By: Jackson Thoreau - 12/30/03
I'm for the little fellers, not the Rockefellers. - Sen. Paul Wellstone
Shortly before he died in a mysterious airplane crash 11 days prior to the 2002 elections, Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone met with Vice President Dick Cheney, probably the Bush administration's most evil public face.
Cheney was rounding up Senate support for the October 2002 vote on giving the administration carte blanche to invade Iraq, with or without blessing from the United Nations. Cheney strong-armed opposing politicians like the most vindictive of mafioso leaders, and opponents usually gave in.
But not Wellstone. Whatever you thought of his progressive brand of politics, he wasn't a wimp. And that's what made him more than dangerous in the eyes of people like Cheney.
At a meeting full of war veterans in Willmar, Minn., days before his death, Wellstone told attendees that Cheney told him, "If you vote against the war in Iraq, the Bush administration will do whatever is necessary to get you. There will be severe ramifications for you and the state of Minnesota."
Wellstone cast his vote for his conscience and against the Iraq measure, the lone Democrat involved in a tough 2002 election campaign to do so. And a few weeks later on Oct. 25, as he appeared to be winning his re-election bid, Wellstone, his wife, Sheila, his daughter, Marcia Markuson, three campaign staffers, and two pilots died in a plane crash in Minnesota.
Talk about "severe ramifications."
My first hunch upon hearing about the tragedy was that the Beech King Air A-100 was tampered with by right wingers, possibly the CIA, either directly or through electromagnetic rays or some psychic mind games.
And nothing I have heard or read since then has made me drift from that hunch.
I'm not alone. The Duluth News Tribune featured a column by Jim Fetzer, a University of Minnesota-Duluth philosophy professor and author, in November 2003. Fetzer wrote that an FBI "recovery team" headed out to investigate the Wellstone plane crash BEFORE the plane went down. "I calculate that this team would have had to have left the Twin Cities at about the same time the Wellstone plane was taking off," Fetzer wrote.