caseyresearch.com / By Doug Casey, Chairman / December 7, 2012 3:28pm GMT
L: Doug, I hear that a friend of yours, Indian activist Russell Means, has passed away. He was an unusual and interesting character. Are you up to talking about it?
Doug: Yes. You know, I’ve gotten into the habit of doing obituaries in recent years in The Casey Report – but generally of people I don’t like. I know that’s considered improper, because you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but –
L: It’s Totally Incorrect.
Doug: [Laughs] Totally. But that’s perhaps the best reason to do it. I hate to see sepulchers whitened, especially when their contents are morally rotten. But Russell, whom I got to know to some degree, is worthy of praise. We hung out together a couple of weekends in past years.
L: I caught that Heart of Darkness reference. We really should talk about books again, with a broader context than our conversation on speculative fiction. We’ve had requests.
Doug: I’d like that – maybe next week. Anyway, I have a lot of respect for Russell. So I think I can say what I really think and not violate accepted mores.
L: Okay. Perhaps we should start with who he was and how you came to know him?
Doug: Sure. Russell rose to fame because he was involved in what’s sometimes called the Second Battle of Wounded Knee, back in 1973. About 200 Oglala Lakota occupied the town of Wounded Knee for over two months, and were surrounded by a small army of federal marshals and FBI agents, buttressed by a bunch of armored personnel carriers. There was a lot of shooting, resulting in several deaths. If it had happened today, it might have wound up like Waco. Means and others were put on trial, but the charges were dropped on based on prosecutorial misconduct. But Russell was very involved, and you can bet that he was on the line, pulling the trigger. He was that kind of guy. A couple of years later two FBI agents were killed there, and Leonard Peltier – a friend of Russell’s – was found guilty. That became a cause célèbre as well, since there’s some real question of whether he did it. He’s still in jail.
I’m on the side of the Indians. Sure, they may have broken some laws, but most laws today are artificial, unnecessary, and corrupt constructs. They’re very unlikely to be changed from within the system. And, apart from that, the Indians are a special case in many ways.
Russell was an outspoken sort of guy and a good self-promoter. So, subsequent to Wounded Knee II, he got into the movie business. As an actor he may be best known for playing Chingachgook in The Last of the Mohicans. He also had a role in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers and a voice appearance in Disney’s Pocahontas. He was actually a good actor, I thought. Maybe that’s because he basically played himself: a grizzled old Indian. He was a character actor: someone with a great persona that people just like to watch. There’s nothing wrong with that – John Wayne was famous for doing the same thing, as was Steve McQueen.