Dear Editor, Congratulations, Diana [Welch], on making the Texas Minutemen look like a bunch of fools [“This Ain't No Picnic: Minutemen on Patrol,” News, Oct. 28]! I suppose I should thank you for only touching me lightly. Your report was the typically biased leftist media viewpoint, and it just underscores the need for a news outlet like BorderGuardians.org. Linking Texas Minutemen to KKK activities of the past was just too much. And saying that Terry [Trautman] said, "Don't shoot if they're carrying a shovel," that was over the top. In case you weren't listening, the Texas Minutemen were there to observe and report, not to shoot anyone. We only carried guns to defend ourselves with. And somehow or another you distorted what I said about Ray Ybarra and his propaganda DVD he's been playing wherever he can get an audience. I hope you had your tape recorder going, because I know exactly what I said. I said that I suspect he inserted chants of "White Power" into a video of a Minuteman rally held in Phoenix on July 1 while editing his DVD. That is a far cry from saying he "instigated chants of 'White Power!' at pro-Minuteman rallies." There are many things one can do while "editing" video in a computer, and inserting a totally manufactured audio sound bite in a creative manner is one of them. Sadly, Ybarra's DVD got stuck when he showed it at UTEP, so we never got to that part. I feel certain that as a law student, and knowing that he could get sued over that, especially when you consider that there were others taping at that same event, he would have removed the “White Power” chants before showing the DVD again. Too bad I wasn't able to find out. If you'd like to see where I originally made the claim that those chants were inserted, you can go to my Web site, and read the report: www.borderguardians.org/index.php?module=article&view=33. If you're in a hurry, just read the fifth and sixth paragraphs from the end. I gave you my e-mail, so I know that if you'd had any doubt about what I'd actually said, you could have e-mailed me.
Laine Lawless Tucson, Ariz.
[Diana Welch responds: I'm sorry if there was a misunderstanding regarding exactly where Ms. Lawless claims that Ray Ybarra of the ACLU Legal Observer Project "played the race card,” though I must admit I find both suspected places to be equally creative and confusing. And, in my opinion, what's "over the top" about Mr. Trautman's quote is that he said it at all, not to mention in front of a reporter.]