By Michael Lindemann
Their identities are mostly unknown; their deeds are vaguely understood at best. Their very existence is doubted by many. But among those who believe that a secretive yet powerful group of military and government officials created and still enforces a decades-long UFO cover-up, the question of "full pardon" is now up for discussion.
As if the prospect of public UFO disclosures is all but upon us -- a prospect also doubted by many -- some grassroots leaders of the effort to bring about Congressional hearings on UFOs recently raised the question of pardon on national radio and the internet. Weighing in on the question were several well-known personalities in the UFO community, including CSETI founder Dr. Steven Greer, military witness and UFO activist Robert O. Dean, attorney Peter Gersten and psychologist and author Dr. Richard Boylan.
Greer, Dean, Washington-based lobbyist Stephen Bassett and Moon/Mars researcher Richard Hoagland, among others, discussed their joint plans for pushing Congress toward open UFO hearings on Art Bell's "Coast to Coast" radio program the night of January 5. Also on that program, but offering the view that open hearings in Congress were neither likely to happen nor a particularly good idea, was "UFO lawyer" Peter Gersten.
The focus of the discussion on Bell's program was a plan announced by Greer and his allies to create a surge of public support for open hearings through a petition and letter-writing campaign. A policy statement and petition for hearings, representing the official position of this joint grassroots campaign, is now posted on several web sites. [See, for example, http://www.anagramvideo.com/bassett/ad2.html]
It has long been assumed that a key to any open hearings on UFOs would be a congressional or presidential amnesty for UFO witnesses who would otherwise violate sworn secrecy oaths if they testified.
But the petition for this latest campaign breaks new ground by endorsing blanket amnesty or "full pardon" for those who may have enforced the UFO cover-up, even if their actions were illegal or lethal.
The petition reads, in part: "We fully understand the seriousness of this issue [of open hearings] as well as the difficult position the government is now in regarding public disclosure. To emphasize this point, we unanimously extend support to the granting of full pardon by Presidential directive or act of Congress to all government employees involved in any extralegal actions prior to January 1, 1998 in service to the government's posture on extraterrestrial phenomena."
Criticism of this part of the petition surfaced immediately. A debate is now underway on the internet. The term "any extralegal actions" is construed by some critics to include even violent acts of terror, torture or murder. Pardoning such acts, they say, is going too far.
Dr. Richard Boylan was one of the first to weigh in with a critique. In a statement circulated on January 7, Boylan wrote, in part:
"I certainly support the call for Congress to hold Hearings this Spring, allowing current and former government officials and other expert witnesses to testify to UFO reality and extraterrestrial contact with humans.
"However, on the matter of granting amnesty to those involved in the UFO Cover-Up, certain important distinctions must be made. I have conferred with Command Sgt.-Major Bob Dean on this matter, and his views and mine are the same.
"We both support... amnesty for nonviolent activities undertaken, under color of constitutional authority, to conduct UFO information-gathering and information-suppression activities.
"BUT neither Bob Dean nor I support amnesty for serious crimes against persons, done to maintain the UFO Cover-Up. Examples of serious crimes, for which there can be no amnesty, include: murder, "disappearances", rape, felonious physical assault, involuntary detention for purposes of coercive invasive experimentation, and ruinous slander/defamation of character.
"I therefore urge all those involved in the Petition effort to make sure that any Petition you sign or support does not extend to amnesty for serious criminal behavior against persons."
Similarly concerned with the pardon issue was attorney Peter Gersten, a longtime activist associated with Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS). In an open letter to Petition co-organizer Stephen Bassett, Gersten wrote, in part:
"There is no reason to request pardons for anyone without knowing what crimes were committed by 'MJ12' or any other group/person. Blanket pardons are even more foolish. As you well know, there are rumors of murders, coercion and abductions done in the name of Planetary Security... Thus,... CAUS will continue its present position of not endorsing the Petition."
While it could be argued that a controversy over pardon for cover-up enforcers is at the very least premature, there can be little doubt that IF Congress moves to open hearings, or alternatively, IF some other event or official action suddenly establishes the inarguable reality of alien visitation in the public awareness, THEN the question of how to deal with those who may have guarded official UFO secrets by extralegal means will most certainly become an issue of great public concern.
In that light, the present controversy could be a foreshadowing of things to come.
Original file name: CNI - Amnesty controversy.final
This file was converted with TextToHTML - (c) Logic n.v.