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Amanda Lindhout—Free Spirit…

Small world  It’s been demonstrated that there are 4.74 degrees of separation between everyone on Earth. I can believe it. This is one of those stories that touch upon myself, Marion Delgado, Evo Morales and Amanda Lindhout…albeit, a tenuous one.

Coca Museo, La Paz, Bolivia

Coca Museo, La Paz, Bolivia

   Marion Delgado is a journalist friend of mine from back in the early ‘70s. The name is a nom de guerre. I’d say de plume, but he’s as much an activist as a chronicler of his adventures. A trait we share. (Richard Lee is his real name; RIP 04Dec’14.)

   While the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, was being pursued and harassed in Europe in his state aircraft by nations seeking to please American imperial-corporatism (searching for arch-nemesis whistleblower, Edward Snowden), Marion was trekking  thru the cocalero lands of Bolivia itself.

   From a description of his hair-raising tales over the mountains in gaily-decorated buses that often enough routinely plummet to crags thousands of feet below, one might opine that Marion has a death wish.

   However, as it turns out his travels are sandwiched in-between operations and treatment at the VA here in Detroit for what may well be terminal cancer. But I’d guess he’s not all that concerned with what the Grim Reaper has in store for him or precisely how Grim’s going to exact that due.

   As I wrote previously of Marion being a discerning observer of this obscure Blue Marble off in the backwaters of the galaxy, I found and used in that correspondence a photo of a young woman that appeared at an on-line Bolivian site. It’s apparently Amanda Lindhout, recently in the news.

   But first, as synchronicity would have it, Marion is from Boston and I’m from Providence. We served in the military back in the early ‘60s, he in the Navy and myself in the Army.

   He was on the high seas off Cuba during the US-sponsored invasion (Bay of Pigs) and the Missile Crisis back in 1961 and ’62. I was lock ‘n load at Ft. Campbell, KY, w/the 101st Airborne preparing to jump in. Fortunately, the Cubans secured their revolution and have kept the rapacious corporatist beast to the north at bay for the past 54-yrs (but not w/out great public sacrifice for the Cuban people).

   Marion and I first met in the early ‘70s when we were both involved as Winter Soldiers in anti-Vietnam war activities.  I covered the Investigation in Detroit for CREEM magazine. 

   We both had careers in journalism and traveled the world. We also became an authority, respectively, on marijuana and cocaine.

   For us at the time, these drugs were merely part of the cultural revolution that occurred in the post-World War-II era and the creation of a vast union-driven middle class in America , along with long hair, fashion styles, rock ‘n roll and free love. A conservative backlash eventually ensued w/the draconian prohibition of these drugs and others driving them into the predatory criminal community. 

   This then became the basis for the para-militarization of justice in America, $trillions that flowed into banks and financial institutions driving today’s corporatist coup, and the creation of the largest prison-gulag in the history of the world.

Once Upon a Time...

Once Upon a Time…

   For Marion and I back then, he was the captain of his own yacht while I chose being a fly-boy. I gave up jumping out of perfectly good aircraft and became a pilot.

   Marion became what I believe is easily the most learned authority on growing marijuana in history—perhaps even more knowledgeable in a practical sense than Jack Herer.

   As an authority on cocaine (before the CIA Iran-Contra crew popularized “crack” in the poor and black communities in order to finance their illicit wars in Central America), I had my share of crossing their paths. Small world.

   As w/all super-profiteering enterprises, the CIA, DEA and FBI got tired of trying to catch me competing w/them (after ’83 I had moved on), so the Justice Department finally just framed me into one of their own coke cases in ‘89 and sent me to federal prison for 25-yrs.

   Which brings me to my final commentary regarding Amanda Lindhout. When I first ran across Amanda on-line as a photo of a beautiful young woman kibitzing at the Coca Museo in La Paz, the photo caught my eye as precisely the type of young woman that I was attracted to in my international travels. Unfortunately, she wasn’t born until 1981.

   (If in fact the photo turns out to not be of Amanda, then it’s one of the most remarkable twin-doppelgangers I’ve ever run into. Either way, it makes an interesting story…)

   I was watching the Today Show last week and there she appeared, a few years older (32) being interviewed by Savannah Guthrie.

   It turns out that in her numerous adventures from her home in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, after her South American travels, she did a variety of writing and on-camera assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m struck w/how her life paralleled Marion’s and my own to an extent.

   In 2008 she moved on to Somalia, the site of Blackhawk Down years earlier, and was promptly kidnapped and held for ransom for 15 months under the most horrendous conditions and circumstances.

Amanda Lindhout (32)...

Amanda Lindhout (32)…

   Released in 2009 after her family was finally able to raise more than $600,000, Amanda has gone on to many speaking engagements, published a book, A House in the Sky concerning her captivity, and founded an organization, the Global Enrichment Foundation, which supports a scholarship program for Somali women.

   She even traveled back to Somalia to help distribute aid to impoverished women and their families.

   While some of my own experiences were rather extreme in the Middle East, East Africa (Idi Amin’s Uganda) and Central and South America, I would not trade them nor my 20+yrs in the American gulag for what she and her photog-partner endured during their captivity.

   Well, for Marion and I our adventures have been long programmed into our memory circuits. For Evo and the Bolivian people (along w/the other nations in Latin America), most of the struggle for freedom from the corporatist colossus to the north yet remains before them.

   For Amanda Lindhout, I expect she looks forward to a lifetime of service and contribution to others as something she learned along a very severe path that few get to experience and survive.

   Small world, indeed…

Dr. Publico

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2 Responses
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  2. […] own coke involvement ended in ‘83 when the DEA/CIA became heavily involved in creating the crack market in the US in […]

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