We need the full story

With regard to “Pipeline protesters pushed off camp after day of clashes” (Oct. 28), what comes to mind is the African proverb that says, “Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” This report from the Associated Press distorts the situation in North Dakota by parroting the narrative being created by the Morton County sheriff and Energy Transfer Partners, who are vested in conveying the impression that those gathered to express opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline are violent and dangerous.

If we accept this report as gospel, then we need help understanding some other facts. Why was Amy Goodman of Democracy Now charged in Morton County when she documented on Sept. 3 the aggressive display of the private security detail working for Dakota Access? Why has filmmaker Deia Schlosberg, who is producing a documentary of this situation, been charged with three felonies that would result in a 45-year prison term if convicted? Why has Morton County law enforcement shot down drones being flown at Standing Rock to document the activities occurring there? Why has the Federal Aviation Administration issued a no-fly zone?

Our history at one point included an institution known as the Fourth Estate that had the mission of objective reporting. Increasingly we are seeing that institution in our rearview mirrors.

Ron Wetzell, Minneapolis

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Before further escalation, the legitimate concerns of Native Americans and environmentalists opposing construction of the Dakota Access pipeline must be adequately recognized. Representatives from hundreds of the nation’s tribes, and joined by delegations from Canada, Mexico, Peru and New Zealand, have made this the largest, most diverse, cross-tribal action in U.S. history.

To help stop the construction of this potentially hazardous, 1,172-mile-long pipeline through four states, call the White House and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who sits on the Committee on Indian Affairs. Wool blankets and winter clothes are needed for the protesters, as well as legal assistance. The Standing Rock contact number is 605-220-2531; address for delivery needs: Red Warrior Camp, BIE 00N02 Agency Ave., Fort Yates, ND 58538.

A Lakota phrase says “mni wiconi” (water is life); one leak or rupture of the pipeline could be ruinous for watersheds, including 200 river crossings, and wildlife habitats.

Kai Laybourn, Bloomington

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Anyone who objects to these protests should read “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” by Kent Nerburn. It is the winner of the 1996 Minnesota Book Award about contemporary reservation life. It is only fair to learn more about American Indians’ backgrounds and strong feelings before more actions are taken.

Ann Mechels Lynch, New Hope


Extraordinary. Warranted?

FBI Director James Comey’s announcement Friday that his agency is conducting further inquiries into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails has certainly exacerbated an already stress-filled election. He may have felt this was his duty, and not knowing the circumstances the public has no way to assess the reasonableness of the announcement. As a Clinton supporter, I’m very concerned that the public will not have what it needs and deserves to make an informed decision in just a few short days. If there are not clear indications of wrongdoing, to interject this into an election that is quickly coming to a head is to effectively interfere with the democratic process.

Thomas Evans, Bemidji, Minn.

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The announcement raises the distinct possibility that recently obtained e-mails will provide what was absent from the earlier investigation — that Clinton intended to violate the law. (Certainly the FBI would not reopen the investigation simply because additional confidential documents were found.) If that is indeed the case, the American people are facing another crisis like Watergate, in which, soon after President Richard Nixon’s re-election, Congress opened hearings to determine what role he played in the criminal activity and/or the attempted coverup of that crime. If similar hearings were held, the five Clinton aides who took the Fifth Amendment when called before Congress will be given immunity and forced to testify. One can easily envision a similar outcome to that suffered by Nixon, and the resignation of the newly elected 45th president in exchange for a pardon by the 46th president, Tim Kaine.

Ronald Haskvitz, St. Louis Park