Outsider Ramsey Clark makes a difference
The L.A. Times printed my letter, and others, today responding to their Saturday article about Ramsey Clark, which trivialized him as an ineffective outsider.
Re “He’s the Ultimate Outsider,” April 26: Ramsey Clark has hardly “forfeited a last chance to make a difference.”
In 1991, after Gulf War I, he founded the International Action Center so the peace movement would have a permanent home. After 9/11, IAC and others formed the ANSWER coalition, the biggest and most active of the antiwar coalitions, which has organized numerous huge peace rallies nationwide.
I’d say he was making quite a difference.
Clark’s views on U.S. foreign policy are cogent and shared by many outside the mainstream. The logic behind them is compelling and not difficult to grasp. Attributing them to “private penance,” being “gullible” or suffering from a “willful conscience” is voodoo journalism, and the failure to report Clark’s reasons as he himself sees them is a disservice to your readers.
Your profile of Clark got it right that he never was an insider after his stint with government. What you didn’t mention were his two important books, the 1970 “Crime in America” and the 1992 “The Fire This Time: U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf War.”
No former attorney general after Clark ever distinguished himself or herself in any way except Richard M. Nixon’s John Mitchell, who went to prison. Most followed the traditional insider path by parlaying their government service into big bucks as private attorneys.
Sure, Clark is an outsider, but that doesn’t make him “fringe.” He is a highly principled individual who doesn’t toe the party line. That’s what America is supposed to be all about.
(Yagman is a L.A. lawyer well known for filing suit against LAPD for police brutality. The home page of his law firm says “We are active in protecting the rights of those abused by police brutality and corruption, including Los Angeles and all other police departments“.)