Jim Martin responds to Rob Anderson's challenge
I've blind-copied my response to Rob Anderson's email to me, about my "Factsheet on the Bari Bombing", to everyone who apparently received it via copies, plus a few more people. Rob's the brother of Bruce Anderson, publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser; there's been some sort of falling out between them. Rob hates his bubba and takes it out on me; he's uninformed and totally unconcerned about who bombed Bari. Even so, he accurately presents the RSJP case - that Irv Sutley, agent of the FBI, played a hand in the bombing. It's total, utter, complete bullshit and I can prove it. I apologize for this but it looks like most if not all of you might be interested what I had to say. I hate getting spammed, but nevertheless I get bombed with it every day, so bear with me, and I think this is an important issue. I'll try to be quick, clean and efficient.
Rob Anderson wrote:
Rob Anderson: Your "fact" sheet is nothing of the kind. You---and the AVA---completely ignore the counter-arguments and have the nerve to complain about how your big scoop is blacked out in the mainstream media. Let's take your pseudo-facts in the order you list them:
1. You haven't come to grips with Nick Wilson's question about Sweeney's alleged placing of the bomb in downtown Ukiah. Since he and Bari lived on the same property, why would he take the risk of placing the bomb in her car at high noon in Ukiah right across the street from the courthouse?
Jim Martin: Lack of imagination does not constitute a "counter-argument." One could just as easily ask: Why would *anyone* take the risk of planting the bomb *anywhere*? To follow your logic: if you can't come up with a "plausible reason" to risk the placement of this bomb, you can only conclude that *no one* planted the bomb. (Maybe that's it! The bombing never occurred, the Lord's Avenger never admitted to planting it in Mendocino County, and Norm Vroman "has nothing to investigate.")
I've reposted my factsheet below. Apparently it hasn't sunk in yet. Item #1 deals with the technical construction of the bomb. You don't dispute a single fact I gave. The item doesn't mention Sweeney.
Your kind of "counter-argument" offers us no insight for a discussion of the facts of the case, like the construction of the bomb, timeline, witness statements, etc. I realize that isn't your intent, however. You're just wasting everybody's time with your hatred of your brother and it has nothing to do with Sweeney and Bari.
Because your thinking is clouded by hate, you make an excellent foil for my case. Thanks for the opportunity, I'll use it.
Rob Anderson: 2. See above.
Jim Martin: See here: You dispute no point of fact in my timeline. (I've appended the Factsheet on the Bari Bombing at the end of this.)
Rob Anderson: 3. Bari herself had a different opinion of Sutley and his role in events. And, remember, Sutley is the one who set up the gun pictures, and he and Pam Davis also had access to the photos that were sent to the authorities. There's no reason that I can see that Sweeney is a prime suspect here.
Jim Martin: Sutley did not set up the gun photos. You have no evidence to show that he did. Judi specifically invited Irv to come along for the abortion rally. You can see him clearly in the picture at the abortion rally, nearby Bari. She knew he had guns. (He's an open gun-nut, as is our current District Attorney. I have no problem with open gun-nuts, just furtive ones.) The next day, Bari, Cherney, and Sutley flippantly posed with Sutley's guns. Bari looked pretty damned comfortable holding that Uzi (see cover girl on Flatland #16). Sutley, as you well know, has passed a polygraph test on these questions many years ago. Judi Bari went to great lengths to keep this fact out of the [Santa Rosa] Press Democrat, after using its pages to expound on her Agent Sutley "conspiracy" story. That's why it's now "news" to you. This well is dry. Let's move on. We're running out of suspects.
Rob Anderson: 4. Don Foster as "leading attributional scholar": Again you folks ignore the evidence of Foster's opportunism and his flawed methodology. Foster himself has said that his analysis doesn't finger Sweeney as the bomber. Foster's rep is mostly hype. See jameson's web site and my Flatland piece on Foster. The latter is reprinted on Sweeney's web site.
Jim Martin: Say what you will about Foster. Nobody cares. No one cares what Stephanie Caruana, author of "The Gemstone Files", says about Foster. You've probably heard of her, Rob, you're a JFK-conspiracy buff: she wrote the book on how Aristotle Onassis ordered the JFK hit. She was the first of Sweeney and Wilson's "experts" on Don Foster. Caruana says that Onassis kidnapped Howard Hughes and replaced him with a "double". It's a wonderful story. Looks like Sweeney tossed any reference of her off his site after I pointed out who she was.
What "jameson" thinks about Foster is immaterial. You click on Sweeney's link to her webpage and you find a ream of obsessive mania about a kiddieporn sexcrime. Nick Wilson saw her on a TV show, of course. I saw the videotape of "48 Hours" TV show and I saw a very sick woman, and no evidence. The entire segment was funded by the Ramsey legal team. As in the OJ Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey cases, a little money goes a long way towards confusing the public, so Sweeney's using public funds and his paid time on the job to defend himself by confusing the public. One red herring after another, based on cyberspace and TV shows. Foster isn't free to respond to shut-ins with websites. I've got some data on "jameson" akin to what I provided about Stephanie Caruana, but I'll allow you to proceed with this sort of stuff for the time being and let you hang yourselves. My only advice for the moment: find a another "Foster expert". Even then, I'll say nobody cares what they think because:
Don Foster isolated no less than twelve unique points of agreement between the Lord's Avenger and Sweeney's writings. The way he laid out the evidence was compelling to me. It still is.
That these specific similarities between Sweeney's known writings and the Lord's Avenger Letter exist, is a FACT. No, of course this alone doesn't implicate Sweeney as the bomber, and I never said that, nor did Foster. It's convenient to "counter" arguments I didn't put forward, or distort Foster's reputation, rather than finding your own attributional scholar, and digging up writing samples yourself. That'd be *work*. And you'd face the awful possibility that any literary scholar might draw the same conclusions Foster did. Or any juror, for that matter. The way Foster laid it out, a high school freshman English class could figure it out. That's why you've got to discredit Foster. Sow a little disinfo like seeds of doubt.
Both the FBI and the Redwood Summer Justice Project agree that determining the authorship of the Lord's Avenger Letter is the key to unravelling the case.
Don Foster would certainly adjust his opinion that Mike Sweeney most likely wrote it, if he could be provided with new evidence. So would I. Maybe it's just that we're working with a limited sample. He's not seen anything that would indicate that Sweeney didn't write the Lord's Avenger Letter. You could help by providing more evidence.
Does Mike Sweeney, the amicable helpmate, still have any writing samples from, say, the pre-1990-era, handy for public inspection? Can you produce them? How about that novel he was writing, about "Eliza Devlin" the devious defender of the trees? Or have these documents all been "recycled"? Where is the typewriter that Sweeney used for the Carol O'Neal memo reprinted in Flatland #16? Has that typewriter been sent away to China, under the auspices of Mike Sweeney, chief of the Mendocino County Solid Waste Management Authority? Any statements he'd like to make about his last meeting with his ex-wife or when exactly he saw her last?
These are the obvious questions that need to be asked by law enforcement.
Now, Sweeney posts a webpage claiming that the only law enforcement officer who ever called him commiserated with him over "slander." That claim, if true, is grounds for a Grand Jury inquiry into the matter, and that cop needs to be fired. I'm so confident of our case, I linked my webpages to Sweeney's as soon as they appeared. Apparently he's not so confident of his case, since he doesn't link to mine. Over the course of many months, he's had a total of 900 hits on his page, which is what http://www.flatlandbooks.com gets every day, at minimum. Most of the traffic on his site comes directly from Flatland's, aside from his ads in the local papers, some of which have been provided gratis by your brother at the AVA.
Rob Anderson: 5. Sweeney has no documented history with bombs. You really should stop citing the Ramparts article. Have you read it? It's completely innocuous and there's nothing incriminating in it at all. Sweeney disputes the "replica" charge. Where are your witnesses?
Jim Martin: WE HAVE A VIDEOTAPE OF JUDI BARI SPEAKING IN FRONT OF A CROWD, HOLDING THE REPLICA, AND CREDITING MIKE SWEENEY WITH ITS CONSTRUCTION.
I would submit this videotape to you as evidence that Mike Sweeney constructed a replica of the bomb, but you've already determined that we have no evidence to support what we've said. Most people looking at this video would have to assume that Sweeney is lying about building a replica.
What else is he lying about? He lied about Venceremos. He lied about his parent's wealth. He lied about his whereabouts the day before the bombing. He lied about an "amicable" divorce. He lied about advocating mandatory garbage collection. He lied about his authorship of the Rampart's article. (Before he located a copy of his own article, and not remembering what he actually wrote, he claimed that the Ramparts editors didn't use his writing, just his name.)
The Ramparts article is accurately described in both Ed Gehrman's Flatland article (http://flatlandbooks.com/bariart.html) and my factsheet. Odd, isn't it, that Sweeney's article about the history of BofA leads off with the arson story? It's got nothing to do with the substance of the article. It shows an early interest in incendiaries.
Why is Mike Sweeney lying about such minor things as his construction of the replica of the bomb? I have no idea. We've caught him in other lies, but you get the point.
Rob Anderson: The airport fire accusation is hearsay.
Jim Martin: Sweeney was a public and vocal opponent of the airport expansion. Then one day it got arson-bombed. That's suspicious in itself, but wait: Judi Bari said Sweeney constructed and placed the incendiary. She made that claim to many people. Many people have told us about that, and we believe them. There are at least 17 different legal definitions of "hearsay" - some of which are admissable in court. I'm not a lawyer, but I've been told that one such case might be a "dying declaration", etc. But I'm not confused, you are, about the differences between a court proceeding and a criminal investigation. I understand the difference between evidence and proof. It's simply a lead that ought to have been checked out.
Rob Anderson: Even if it is true, a lot of 60's radicals have similar incidents in their past that don't make them murderers.
Jim Martin: You are slipping. The Airport Arson wasn't a "60s radical" operation. It was just a few years before Judi and Darryl got bombed, in the 1980s. You're only twenty years off the mark. The simple fact that a few bombs have gone off in Sweeney's general proximity warrants further scrutiny. Maybe it's bad luck, as you suggest.
Rob Anderson: 6. Is "documentation" the word you want here? There are in fact no documents at all. If there are, produce them. What you refer to again is hearsay. If any of you people have been through a divorce or separation, you wouldn't lend so much credence to what one partner said---allegedly said, in this case---about the other. The fact that they lived on the same property is evidence that contradicts your assumption of an antagonistic, abusive relationship.
Jim Martin: EYEWITNESSES, and they're ready to testify. Witness statements about the ugly divorce have been aired publicly on *commercial* radio; I've documented it by publishing the basic details in Flatland and standing behind it. One such witness appeared out of the woodwork in Willits: Judi's landlord, and he stated unequivocably that Bari was deeply afraid of Mike taking the children away from her. It's documented on videotape and audiotape. I guess Sweeney's a little smarter than you are, because if he thought that I didn't have any evidence for this, he would have sued me.
Mike Sweeney and the others who hope to profit from a settlement in the lawsuit suddenly want to know what kind of evidence we've got. Before we decided to publish Ed Gehrman's article, back in the previous century, we tried to talk with lawyers from the RSJP and they refused to discuss the facts with us. Now everyone wants to know what we've got. I've sadly drawn the conclusion recently that the lawsuit is in its essence a fraud on both sides. I'm retaining a reserve of evidence until such a time when a duly sworn legal authority is prepared to accept it. This evidence is not on my premises, so that an arson on my home wouldn't destroy it.
DA Norm Vroman told me he didn't want to have any actual documents pertaining to the case. Immediately after he said he wouldn't "prosecute the case on the basis of a magazine article" (which is fair enough), I offered to present him with evidence such as signed typewriter samples from Mike Sweeney. He literally threw his hands in the air, and exclaimed, "I don't want any documents!" There were a dozen people in the room, including Mike Geniella. We were there to petition for an investigation, not a prosecution. Now, don't get me wrong, I like Vroman and voted for him. I can fully understand his hesitation to get involved with this. There's no way we would have been able to present our petition to his predecessor, Susan Massini, she would have slammed the door on us.
Now, Rob, I'm going to make a completely new assertion, which I'm prepared to document in court:
JUDI BARI FILED A COMPLAINT WITH A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY ACCUSING MIKE SWEENEY OF HARASSING HER.
I won't say which agency. Sweeney can sue me for libel if he wants to see the evidence.
We've got more, much more. We'll be releasing it drip by drop, like water torture, until public pressure demands a criminal investigation of the Bari bombing. It might take months, it might take years, but it will happen. I encourage anyone with evidence about the case to contact me with the assurance that I will treat it with utmost discretion.
Rob Anderson: 7. Again, more hearsay from Mary Moore, not a particularly reliable source. In any event, every divorced couple with children in the country has issues around custody and visitation. So what?
Jim Martin: So what? So, at minimum, any bona fide criminal investigation would have included an interview of the ex-husband. You make the case here yourself: the situation is absolutely typical, in certain respects. Reasonable people wonder why the ex has never been questioned about the incident by any law enforcement agency.
It's unseemly, Rob, how you off-handedly discredit Mary Moore without offering a single FACT to support your derision. She's quite well-known and respected, while you are a non-entity in the social and public life of the community.
Rob Anderson: 8. Again, more hearsay from an unreliable source. Irv Sutley on the witness stand would be a joke. Credibility? Please.
Jim Martin: Want some? You have to earn it.
Irv Sutley makes an excellent witness. Uncommitted people who attended our roadshows found him credible, and nobody from the RSJP disruption teams ever questioned any of his testimony. Except once: Alicia "Littletree" Bales challenged him once. She stated in an open meeting in Willits that Sutley had never been mentioned in the lawsuit filed by Bari. Sutley immediately began reading from a copy of the RSJP lawsuit in which he was characterized as "cat's paw" who "sowed discord" within the environmental movement. But facts never faze you people. He's passed a polygraph, his story is borne out by physical documentation like phone records. Bari knew that she had falsely characterized Sutley, and perpetrated a fraud upon the courts, when she included him in the lawsuit. And her entire legal team could be disbarred for not bringing to the attention of the judge the fact that Sutley had already passed a polygraph.
Let's find out. Round 'em all up, swear them in, and take their testimony. Got a problem with that? Sweeney's a smooth and capable guy but we've learned he's a little forgetful, which often happens when you must track multiple cover-stories. Sutley, on the other hand, has a nearly photographic memory and can give extremely precise accounts that match up with the record. I'll be damned if I can poke a hole in his story. If you possess a shred of evidence pertinent to the case, I'll meet you at the Grand Jury. Let's go. I call your bluff. Let's expose the evidence, or lack thereof, for this decade-old prevarication about Irv Sutley. Sutley doesn't act like somebody who had something to do with the bombing of Bari. Sweeney does.
Rob Anderson: 9. Since there is no plausible reason that Sweeney would put a bomb in Bari's car in broad daylight in the busiest part of Ukiah, his whereabouts are completely irrelevant.
Jim Martin: There's nothing "busy" about downtown Ukiah, even at noon. Let me get this straight: because you, Rob Anderson, cannot imagine any "plausible reason" why Sweeney might bomb Bari, a gaping discrepancy in Sweeney's account of his whereabouts should be ignored? This kind of argument will not impress anybody.
Rob Anderson: [...] What do you expect?
Jim Martin: Nothing much: just a legitimate and lawful inquiry into how this criminal case has been handled.
Rob, I glanced at your op-ed piece on the situation at Sweeney's website. I'm quite flattered that you guys assign to me a Rasputin-like influence over so many people. Looks like you are awfully concerned with what I do for a living: selling controversial books. It's an honest job.
Isn't it true that you're a conspiracy buff, and a well-known believer in "bigfoot" creatures roaming the Northcoast? Big Hairy Monsters running loose in "Mendoland"? I don't discredit you for this. Have I got some books for you!
Let's turn the tables here: What do *you* do for a living, Rob Anderson?
Factsheet on the Judi Bari Bombing
Compiled by Jim Martin, editor of Flatland Magazine
1. Construction of the bomb.
The device was a two-stage pipe-bomb filled with nails, an anti-personnel bomb with a cheap watch timer and a motion detector. The timer, with a maximum delay of 12 hours, activated a secondary, motion-detecting fuse with a ball-bearing that connected the circuit when the vehicle turned sharply or hit a bump. It was placed directly under the driver's seat, where there was limited clearance, so the bomber had to know the exact dimensions of the space below the seat to prevent the bomb from being seen by the occupants. The device malfunctioned and bomb's end-cap blew off, limiting the effect of the blast. The bomb could only have been placed, considering the twelve-hour timer, 1) in Ukiah where Bari attended the rally for about two hours between noon and 2 PM; or 2) in Oakland while the car was parked at the Seeds of Peace house; or 3) while it was parked outside David Kemnitzer's house in Oakland where Bari spent the night. The timer would not have activated the motion-detector until well after Bari was sleeping, and the bomb did not go off until the motion-detector triggered the bomb when the car hit a bump, braked, or made a sharp turn.
2. Timeline of Bari's movements 48-hours prior to the blast.
On Tuesday, May 22nd, 1990, Bari met with loggers and law enforcement to discuss Redwood Summer's non-violence. She parked her car, unlocked, across the street from her meeting at a cafe in Willits. Afterwards, she returned to her home in Redwood Valley and spent the rest of the night there. Bari left the next morning, on May 23rd, 1990, after 11 AM. She drove her car to Ukiah with Utah Phillips and they left her car near the Mendocino Environmental Center and attended a rally at the footsteps of the Ukiah Courthouse. Meanwhile, her ex-husband, Mike Sweeney, was in Ukiah where he worked at the Mendocino Environmental Center. He had keys to her car. She left the rally after 2 PM and drove the rest of the way to the Bay Area, where she was to meet with people from Seeds of Peace to discuss the provision of food at the Redwood Summer demonstrations. She arrived at the Seeds of Peace House between 5 and 6 PM. Her car was locked in front of the house on a well-travelled street. Between 11 PM and 12 PM Bari drove to David Kemnitzer's house and spent the night there, again locking her car. The next morning, she got into the car with Darryl Cherney and drove away. A ball-bearing motion-detector triggered the bomb when Bari changed lanes sharply, and it exploded 5-10 minutes after they departed.
3. The "Argus Letter" and "Uzi Photo."
Discovered by filmmaker Steve Talbot, the "Argus Letter" letter was sent to Ukiah Police chief Fred Keplinger on January 6. 1989. The writer offered to spy on Bari and to set her up the next time she mailed marijuana at the Willits post office. Accompanying this letter was a photo of Bari holding an Uzi machine gun. She later accused her former friend, Irv Sutley, of writing this letter, but subsequent investigation, including phone records, ruled him out. There were a very small number of people who could have had the information contained in the Argus Letter; Bari's ex-husband was one of the few.
4. The Lord's Avenger Letter and Sweeney's known writings at that time.
An unsigned confession to the bombing was received by Santa Rosa Press Democrat reporter Mike Geniella five days after the bombing. The bomber claimed that he had set the bomb in Mendocino County, which should be enough to give that county's law enforcement agencies jurisdiction in the investigation. Leading attributional scholar, Professor Don Foster of Vassar college, has pointed out no less than twelve different points where Mike Sweeney's known writings match that of the "Lord's Avenger Letter," which the ex-husband apparently wrote after it was clear that Bari would survive the blast, in order to divert attention from himself.
5. Sweeney's documented history in association with bombs.
A 1970 Rampart's article written by Sweeney directly quotes an arsonist of the Bank of America at Isla Vista without naming him, showing a close association with bombs; Sweeney actually constructed an exact replica of the Oakland bomb; Sweeney's membership in the violent political cult "Venceremos" at Stanford University; after her attack Bari herself told many people, including Bruce Anderson and Steve Talbot, that Sweeney carried out the Santa Rosa airport arson-bombing back in October, 1980.
6. Sweeney's documented history of spousal abuse.
Numerous women-friends of Judi's who knew her prior to and after the bombing are willing to testify to Sweeney's abusive nature, and the acrimony in their divorce. A large number of people remember Judi telling them that Sweeney had "raped her twice" and beat her. Bari and Sweeney had divorced in 1988 but had not, even as late as 1990, agreed on how to settle their joint property and the custody of the children. The divorced couple, Bari and Sweeney, lived at the same property with Bari residing in the spec-home they had built, and Sweeney living in a trailer ten yards away. Beth Bosk can testify to the fact that Sweeney had total access to Bari's living quarters at that time.
7. Judi Bari's pre- and post-bombing fears of losing custody of her children to Mike Sweeney.
Bari expressed these fears to Mary Moore immediately after the bombing, at Highland Hospital in Oakland. Even Bari's landlord knew of this. Numerous people can testify to this. Sweeney was very attached to his daughters, and did not approve of Bari's lifestyle.
8. Bari's solicitation of Irv Sutley to murder Sweeney for $5,000 in 1989, speaks volumes about the acrimony in the divorce.
That this solicitation actually occurred has been confirmed by a) Bari herself on KZYX public radio; b) by Pam Davis, who relayed the solicitation to Sutley on behalf of Bari; and c) by Sutley passing a polygraph test on this and other questions.
9. Sweeney has offered two distinctly different alibis for his whereabouts the day before the bombing.
Sweeney's first alibi confirmed his presence in Ukiah the day before the bombing; lately, he's been claiming he was actually in Redwood Valley "all day." So far, nobody has publicly verified either alibi.
10. There has been a total news blackout of this story.
Mike Sweeney and his father have threatened to file a lawsuit against any major news outlet that might mention his name in connection with the case, including the New York Times and the Press Democrat, the Chronicle, the Examiner, KMUD, KPFA, and KZYX public radio stations, as well as the commercial radio station KSRO-AM in Santa Rosa. Pat Thurston, popular radio talk host was fired from KSRO on February 11, 2000, when she refused to read a "retraction" of statements made by Bruce Anderson and Mary Moore in regard to the facts of the case. A small squad of paid and self-interested people associated with the Redwood Summer Justice Project have conspired to disrupt any public discussion of the case where people can question their conspiracy theory about the Bari bombing.
Isn't this at least enough to begin a criminal investigation into the bombing, beginning with the ex-husband?
For more information: