[Ppnews] Fugitive Offers Reward for Rumsfeld’s Capture

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Wed Jun 8 12:12:22 EDT 2005


Day Views: Fugitive Offers Reward for Rumsfeld’s Capture


by Susie Day
2005-06-08
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[ PU ] Speaking from Cuba, where she was granted asylum after escaping from 
a U.S. prison in 1979, Assata Shakur, the alleged “Bandit Queen” of the 
now-defunct Black Liberation Army, announced she would hand over one 
million “HANDS OFF ASSATA” t-shirts to the person or persons who 
successfully apprehend U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and bring 
him to face war criminal charges at the International Criminal Court.

“Black people don’t scare me,” responded Secretary Rumsfeld, in a telephone 
interview. “For one thing, their t-shirts shrink after washing. For 
another, this woman’s name is not Assata Shakur, it’s Joanne Chesimard. And 
finally, the United States government has just offered one million­dollars, 
not t-shirts­to anyone who captures her. She’s a convicted cop killer, for 
chrissake.”

Assata Shakur, nee Joanne Chesimard, was, in fact, convicted of killing 
state trooper Werner Foerster in 1973, after the car in which she and two 
companions were riding was stopped by police on the New Jersey Turnpike for 
a broken taillight. Ms. Shakur was, at the time, a reputed leader of the 
Black Liberation Army, an underground spin-off of the Black Panther Party, 
whose members, it was later revealed in Senate hearings, had been targeted 
for surveillance, death, and incarceration by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.

Along with her supporters, Assata Shakur insists she is innocent; that not 
only did troopers shoot dead one of her companions after police stopped her 
car, but also that she herself was shot while her hands were raised over 
her head, making it impossible for her to wield a gun. Ms. Shakur further 
alleges that, once wounded and in custody, she was tortured by police. 
Sentenced by an all-white jury to life in prison, Ms. Shakur escaped with 
the help of outside friends, and was given sanctuary by the Cuban 
government. Her offer of one million of the popular “HANDS OFF ASSATA” 
t-shirts appears to have been motivated by the U.S. government’s 
announcement, on May 2, of a $1,000,000 reward for her capture.

Liberals and progressives have been quick to respond to Ms. Shakur’s offer, 
indicating that, within the American counterculture, activists will do just 
about anything to wear the right person’s face on their chests. “Who wants 
one million oppressive patriarchal imperialist dollars?” queried Mulchy 
Greenleaf, lesbian blogger and founder of the organization T-Shirts Not 
Bombs. “Besides, I could get five times that much selling those groovy 
Assata t-shirts on the Web. Watch out, Rummy baby­you’re history.”

Indeed, Ms. Shakur’s offer may have given the American peace movement just 
the initiative it has needed to stop the war in Iraq. “The feds want to 
give $1,000,000 in taxpayer money to any thug who can kidnap a woman who 
probably never killed anybody, while people like Donald Rumsfeld­who are 
certifiably accountable for the torture and deaths of thousands of innocent 
people­live free as heroes,” remarked Brian Bezerko, veteran antiwar 
activist. “It’s disgusting. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire Bush 
administration finds itself hog-tied and wriggling in front of the 
International Criminal Court before this is over.”

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld laughs at danger, saying that the 
threat of capture has given him a chance to perfect his Edward G. Robinson 
imitation. “Yeah, my troops plugged about 100,000 Iraqi civilians, see? We 
showed those prisoners who’s boss, see? And I never lost my job­so you got 
nothing on me, see? Now, that Chesimard dame, she could have maybe shot one 
cop. She’s the bad one, see? She’s the one you want, yeah.”

Although Mr. Rumsfeld professes indifference to would-be bounty hunters, 
many of his advocates worry about his safety and are shoring up defenses.

“If Assata’s the Bandit Queen of the Black Liberation Army, then Donald 
Rumsfeld is the Bandit Queen of the U.S. Army,” declared Mary Margaret 
McNurtz, president of the new Hands Off Rummy Brigade, which has also come 
up with its own attractive t-shirt.

“All Miss Chesimard had to do, if she wanted to go around shooting people, 
was join the U.S. military,” continued McNurtz. “Maybe the equipment is a 
little shoddy, but they give women and African Americans the same right as 
white men to kill with impunity. And there’s equal-opportunity torture, 
too. Of course, she would have had to get permission from Mr. Rumsfeld for 
the tasers and vicious dogs, but he would have given it. Just like he did 
for Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.”

The federal government has also begun to show concern for Mr. Rumsfeld’s 
well-being. President Bush, alleging that the Secretary of Defense could 
never get a fair trial at the International Criminal Court due to the 
Court’s “bigotry against war profiteers,” has offered to grant Mr. Rumsfeld 
asylum in Iraq. “Thank God we’ve created a haven from prejudice there,” he 
said.

Copyright Susie Day, 2005



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