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always topping itself in the Great Lines field. One fine day the defense started questioning Lemmer about his army medical discharge, on which Lemmer had listed frequent depression, excessive worry, trouble sleeping, amnesia, unconsciousness, nervous disorders and nightmares. “I recall everything except the amnesia,” said Lemmer. THE DEFENSE could not only not trust VVAW members \(Lemmer, Becker to defendant Peter Maloney and Poe to even had a “weak link” in their midst. Defendant Alton Foss, 26, from Miami, has a tragic history. In 1967, Foss was wounded in the ankle during an ambush south of Da Nang. He has had 10 operations on the ankle and is in constant pain. He believes the ankle was damaged by “malpractice” in the Key West Naval Hospital. While he was in Nam, he was given morphine and demerol to ease his pain and got hooked on drugs. At the time he was indicted with the other seven for conspiracy, Foss was also under a drug indictment. He tried to make a deal with the government he wanted to plead guilty to the drug charge in exchange for a promise of probation. In return, government agents asked him to testify against the other defendants. The deal fell through last August when U.S. Atty. Gen. Robert W. Rust asked Foss to sign a statement containing information Foss says he did not provide. On Sept. 20 last year, while he was still waiting for trial on the drug charge, Foss said the pressure again became too great and he attempted suicide by slashing his wrists and drinking two bottles of wood alcohol. Members of the VVAW rushed him to a hospital where his life was saved. If the defense seemed a little paranoid in the face of such circumstances, there was even more to fuel its belief in conspiracy. There was the timing of the grand jury proceedings and the indictments June 17 was the date of the Watergate break-in, June 30 the date of the first big cover-up meeting, according to John Dean. On July 3 subpoenas were issued for the Gainesville Eight. Diversion? Cunningham believes it. “It’s in Baldwin’s testimony and McCord’s,” he said. [Convicted Watergate burglars Alfred Baldwin and James McCord.] “McCord mentioned infiltration of the VVAW. The prosecution denied -there had been any electronic surveillance on the VVAW, but it came out during the trial that there was at least one phone conversation and at least one face-to-face encounter tape recorded. The way they keep records on that stuff is incredible. We wanted to call witnesses on that, but the judge said it was irrelevant.” The defense tried to subpoena Justice 6 The Texas Observer Department and FBI files, including the Gemstone file, relating to the VVAW and the eight defendants. The judge quashed that. Former Atty. Gen. John Mitchell was called during a pre-trial hearing, but that made the judge so nervous he allowed almost no defense questions. One Justice Department official who did testify before the grand jury hardly lent credibility to the department. Guy Goodwin is a Justice hotshot in this type of case. Goodwin got the indictments against the Berrigan and the Harrisburg, Pa., “conspirators” and against the Gainesville group. Goodwin testified before the grand jury that none of the people represented before the grand jury by the defense attorneys was an informer or agent and that included Emerson Poe, the prosecution witness with whom Scott Camil had 20 or 30 discussions about defense strategies, witnesses and plans. Simple politics would lead any self-respecting paranoid to suspect a government conspiracy. The VVAW was, without question, the most effective anti-war group in the country. In fact, throughout the trial the prosecution reiterated that “the VVAW is not on trial, only these eight defendants are on trial.” It is hard, even for committed hawks, to argue for the Vietnam war with guys who’ve been there, guys with medals and without legs. The VVAW was generally the most disciplined of the anti-war groups, building a well-deserved reputation for keeping demonstrations peaceful. And it was a very, very big public relations problem for the Nixon administration. “Indicting these guys was very effective strategy,” said Cunningham. “Long before the case came to trial, before anyone had a chance to see whether or not any of the charges were going to be proved, many moderate members of VVAW started dropping out. They said, ‘Hey, if this is what’s going on, if this is what it’s about, then I don’t want any part of it.’ ” PARANOIA MAY be catching, but the jurors in the case shouldn’t have caught it, since the judge had carefully had them sequestered. Nevertheless, right there near the beginning of the trial, five of them wrote the judge, “Dear sir, Perhaps the jury has become paranoid, but three-fourths of our home telephones have been acting strangely.” Arnow told the jury, “All of us from time to time receive wrong number telephone calls, and I am informed by telephone company representatives that buzzing and clicking does sometimes occur.” But paranoia it was not when, on the second day of the trial, a legal worker squatted on the floor during a defense strategy session and noticed, lo, four legs on the other side of a low transom in the wall. The defense folks called a marshal, who opened the door to the closet next door, which also happened to be next to the area housing all the telephone lines out of the building. The four legs turned out to belong to two FBI agents who had all manner of interesting electronic goodies in the closet with them. Since they didn’t have time to deep-six the bags the agents explained, very reasonably, that they were just checkin’ out the lines. Sometimes paranoia gets off to an early start in cases like this. Back on July 8, 1972, five days after the first subpoenas in the case were issued, the office of Gainesville attorney Carol Wild Scott was burglarized: stolen one file, on Scott Camil. In late 1971, VVAW headquarters were burglarized twice. A list of members was stolen. On Dec. 19, 1972, Larry Turner, a Gainesville attorney for the defense, missed a briefcase containing files on the case. It was later returned. It would be nice to report that the defense won in Gainesville because of the idiocy of the government’s case. Since the defense presented only one witness, a bomb expert, before resting, one might so assume. But, in fact, the defense had done a phenomenal amount of work. Not only was there more than a year of pre-trial hearings and pre-trial motions, but the jury selection was conducted as though it were D-day. Cunningham and Coleman worked on a team with three lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights and the aforementioned Turner. They started with Jay Schulman, a sociologist who specializes in jury selection. Schulman went into Gainesville long before the trial started and got the voter registration lists from which jurors are selected. He then conducted a poll using a random sample carefully checked against known demographic descriptions of Gainesville. Using a questionnaire and a telephone, he developed a way to rate jurors on how favorable they would be to the defense according to age, race, sex, employment, etc. He was given help and computer time by University of Florida social scientists. Meantime, the defense attorneys met with several psychiatrists and psychologists in New York looking for help on how to evaluate a person’s attitude toward authority by his or her responses to certain questions. Turner located a group of about 30 citizens of Gainesville who represented a cross-section of the community firemen, black businessmen, students, housewives. The judge would not give the defense the jury list before jury selection began, but as soon as they had it, volunteers ran off several mimeographed copies. The names were passed on to the panel of citizens: those names they recognized, they commented on and if they did not know the names, they started calling their friends until they found someone who did. The defense lawyers were thus getting information from people with firsthand knowledge of the members of the jury