By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
The following letter is in response to Nick Schou's June 14 article "Hero or Heroin?"—discussing alleged coup-plotter Vang Pao's involvement in the Southeast Asian heroin trade. The article made reference to Alfred W. McCoy's book on the subject titled,The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.
First of all, let's get the titles straight on McCoy's books: The original 1972 book was titled The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (New York; HarperCollins). I have a copy I Xeroxed on my lunch hour at work from a library (circa 1988!). The expanded and revised book he published in 1991 is titled The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (Brooklyn; Lawrence Hill Books).
Secondly, in response to the "Talking Smack About Vang Pao" letter from June 22, McCoy never claimed to have personally visited the heroin labs at Long Tieng. To quote him from an interview with David Barsamian titled "The CIA and the Politics of Narcotics" on Feb. 17, 1990: "Long Tieng was closed to any American other than somebody that had top security classification."
For more on Long Tieng from eyewitnesses from U.S. Aid workers, Air America pilots and foreign corespondents, see the 1988 Frontline video "Guns, Drugs and the CIA" (air date May 17, 1988). It's highly amusing watching William Colby and Richard Secord lie on camera about their ignorance of Vang Pao's complicity in the heroin trafficking. Good luck finding a copy of that video as well as the 1972 original McCoy book. Both are long out of print but worth digging for.
The following letters are in regard to R. Scott Moxley's June 22 article "The Case of the Traveling Semen," which outlines Patrick Daniel Piceno's effort to explain how his sperm landed inside a beaten 73-year-old woman's vagina.
That story was amazing. I cannot believe that someone could actually be desperate enough to do something like that. The fact that it was an elderly woman is bad, but even if it were a 20- or 30-year-old, does it really matter? This man should get the maximum punishment. Hopefully, he will become a victim of his same doings while he's in jail. I hope some big, badass dude messes this guy's head all up. Thanks again for the article.
I've been a cop for about 27 years, and this elder-rape story of yours just about takes the cake. That kid is getting 15 years? It should have been 150 years. Thanks for a terrific piece of journalism, laying this story out as you did.
Steve Spernak, executive director
OC Traffic Officers Association
BORDERLINE PISSED OFF
The letters keep on coming regarding Derek Olson's June 21 article, "On the Borderline," about the Tom Tancredo rally at the Nixon Library. A correction about the story ran in last week's issue.
It's left-wing, lying journalists like Derek Olson who should be barred from ever writing another article. Derek's coverage of the Tom Tancredo event at the Nixon Library was filled with nothing but lies, false quotes and statements. It's clear his point of view sympathizes with illegal aliens, and it shows. A journalist's writing should be factual, NOT his point of view.
I am making a complaint and offering my support in legal action against you and OC Weekly for printing such crap.
I am e-mailing you about the article written by your staff writer Derek Olson. I did not know he was even there, and what was written did not surprise me at all. I have been lied about so much I always expect the worst and always hope for the best. I stand by my speech.
It did bother me that Mr. Olson wrote I was Mexican-born. I was born in Redding, California, to a Mexican father and an American mother, born in Texas. She was born to an American father, also born in Texas, who was born to another American father, born in Arizona. I might look like my ancestors, which include Apache Indians and Spaniards, but no matter my color, I am an American. Sorry to bother you; I have never written to rebut before. I just hate to live with the lies. Like I tell my grandchildren, "The world is not going to end because . . ."
Lupe Moreno, president
Latino Americans for Immigration Reform
You would dare print such a hit piece on Tom Tancredo? This article was nothing short of amazing—in its ability to sink to new journalistic lows. This hack lied multiple times. I don't know much about your publication other than to see all the elements of journalistic integrity thrown out the window in the tradition of Jason Blair and Stephen Glass. If you had any concern for your reputation, you would fire this hack and issue an apology to your readership.
I find it hard to believe that you actually pay Olson to write articles. His coverage of the Tom Tancredo event was uninformative, very biased and laughable at best.