Behind Truth Art, Featuring Anthony Freda and Winter Soldier Testimony

My online friend Anthony Freda sent me this video a couple days ago; he kindly allows me to use his stellar artwork for my diaries. From


“I’ve been lucky enough to work for some of the best venues for illustration in the world.   They include Time, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Business Week, Playboy , The New York Times and scores of other fine publications.

 My work has also been included in the annual illustration and design competitions of The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, Print Magazine and The Society of Publication Designers.”

You will no doubt remember Michael Prysner’s disturbing testimony from the Winter Soldiers event in Silver Sprngs, Maryland in 2008. Amy Goodman featured clips here. ‘Meet Michael Prysner’ of March Forward!.

On the Most Recent Fort Hood Killings (from the Guardian):

‘The senior officer at Fort Hood said Friday an “escalating argument” with fellow soldiers preceded a shooting rampage in which a soldier fatally shot three people and wounded 16 others before killing himself this week.

Lt Gen Mark Milley said investigators believe Spc Ivan Lopez’s mental condition was not a “direct precipitating factor” in the shooting, a day after officials said it appeared to be an underlying factor in the attack.’

(A vet’s objection to ‘the Myths of military PTSD and violence’ can be read here.) Note: he does not mention the alarming rise of veteran suicides. Prysner’s Our officers kill more U.S. troops than the Taliban: Record suicides prove our right to refuse to fight can be read here (with 2014 updated statistics).

Michael Prysner weighed in on the new Ford Hood shootings on Twitter:


‘I’ve visited Fort Hood twice, spoken with countless PTSD soldiers and did outreach in the mental health clinic; care there is beyond abysmal’ He was asked to elaborate, and did so here.

Thank you, Anthony Freda, Michael Prysner, David Swanson, and all of those who are dedicated to peace and are working against the American Empire project.

(cross-posted at

12 responses to “Behind Truth Art, Featuring Anthony Freda and Winter Soldier Testimony

  1. and

    What’s being done for the boys and girls , mothers, fathers and so on that are left to fend for themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    The 600,000 street orphans of Baghdad.

    The junkies in Afghanistan, the malnourished, stunted, mentally slow children?

    Can an entire population have post traumatic stress disorder?

    These soldiers might be able to help themselves with their own disorders by actually doing something for someone else over there.

  2. yes, very good,mafr. and ‘look what they’ve done to iraq’. nothing can change this, never, never, never.

    this video, these images, are the loops that should be shown to these war criminals while they’re in prison for life. your suggestion *might* be one that comes after acknowledging their crimes in a Restorative Justice series of meetings. *Might*.

    thank you for reading the piece, even though it lacked a title…once again.

  3. I’ve still never heard from a “troop” why they execute illegal orders, including EVERY War after the Big ONE. But stupid can’t Be FIXED; e.g., the above-linked DU dodocols, ‘telling what, telling, and telling told’ that they’re riding in DU-ARMORED vehicles (under constant gamma irradiation), wherein, if struck by DU kinetic fireball (and Not DEAD) they’ve also been beta radionuclide particle-contaminated externally and internally (e.g., breathed-in). Nevertheless, terminally irradiated (uranium half-life – 4 BILLION Years), “CONTINUE THE MISSION”, unless the equipment no Longer RUNS! (Hysterical Weeping ENSUES). I guess they return with tears in their eyes, when they realize NOTHING can be done for them And Their POSTERITY (not to mention the “ENEMY” population’s innocent men, Women AND CHILDREN)! Thus, I must question why the caissons keep Rolling ALONG’, with their pre-during&post-operation suicidal crews atop and within?

  4. i know, i know, bruce. i grew up with buffy’s contentions… but by now, i do have some heart for those for whom the military is a de facto Jobs Program. ending the draft was a fucking brilliant move. an ‘all-voluntary’ (heh) military with the massive signing bonuses, *promises* of free higher education, health insurance, etc….are sometimes to hard to resist. i know there are natural born (acquired, really) killers who join up, but it’s not all of them by any means. once in, in any event, they are utterly brainwashed as to ‘enemies’ and ‘following orders’, tripped of their individuality straight away.

    and yet: buffy: i do hear you. and weep large tears for what we’ve become, and done to our youth, to ourselves, and the rest of the planet, especially where our brown and black brothers and sisters live.

  5. Wendye, speaking of truth in art, which includes the art of writing books, I am very sad that Peter Matthiessen has just died – he wrote “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse” which I happen to have just started reading (I emailed you just now about it). It is an extraordinary work, published in 1983 but very relevant today. From the second chapter, where I am:

    “For all its scare talk of terrorists and reds, even the FBI cannot have imagined that AIM Indians – or the Black Panthers, or the puny U.S. Communist party, for that matter – were ever a real threat to national security; what was being protected was the ‘American Dream’ in which the Secretary of the Interior wished Indian hearts to swell with pride, the swollen “System” of conspicuous consumption, waste, and gross pollution that was so profitable to the big corporations and so destructive to the long-term prospects of humankind.”

    Rest in Peace, Peter Matthiessen.

  6. more soon, but yes yes yes!

    two trailers on the subject…for now: incident at oglala:

    and thunderheart:

    both full films are on youtube this song about anna mae aquash’s murder always makes me weep (she went to wounded knee to help…)

  7. i wish i could remember on which of my recent diaries i brought up the fact that the black hills were stolen back from the lakota so that its rich uranium deposits could be mined. that was also one of the big instigations for tribal chairman dickie wilson hired thugs to murder many traditionals at pine ridge. AIM members came home to defend them, and that’s when the two fbi’s were killed. someone had to pay, and it was peltier. they even know that he was not guilty, but he was there, and armed, as were many others.

    over the years, some lakota began turning on each other, and the story is even more muddy than ever, although i forget the particulars. i do know that a few claimed that anna mae aqaush was fbi, but that makes no sense to me.

    more casualties of the movement were john trudell’s family. from the independent lens website about the film about him:

    “The film begins in the late 1960s, when Trudell and a community group, Indians of All Tribes, occupied Alcatraz Island for 21 months in a symbolic effort to claim the island for the Indian people. The event brought international attention to the American Indian cause and helped to ignite the contemporary Indian People’s Movement.

    “What Alcatraz meant was that for the first time we saw young Native people standing up and saying we have rights,” said Cherokee leader and Alcatraz activist, Wilma Mankiller.

    After the Alcatraz occupation, Trudell went on to become national spokesman of the American Indian Movement, earning a reputation as one of the most volatile political “subversives” of the 1970s. The FBI dossier on Trudell exceeded 17,000 pages, one of the longest in the bureau’s history.

    In 1979, Trudell’s controversial career in politics came to a sudden end. Hours after he burned an American flag in protest on the steps of the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., Trudell’s pregnant wife, three children and mother-in-law were killed in a suspicious house fire on a Nevada reservation. He retreated from the public eye, and spent the next four years driving a car throughout North America. It was during this time that Trudell’s voice as a poet began to surface, giving him a new expression for his powerful opinions and raw emotions. ”

    hearing that matthiessen was cia was a surprise to me, by the way, but it was brave and great of him to have put that much effort into his ‘crazy horse’ book. you may remember that i’ve used lot of trudell songs in my diaries over the years. this, i think, is one of my very favorites. as you listen, you can conclude easily that the wasichu 99% are increasing the ‘we’ that john sings of:

  8. Thanks, wendy, and thanks for all your input – I will be coming back and watching these films. The first chapter of Matthiesen’s work deals with the earliest happenings in the Lakota area – it is really excellent, with maps showing the shrinkage of territory, with one translation of ‘wasichu’ being ‘the greedy ones’. That chapter totally breaks your heart.

    I am only just into the next one – hadn’t known that AIM had used the flag upside down to reference the distress of the nation. My copy is the 1991 reissue in paperback after the libel cases were resolved. Those are described in the afterword of the paperback edition – extremely interesting as they deal with a reporter’s right to record disparaging comments about government officials as part of the narrative.

    I hadn’t known anything about Peter Matthiessen, save his writing of ‘The Snow Leopard’. This is a remarkable book – you are so fortunate to have a first edition!

  9. you are entirely welcome, juliania, even if in my passionate hate, i provided both too much…and not nearly enough. yes, the book is lovely, and its worth is high dollar now, but the true worth is that mr. wd got it as a gift from me, and loved it. i must not have read it…as he remembers.

    but how interesting it is that you were moved by peter’s words and stegner’s recommendation. i do understand it, and yet…how often you have mocked me (and mischaracterized my devotion to ‘first american religious beliefs’) on the boards.
    for me, it’s all about the stories…the history. my first acquaintance with the ‘second’ wounded knee was listening to the clock radio and the coverage of events, knowing intuitively that there was far more to the story than the radio told. yeppers, ironically enough, i was working at the clark store in clark, co, nd walked the seven miles to and from work on a snow-packed road. but we had no radio where we lived (did we have electricity? i forget), and without the job i would never had known what was up.

    but you see, later i read many books about it all, many bios, and even spoke on the phone once accidentally to dennis banks about a ‘long walk’ that may have come thru the four corners, and mr. wd and i were wild to lend our support.

    but please understand, it’s not ‘first american religion’ i believe in, i believe in their struggles, their *existence* (well, some tribes, so many were eradicated) in the face of genocide, sociocide, and permanent ecocide. the humor and dedication, and yes: *extreme spirituality* they have engaged in just to…survive..moves me incredibly, and has taught me so very much through the decades. it’s long been my belief that it would be the *women* (yes, a bias of mine) whose credos and practices and long-thinking (seven generations) had the capability to bring us out of this hell we have created, or allowed to be created for us…and the planet.

    but it’s the personal stories that have kicked me in the gut, from black elk, to mary and leonard crow dog, even sherman alexie’s books. and oh, the music! the stories trudell, buffy, and larry long tell, pierce my heart and stir my rage and hope alternately! it’s so fine to see the rise of first american film makers, too, so that they can tell their own stories in their own ways. pbs is not fine any longer, but their multi-part series ‘we shall remain’ allowed induns of so many tribes…to speak their stories and remember history in their own fashions. i think you might like them, and they are all on youtube.

    thank you so much for providing me the occasion to honk on, ww; i don
    t mean to be a bore. :)

  10. here is leonard peltier’s statement on the death of hi friend peter matthiessen.
    the touching closing:

    “I send all my love to you all.

    Hold closely those true friends that fight and sacrifice for what is right.
    TRULY; In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse;

    Leonard Peltier

  11. Thanks for the beautiful eulogy from Leonard Peltier, wendye. I felt very impressed by Mr. Matthiessen and his writing just from reading “The Snow Leopard” – even not knowing all the details about Mr. Peltier. I had a very different experience in those years than the remarkable connection you have had. So, I am only just learning things, having only had mainstream media for the most part to educate me in the past.

    My first reading was “Black Elk Speaks”, an annotated version from the library which cast doubt on some of the language of the book – so when I saw the Matthiessen paperback I grabbed it to find out more.(The volunteer librarian could not find properly registered, and that made me wonder – Mr. Peltier mentions book burnings and we know how librarians have been under threat since 9/11 – I am probably on a list now.)

    Here’s a description of the Albuquerque city council meeting on the James Boyd situation – I can’t help feeling it is connected, reading of the happenings at Pine Ridge (I’m only a third of the way through):

    But I’m puzzled – when would I have mocked? I think it has to be a misunderstanding (not difficult as my comments aren’t always clear.)

  12. thanks for the report on the ‘burque SC meeting; i’ll read it soon. lol on the book burnings. locally, many of the exposés on the dark part of the mormon church and hierarchy seem to vanish.

    ah, the time i alluded to was on a thread when you were perturbed that i’d used freda’s chalkboard drawing of MLK with a third eye, and you…i dunno…mentioned my native american beliefs or something. and i just explained the difference up yonder. no biggie, but i kinda wanted to set the record straight. if i misinterpreted, my apologies, juliania.

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