mutilation to suicide by many different specific possible acts.
* GAMMA, system deception, amnesia and disinformation programs. Under this or ’other codes are track-covering false origins for the structure, giving the child memories of tormenters dressed as space aliens or Mickey Mouse or in Wizard of Oz costumes.
There are said to be such other personality levels as Master Programmer, Black Master, and different mental levels of backup programs. There are reported to be personnel who have large numbers of child-victims’ assignments and triggers neatly filed in their little computers.
Paul Bonacci reports the following "Monarch"-related activities, often involving his "Commander" at Offutt AFB, Bill Plemmons, and Lt. Co!. Michael Aquino:
* Picking up cash in exchange for drugs at various Tennessee locations. Bonacci identifies several country music personalities as contacts.
* Trips on behalf of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), the pedophile group now given semi- official status by the United Nations. Paul cites travel to the Netherlands and Germany carrying child pornography for sub- sequent "import" to the U.S.A. to avoid prosecution. In Amsterdam, he names "Charles Hester," and the British "Tommie Carter," who had on computer a global list of child pornography users. NAMBLA is also cited for organizing auctions of children.
* Travel to Hawaii, New York, Washington (in connection with Craig Spence) to compromise public figures by performing homosexual pedophile sex with them.
* The trip to California where the boy was ritually murdered, accompanied by "Monarch" contact, Mark Johnson of Denver, Colorado,
* Travel to .Mexico for the transportation of drugs, guns, and children. Paul was accompanied by the gangster-figure "Emilio," who otherwise directed the kidnapping of Johnny Gosch of Des Moines, Iowa. Johnny Gosch’s parents commend Paul Bonacci as an accurate witness relative to that crime.
* Training under "Captain Foster" (survival skills) at Fort Riley, Kansas, under "Lt. Dave Bannister" (intelligence) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, under "Col. Harris Livik" at Fort Defiance, Virginia, who is said to run a military school and to have housed "Monarch" boys. "Col. Bill Risher" of Bamberg, South Carolina, is said to have supplied children for Michael Aquino.
* Travel to Dresden in communist East Germany, where weapons were inspected. There and in the Federal Republic of Germany, the "Monarch" personnel were frequently neo-Nazis. This milieu is a special project of Lt. Col. Aquino, who was a West European adviser to the U.S. Chiefs of Staff. Paul Bonacci has extensive experience in the Aryan Nation and other White Supremacist cults.
An account of the origin of the "Monarch" project has been compiled by those who have been debriefing MPD child-victims. Nazi experimentation in World War II concentration camps were said to have gone beyond simply insane physical tortures. They brainwashed people, for military and strategic purposes. After the war, Allen Dulles and other Western intelligence people brought Nazi doctors out for use in the United States. A teenaged concentration camp inmate named Greenbaum, who had participated to save himself, also came to the United States. Known later as "Dr. Green," he became a high- level brainwasher, and is widely represented in brainwashing programs with a distinctive Cabalistic magic theme.
The precise details of these horrors lie deeply buried in national security archives. But this history, as told to psychiatrists, dovetails with what is definitively known about Anglo- American intelligence operations and the German Nazis. And once again, the story goes right back to Nebraska.
The killers in the Nazi camps were themselves trained and organized by psychiatrists and eugenicists, operating from the "T4" bureau. These psychiatrists had long been the pets of white supremacist British and American financier networks.
At least some of these Nazi doctors were spirited out of Germany under the supervision of for Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman and Tavistock Institute Director John R. Rees on behalf of the British government. Norman, personally an insane Theosophist who had been chief of the prewar pro-Nazi faction within England, and Rees organized postwar propaganda and continuing psychological warfare activities, and created "Orwellian" groupings within U.S. psychiatry and mental health fields.
I finally understood the true meaning of the Franklin case one night in early 1996. Watching television and skipping through the channels, I came upon the movie Billy Budd. Instantly I zeroed in on this movie, and my heart, rather than the channels, started skipping.
By the time the movie ended, the Franklin cover-up made sense. Alisha Owen’s imprisonment for telling the truth made sense. The protection of the perpetrators by our highest public officials, finally made sense. I understood, also, why it was necessary to discredit me, John DeCamp, and to kill Gary Caradori, with his eight-year-old son. Any nagging doubts I may have had about any aspects of Paul Bonacci’s charges were laid to rest. And it was clear to me, at last, that public officials at all levels knew Paul was telling the truth, as they set out to destroy him.
Where did the blinding revelation come from? Let me go back a few months, to my last attempt to get a new trial for Alisha Owen. At that hearing, Troy Boner, who had originally told Gary Caradori the truth, and who had been forced to recant, was preparing to testify - to tell the truth as you read it in his affidavit in Chapter 21. Troy Boner was going to provide the information in open court, under oath, that would blow the lid off the Franklin case and force a new trial for Alisha Owen.
As Troy came into the courthouse, he was immediately ushered into a private room by county judicial authorities. He was advised that a "Special Attorney" had been appointed to protect him. For approximately one hour, while the hearing was delayed, Troy was cornered in a room with this "Special Attorney" and with other officials from the prosecutor’s office, the very same prosecutorial team Troy was about to testify against.
When Troy came out of the meeting, I knew he was broken, his morale smashed. His head hung down. He could not, or would not look at anyone.
As I approached Troy, his new court-appointed attorney tried to step between us. With probably the last ounce of courage he could muster, Troy leaned over and whispered to me, "Oh God, forgive me. They guaranteed if I talk here today, they will put me away for twenty years. Guaranteed I would never see the light of day again. Told me that I would be charged with perjury for my original testimony, if I opened my mouth today in court. Don’t ~all me up there. I can’t survive in prison. I know they can put me there. Look what they did to Alisha. Look what they did to my brother. I’ve got no choice. They told me I had to take the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify. Otherwise, they promised I would be taken directly from court to jail"
We all proceeded into the court room, where I called Troy to the stand. I showed Troy his affidavit. He hung his head, and when I asked my first question, "Would you please state your name?" Troy responded, "I take the Fifth Amendment," an answer he repeated, in a barely audible voice, to all my other questions.
It was hopeless. I ceased my questioning, and shortly thereafter the hearing ended.
I walked back to the judge’s chambers to clear up any final details. Judge Enbody had been specially appointed by the Nebraska State Supreme Court to this hearing, which I had won from the Supreme Court based on Troy’s new information. (The next day I learned that he had been appointed to the Court of Appeals-a very substantial advancement in his career.)
Sitting in Judge Enbody’s chambers, with my head hung so low it was hitting my shoestrings, I was given the key to unlock the meaning of Franklin. "I do not understand it, Your Honor," I kept repeating. "As God is my witness, I do not think that there is a judge or other person involved in this case who does not know that horrible injustice has been done. Everybody knows that Alisha Owen is telling the truth and that she is being punished for it. And, Your Honor, a person has to be deaf, dumb, blind, and totally dishonest, not to know that some of this state’s and nation’s top businessmen and public officials have engaged in the worst crimes possible, which are now being covered up. And these kids, instead of being honored and protected for exposing these things, are being sent to prison. Why? Why? Why?"
Judge Enbody looked at me. Slowly, his voice shaking, he began to talk.
"I am just a man. I am not a god. I wish I were. I have no choice in what I have done. I am just a man, just a man, not a god. I am doing what I must do with the evidence before me," Judge Enbody concluded. He appeared even more shaken and upset than I was.
I shook my head. "I don’t understand. I just don’t understand," I kept repeating. "Everybody knows what is happening, but nobody is willing to do anything about it. Why? Why?!!" Judge Enbody looked at me and said, very slowly, "If you want to understand the entire Franklin case, I can help you. Go read ’Billy Budd.’ Read ’Billy Budd.’ If you will do that, John, and if you understand the book, then you will understand the what and why of Franklin, and why it can be no other way. I do not say you will like it. I do not say you will agree with it. But at least you will understand it. That, I promise you. Go read ’Billy Budd’."
Those were the last words I spoke with the Judge on the case. I left his chambers, burnt out, but angry. And I forgot all about Billy Budd, until the night I happened upon the movie. The story of Billy Budd is set in the British Navy near the end of the eighteenth century. Billy was a young sailor, who, although impressed into the British Navy, bore no ill will to the authorities for having dragooned him; indeed, he was the very picture of innocence and good-will, and was almost universally loved aboard his war-ship. One officer, however, developed an insane jealousy of Billy, and set out to frame him up for allegedly inciting mutiny. Since there had been several notorious mutinies in the British fleet at the time, the mere whisper of "mutiny" was enough to spread panic among the ship’s officers.
To make a long story short, because of certain incriminating appearances in the case, the captain and his senior officers, although they knew Billy was innocent of all charges, nonetheless sentenced him to hang, a necessity - as they viewed it - to "save the system," not just on their own ship, but in the British fleet as a whole.
Now I think I do understand the Franklin case. I know, now, that all the public officials involved in Franklin-whether they ever heard of Billy Budd or not-fully understood what they were doing.
And what they all have done, and will continue to do in this case, Franklin, and no doubt many others like it, is this: Protect the "system" at all costs. The "system" is the only ultimate sacred cow-not any particular law or constitution, but only "the system." Because, ultimately, it is the system which makes certain that the individuals functioning within it - from judges to lawyers, to prosecutors, to politicians, to businessmen - have their places and positions, and opportunities and pecking order, and future.
And, though it is unfortunate, that on occasion the protection of the "system" requires the deliberate sacrifice of perfectly innocent people, that is hoped overall to be the exception rather than the rule. But without the "system" . .
So, Judge Enbody, now I understand. And, as you said, I may not agree, but I do understand.
But then I have one final, nagging question. How do I know when, or if, the "system" itself has become so corrupted, that evil is the rule, rather than the exception? And when that occurs, what do I do about it?
But I think I know the answer to that one - my oId commanding officer in Vietnam told me what I had to do. I made some promises to Bill, and I intend to keep them.
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