The Price of Honesty

The Screwing of an American Hero

In these troubled times, in one of our southern states, there lives a man. Male human beings are common. Men are not. Wherever we find testosterone undiluted by cowardice or dishonor, we should value that for the rare and incredibly precious treasure that it is.

Celerino Castillo III is such a man. Descendant of Emiliano Zapata, he comes from a tradition of heroic and quixotic idealism. His father was a disabled veteran of World War II. Celerino himself served in Viet Nam, earning the Bronze Star – although decades later, at a more enlightened age, he returned it in opposition to that failed and utterly stupid war.

While in Viet Nam, Celerino watched many friends and comrades destroyed by that scourge of the Far East, heroin, and he learned to despise the drug trade. After his return to the United States, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Pan American University (now the University of Texas at Pan Am), and went on to become an investigator for a Texas police department.

In 1979, he went to work for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

I have always believed strongly that the Drug War was the first crucial step in destroying the freedom of American citizens. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that Celerino Castillo was not busting kids with a joint or two and trying to destroy their lives – he was going after the Central and South American cartels, which should rightly be called “Murder, Inc.” It was also the most difficult, dangerous and lonely job that any of us could possibly imagine. Most of us, no matter how courageous or tough we believe ourselves to be, would not last a week in such a profession, let alone a decade.

Celerino did have one terrible disadvantage down there, one not shared by most of his associates. He was – and remains – an honest and honorable man. So when he learned, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the Central Intelligence Agency was importing drugs into the United States, he did not and has not remained silent, up to and including testifying before Congress.

Contracts have been issued on his life. He has lost his family, everything he owned, and very nearly his sanity in the years since he was forced out of the DEA – expressed as “early” retirement. He has appeared in numerous documentaries and books that covered this very touchy subject, and he has been brutalized and threatened as a result. Nothing has shut him up. In words taken directly from his web site, he says that “a long time ago he took an oath to protect The Constitution of the United States and its citizens. He has thought about quitting but there was no time limit on that oath.”

For these reasons and others, I do not believe it is a coincidence that Celerino was targeted on April 8th of this year by agents of BATF. He stands accused of doing what he does not even deny he has done, buying and selling guns at gun shows as a hobby and to supplement his very meager income as a teacher.

Excuse me? Isn’t that what gun shows are for??? Since when has buying or selling a gun at a gun show become illegal?

Cele has a hearing next week, his arraignment. He has fired his public defender because said slimy “defender” would consider nothing but a plea bargain arrangement. He cannot afford a private attorney. If Cele does not get some help, and very quickly too, he is going to go to prison – which amounts to a death sentence for anyone ever involved in law enforcement.

Please help this man. Go to his web site at Powderburns. Read about his current situation at Tekgnosis. Please send money for his legal defense fund, but don’t let it stop there! Spread the word about his far and wide. If this sort of thing can be done to someone as public as Celerino Castillo, you had better believe that it can be done to any one of us! This isn’t only about a hero who does not deserve what is happening to him. This is about each and every one of us – and our continued survival in this increasingly fascist state.

Besides, there is a moral question here. Doing this to a warrior and a hero, a brave and honorable man who has worked for his country all of his life, is and should always remain . . .