The White Man's Justice


Pamela Gullett, the chief assistant United States attorney trying the case, was graduated from George Washington University law school only a few years ago.

After working for Lewis and Roca, a private Phoenix law firm, she found a job in the U.S. Attorney's Office. How she found this job is interesting.

Wes Gullett, her husband, is chief administrative officer to Arizona Senator John McCain. During the years a Republican president is in office, the Republican senator picks the United States attorney for that state, with the president's approval. Any lawyer with a connection to McCain finds it quite easy to get a job in that office.

McCain picked Linda Akers for the job. Another Republican family stalwart in the office is Wally Kleindienst, son of Richard Nixon's attorney general, Richard Kleindienst.

Wally Kleindienst once held the job of first assistant but voluntarily stepped down because he does not enjoy mixing with people.

Akers has made a reputation for herself as a hardball player in her negotiations with Native Americans over gambling on the reservations.

So has Pamela Gullett made a reputation as a hard charger. Most lawyers in the U.S. Attorney's Office wait for a lengthy period before getting a trial. Gullett went around the office offering her help on cases so aggressively that she ended up with a trial in her first week on the job.

Now that she has been named first assistant, she revels in her newfound power.

When veteran lawyers seek to give her advice, she invariably replies, "Thanks. Just remember, I am the supervisor."

It is interesting that Gullett ended up as the prosecutor in the MacDonald case. It was originally assigned to Chuck Hyder, former Maricopa County attorney and an aggressive court veteran with 30 years' experience.

Perhaps it is only fitting. Wes Gullett, Pamela's husband, arranged the Washington, D.C., hearing of the Committee on Indian Affairs that is so crucial to this whole case.

The primary reason for the hearing was a series by the Arizona Republicin October 1987 detailing fraud involving the Bureau of Indian Affairs and energy companies.

But Senators McCain and Dennis DeConcini were reeling from bad publicity because of their involvement with Charles Keating. They required a more colorful target.

MacDonald was perfect. Authorization was received to monitor MacDonald's activities with a surveillance van and telephone taps. So much for the fiction that the reservations have status conferred on them by treaty as separate nations.

As the New York Times later reported when four members of the staff quit in protest of the changed focus of the probe: "It was the Big Easy. The chief counsel was only interested in a big hit. This was Watergate in Indian country. It only made the Indians look corrupt." Wes Gullett brought in the contractors who testified about the cash and gifts they had given MacDonald in exchange for work on the reservation. They told of a free limousine service at MacDonald's 1987 inauguration, a private jet flight to his daughter's graduation from Harvard and all-expenses-paid trips to Hawaii and Las Vegas.

This all sounds terrible. But isn't MacDonald supposed to be head of his own nation? Isn't this a tribal matter? At any rate, shortly after the hearings, the tribal council voted to put MacDonald on paid leave, even though it didn't have enough votes to legally oust him from office.

That brought about the five months of internecine war on the reservation that directly led to the riot that Pamela Gullett is now prosecuting. The Gulletts and Senator McCain have a frighteningly cozy relationship to the events now taking place in this Prescott court.

Make an enemy of the Republican party and it can find a way to make you suffer for it.

Take this one staggering step further. Judge Robert Broomfield was formerly the chief judge of Maricopa County Superior Court. A Republican, he was nominated for his position on the federal bench by none other than Senator McCain.

Since this is a case that infers that MacDonald is a leader who has taken advantage of his position by making things more comfortable for himself, Judge Broomfield becomes an interesting study.

Since being appointed to the federal bench, he has built a new home in Prescott, where the weather is cooler in summer. There are persistent reports that Judge Broomfield is lobbying to have a new courtroom built for himself in Prescott at a cost of more than $1 million.

Judge Broomfield moved last summer's Earth First! trial to Prescott and held it there despite the fact that the transfer upped the cost of the trial substantially. Who are we all kidding here? Is there any wonder we all think our government is out of control?

John McCain flies around in Charlie Keating's jets for years and vacations at his home and accepts his money. That's legal. That's politics. Dennis DeConcini uses insider information to make himself one of the richest men in the United States Senate. He takes all the money he can grab from Keating and then attempts to interfere when government regulators step in. Peter MacDonald does the same things on a smaller scale. But he's singled out as being corrupt. He becomes, in the eyes of McCain and DeConcini, another Manuel Noriega. When do McCain and DeConcini look in their own mirrors and see something the least bit embarrassing to them?

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