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Letter from Eric
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If the Commandant refers to the absolute C.O's confined in the 4th Wing basement and sub-basement he is laboring under an error which may be unconscious on his part but very real and vivid on ours. The calumny is one which will be impossible to dispel with the ease and great publicity given to it. It is desirable, both from the point of view of truth and the high hope which thinking people have in regard to noble ideals of a just, economic distribution, a broader and higher intellectual and spiritual life, that the Commandant rectify his palpable error. (if he is quoted correctly by the newspapers) for it is through just such false information widely disseminated and circulated that the people are miseducated [sic] in the social principles held by others; thereby causing the bitter rancor held by them toward one another. The culmination of it being visible in the past tortures inflicted upon the C.Os and other radical thinkers. I suppose the economic basis for all this is the fear of an altered economic distribution and the refusal of people to defend by war the class interest of national capitalists.
The salutary effects of a rectification of this error cannot be confined to the C.O's but most inevitable through the law of compensation so ably promulgated by Emerson engendered in the hearts and minds of our mistaken calumniators the deep gratitude for having the privilege and opportunity of setting right a pernicious and flagrant error. The fruits of such an action cannot but be the returns of those precious jewels of light, honor and truth, which keep us in touch with forces universal in scope.
According to the prisoners the version of the affair as published in the Kansas City Times is a pernicious prevarication. They say that one of the guards made an unwarranted attack on a garrison prisoner and that when the general prisoners went to his assistance other guards jumped into the rumpus which culminated in the drawing of a revolver (it is strictly against the prison rules for guards to carry arms inside the prison walls) and the shooting of a prisoner. There is a persistent rumor that one prisoner died as a result of his wounds. I doubt if much credence can be attached to this though it would not be the first time that prisoners have died as a result of mix ups here.
It is pleasant to hear that mother's spirit and health is of the best. Give her my best wishes and love.
I received a letter from Estelle along with yours and hope to answer it soon. One of the boys has been with us for the last ten months and was discharged two days ago. I was glad and so was he. He was classified by the board in the same class as myself but owing to his being a British subject and on the representations of the British ambassador the board's classification ceased to exist. I hope this letter does not bore you.
Love to all,