JOE NANGLE'S SLANDER of our committee ("Shining Path: Exposing Ideological Blinders," January 1993), in which he calls us a "terrorist front," is an example of how to help the U.S. government suppress people in Latin America and do it with a humanitarian face. Our committee's work has two clear purposes: build political solidarity with the revolution in Peru and organize opposition to U.S. intervention and other crimes against the people there.
The "terrorist" label is falsely being applied to revolutionaries in Peru by U.S. officials precisely to justify all manner of crimes against the people there and especially sending military assistance, including Green Beret advisers. To call our political solidarity committee, which is trying to break through a very powerful media campaign against the revolution in Peru, a "terrorist front" helps suppress opposition to U.S. policy in Peru and amounts to ugly McCarthyism.
Moreover, Nangle quickly passes over the actual content of the letter in The Nation that he is criticizing people for signing. The letter condemned the cold-blooded murder of more than 40 political prisoners in Peru last May, the murder of 300 political prisoners in June of 1986, and opposes escalating U.S. military intervention there. Why shouldn't people of conscience sign that, or protest against the many other abuses perpetrated by the government? The letter was initiated jointly by our committee and others who, as the letter says, "have different views about the revolution in Peru," but refuse to remain silent about the crimes being committed by this U.S.-sponsored regime.