Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike's Letter

December 21st, 2000 12:00 AM

A Christmas Appeal to President Clinton

Dear President Clinton:

Today, you begin your last month in office. There are many things my friends and I wish you could have accomplished in these last eight years. I'm sure you feel the same way.

There are a few things, though, you could do in the next 30 days that would bring freedom to just three people. I am asking you to be a hero to three individuals who continue to experience a profound injustice. You, as President, can correct the suffering they have had to endure. In the Spirit of the season, I am hoping you will consider my appeal...

1. Pardon Leonard Peltier. Mr. Peltier, a leader of the American Indian Movement, has been in prison for over two decades. Amnesty International and every other human rights organization in the world considers him to be a political prisoner. The evidence is clear he did not commit the crime he is in prison for (the killing of a federal agent during an uprising at the Wounded Knee reservation... see

Native Americans have barely survived the genocide that white Americans began over 400 years ago. That we would imprison just one innocent Native American is not only abhorrent, it is a continuation of that genocide. This man was punished for his political beliefs. He has suffered enough. Sign the pardon today.

2. Pardon Howard Mechanic. Howard, like yourself, was an anti-war protester at Washington U in St. Louis. His crime:he threw a cherry bomb. No one was harmed, no property was damaged, but Howard was given a five-year sentence. After losing the appeal, he ran.

For the past 30 years, he lived a quiet life in Arizona, raised a family, did charity work, and fought for the underdog. Until he was caught. Now he is in prison. He never committed a crime. The New York Times magazine ran an incredible story on him earlier this year. Not only is this man no threat, he is an asset to our society, actively involved in his community. 


The Vietnam War is over. Why are we still fighting it by persecuting people like Howard Mechanic? This could have been you, Mr. President when you were at an anti-war rally. Release him from prison immediately.

3. Tell Peru to Return Lori Berenson. Lori has been in a Peruvian prison for over 5 years. They accused her of conspiring to help a rebel group there. She was in Peru working as a freelance journalist. She never got a real trial (see 

This could be your daughter, Mr. President -- a young, idealistic girl, traveling to a foreign country to shed light on the way people are treated, and because she was seen talking to or hanging out with the wrong people, she is imprisoned for life! 

In fact, this could have been YOU, Mr. Clinton. What if during your college travels to the U.K. or the Soviet Union you were seen chumming with IRA people or Soviet dissidents? What if the secret police just whisked you away without a trial?

This is an outrage. I know you have asked the Peruvian officials about her well-being, but enough is enough. They now claim they will give her a new "trial." No way. NO more Peruvian "justice" for one of our young citizens. 

Demand that Peru return her now or face harsh sanctions from the United States. All you really need to do is just pick up the phone and make a call. You don't even have to tell us what you say to them. Just do it.

Now, that's not a lot to ask of you, is it? Three of our fellow humans languishing unjustly in prison. There are many, many more. I suppose if you really wanted to go down in the history books, you could reduce everyone's federal sentence on death row to life imprisonment. 

Better yet, you could issue orders to stop arresting our black and Hispanic citizens at such a disproportional rate in your "War on Drugs." THAT would be an act of courage.

I ask all who read this to join me in this appeal. Write to President Clinton at: 

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Phone: 202-456-1414
Fax: 202-456-2461

And just for fun, just to make a final point about the sacredness of everyone's vote, you could make Al Gore -- not George W. Bush -- the 43rd president of the United States! 

That's right, you can make the will of the people a reality. And it's legal. Just resign a couple days early. Al, according to the Constitution, automatically becomes president. As I have said for years, it matters little which one of you Republicrats is in the Oval Office, so what the heck! 

Actually, the one thing we will miss about you is your sense of humor. Give us all a good laugh and force Baby Bush into having to succeed Al Gore. Make him have to physically take the legitimate reigns of power from the actual winner of the election into his illegitimate hands!

And -- think of how much the Republicans and the Inauguration Committee will have to spend changing all the pre-printed banners and napkins that say "George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States of America." It'll drive them crazy.


Michael Moore

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? Ray McGovern Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Second Guessing a Life: US Health Care System Robs Security and Human Dignity Donna Smith The dysfunction of the US health care system...

Feb 27th
1:40 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles