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Book Review: Subpoena George Bush - The Anatomy of a Cover Up

by John Perrotti

Subpoena George Bush, by Aaron Caleb with Douglas Slaton, is the story of former Lucasville 14 member Richard Armstrong. For those unfamiliar with the Lucasville 14, they were fourteen prisoners confined at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, who, relying upon the Helsinki Agreement accord, renounced their United States citizenship and sought asylum in the former Soviet Union. Richard, along with other members, cut off his pinky finger to demonstrate the sincerity of his convictions and to protest their inhumane treatment. The prisoners sent the fingers to U.S. officials and the Soviet mission. During this time period the U.S. was focusing on Soviet dissidents and the Lucasville 14 sought to illustrate the fact that the American gulag also contains its own dissidents. It was at this time that Richard's political savvy became known to the U.S. Justice Department. (As PLN readers know, Lucasville was the scene of the bloody Easter siege and rebellion in 1993.)

The book takes us into the world of US espionage and covert actions. Upon Richard's release from prison, he engages in government-sponsored "counter-terrorism" with the Contra drug network until he is arrested in Portsmouth, Ohio. It is upon his arrest that the tangled web of intrigue unravels. When Richard's covert activities lead a trail all the way up to the office of then Vice President Bush, U.S. District Judge Wilhoit begins his own cover-up by exiling him to the federal forensic prison in Butner, NC. That is the same prison where John Hinkley Jr. was sent after he shot President Reagan. The purpose behind the transfer was to silence Richard by attempting to label him insane.

Richard becomes the longest held pretrial detainee, matching wits with the government's psychiatrists adept at chemically breaking those considered to be a threat. After four years and countless legal maneuvers, a deal is made by the government and Richard is released.

Throughout the history of this country covert operations have been a prevalent force utilized by the government to wreak havoc on the economy and leadership of third world countries. Subpoena George Bush provides an inside look at Contragate as well as the government's attempt to cover-up for its leaders' illegal acts.

I met Richard Armstrong at Lucasville in 1976. He was instrumental in my legal and political awakening. Of course, we all called him "Red" due to his hair and his politics. He is a good organizer and writ writer as well. Some of the legal proceedings described in the book get complicated and hard to follow and were definitely viewed through "Red's" eyes, who has a pretty big ego, but he's earned that over the years. It is a good, suspenseful book with plenty of intrigue and adventure to make great summer reading.

Cedar Mills Publishing
P.O. Box 26416
Trotwood, OH 45426

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