MR. KUNSTLER: Would you state your full name, please?
THE WITNESS: Norman Mailer is my full name. I was born Norman Kingsley Mailer, but I don't use the middle name.
MR. KUNSTLER: Would you state, Mr. Mailer, what your occupation is?
THE WITNESS: I am a writer.
MR. KUNSTLER: I show you D-344 for identification and ask you if you can identify this book.
THE WITNESS: This is a book written by me about the march on the Pentagon and its title is The Armies of the Night.
MR. KUNSTLER: Can you state whether or not this book won the Pulitzer Prize)
THE WITNESS: It did.
MR. SCHULTZ: Objection.
THE COURT: I sustain the objection. I strike the witness' answer and I direct the jury to disregard it.
MR. KUNSTLER: Can you state what awards this book has won?
THE WITNESS: The book was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1969.
MR. KUNSTLER: I call your attention, Mr. Mailer, to--let me withdraw
Did you have a conversation with Jerry Rubin after the Pentagon?
THE WITNESS: Yes, I did in December in my home. I had called Mr.
Rubin and asked him to see me because I was writing an account of the march
Pentagon. I was getting in touch with those principals whom I could locate. Mr. Rubin was, if you will, my best witness. We talked about the details of the march on the Pentagon for hours. We went into great detail about many aspects of it. And in this period I formed a very good opinion of Mr. Rubin because he had extraordinary powers of objectivity which an author is greatly in need of when he is talking to witnesses.
MR. SCHULTZ: Your Honor--Mr.Mailer--
THE COURT: I will have to strike the witness' answer and direct the jury to disregard every word of it.
MR. SCHULTZ: Your Honor, would you instruct Mr. Mailer even though he
can't use all of the adjectives which he uses in his work, he should say
"he said" and "I
said," or if he wants to embellish that, then "I stated" and "he stated." But that's the way it is related before a jury.
THE COURT: We are simple folk here. All you have to do is say
"he said", if anything, "I said," if anything, and if your wife said something,
you may say what she said.
I strike the witness' answer, as I say, and I direct the jury to disregard it.
MR. KUNSTLER: Now, was anything said in the conversation about what happened at the Pentagon?
THE WITNESS: Mr. Rubin went in to considerable detail about his view of the American military effort in Vietnam and the structure of the military and industrial establishment in America, and it was in Mr. Rubin's view--
MR. SCHULTZ: Your Honor, could he state what Mr. Rubin said relating to what he observed at the Pentagon?
THE WITNESS: This is Mr. Rubin s view. Mr. Rubin said it was his view, Counselor, he said that military-industrial establishment was so full of guilt and so horrified secretly at what they were doing in Vietnam that they were ready to crack at the smallest sort of provocation, and that the main idea in the move on the Pentagon was to exacerbate their sense of authority and control.
MR. KUNSTLER: Mr. Mailer, was anything said about Chicago in this conversation?
THE WITNESS: Yes. Mr. Rubin said that he was at present working
full time on plans to have a youth festival in Chicago in August of 1968
when the Democratic Convention would take place and it was his idea that
the presence of a hundred thousand young people in Chicago at a festival
with rock bands would so intimidate and terrify the establishment that
Lyndon Johnson would have to be nominated under armed guard.
And I said, "Wow."
I was overtaken with the audacity of the idea and I said, "It's a beautiful and frightening idea."
And Rubin said, "I think that the beauty of it is that the establishment is going to do it all themselves. We won't do a thing. We are just going to be there and they won't be able to take it. They will smash the city themselves. They will provoke all the violence."
And I said, "I think you're right, but I have to admit to you that I'm scared at the thought of it. It is really something."
And he said, "It is. I am going to devote full time to it."
I said, "You're a brave man."
MR. KUNSTLER: Now did you go to Chicago?
THE WITNESS: Yes.
MR. KUNSTLER: I call your attention to approximately 5:00 P.m. on August 27, 1968. Do you know where you were then?
THE WITNESS: Yes. I was in my hotel room with Robert Lowell and David Dellinger and Rennie Davis.
MR. KUNSTLER: Would you state what was said during that conversation?
THE WITNESS: The conversation was about the possibility of violence
on a march that was being proposed to the Amphitheatre.
Mr. Lowell and I were a little worried about it because we were McCarthy supporters and we felt that if there was a lot of violence it was going to wash out McCarthy's last remote chance of being nominated.
And Mr. Dellinger said to me, "Look, you know my record, you know I've never had anything to do with violence." He said, "And you know that we have not been the violent ones. For every policeman that has been called a pig, those police have broken five and ten heads. You know that I never move toward anything that will result in violence," he said, "but at the same time I am not going to avoid all activity which could possible result in violence because if we do that, we'll be able to protest nothing at all. We are trying at this very moment to get a permit, We are hoping we get the permit, but if they don't give it to us, we'll probably march anyway because we have to: it's why we're here. We're here to oppose the war in Vietnam and we don't protest it if we stay in our rooms and don't go out to protest it."
He then asked me to speak at Grant Park the next day.
MR. KUNSTLER: Did You accept that invitation?
THE WITNESS: No, I didn't. I said I was there to cover the Convention for Harper's Magazine, and I felt that I did not want to get involved because if I did and got arrested, I would not be able to write my piece in time for the deadline, and I was really very concerned about not getting arrested, and losing three, or four, or five days because I had eighteen days in which to write the piece, and I knew it was going to be a long piece.
MR. KUNSTLER: I call your attention to the next day, Wednesday, the twenty-eighth of August, between 3:30 and 4:00 P.m. approximately. Do you know where you were then?
THE WITNESS: Yes, I was in Grant Park. I felt ashamed of myself for not speaking, and I, therefore, went up to the platform and I asked Mr. Dellinger if I could speak, and he then very happily said, "Yes, of course."
MR. KUNSTLER: Can you state what you did say on Wednesday in Grant Park?
THE WITNESS: I merely said to the people who were there that I thought they were possessed of beauty, and that I was not going to march with them because I had to write this piece. And they all said, "Write, Baby." That is what they said from the crowd.
MR. KUNSTLER: Now, Mr. Mailer, I call your attention to Thursday, August 29, did you give another speech that day?
THE WITNESS: Yes, that was in Grant Park on Thursday morning, two or three in the morning.
MR. KUNSTLER: Do you recall what you said?
THE WITNESS: Yes. That was--
MR. SCHULTZ: Objection. What he said is not relevant. What he said at the Bandshell where the Bandshell performance was sponsored by the defendants, that is one thing, but where he makes an independent statement-
THE COURT: There hasn't been a proper foundation for the question.
MR. KUNSTLER: I will ask one question.
THE COURT: I sustain the objection.
MR. KUNSTLER: Mr. Mailer, at the time you spoke, did you see any of the defendants at this table in the vicinity?
THE WITNESS: No, I don't think so.
MR. KUNSTLER: Then I have no further questions.
THE COURT: Is there any cross-examination?
MR. SCHULTZ: A few questions, your Honor.
Mr. Mailer, when you had your conversation with Rubin at your home, did Rubin tell you that the presence of a hundred thousand young people would so intimidate the establishment that Johnson would have to call out the troops and National Guard?
THE WITNESS: He did not use the word intimidate, as I recollect.
MR. SCHULTZ: Did he say that the presence of these people will provoke the establishment and the establishment will smash the city themselves?
THE WITNESS: That was the substance of what he said, yes.
MR. SCHULTZ: All right. Now at your speech in Grant Park, didn't you say that we are at the beginning of a war which would continue for twenty years and the march today would be one battle in that war?
THE WITNESS: Yes, I said that.
MR. SCHULTZ: But you couldn't go on the march because you had a deadline?
THE WITNESS: Yes. I was in a moral quandary. I didn't know
if I was being scared or being professional and I was naturally quite upset
because a man never
likes to know that his motive might be simple fear.
THE COURT: I thought you said you had to do that piece.
THE WITNESS: I did have to do the piece, your Honor, but I just wasn't sure in my own mind whether I was hiding behind the piece or whether I was being professional to avoid temptation.
MR. SCHULTZ: Did you tell the crowd, Mr. Mailer, at the Bandshell, "You have to be beautiful. You are much better than you were at the Pentagon?" Did you tell them that?
THE WITNESS: Yes. I remember saying that.
MR. SCHULTZ: You were talking about their physical appearance rather than their actions?
THE WITNESS: That is right. To my amazement these militant activities seemed to improve their physique and their features.
MR. SCHULTZ: I have no further questions.
THE COURT: Is there any redirect examination?
MR. KUNSTLER: Could you state if Rubin didn't use the word "intimidate" as you have answered Mr. Schultz, what word he did use? What was his language?
THE WITNESS: It would be impossible for me to begin to remember whether
Mr.Rubin used the word "intimidate" or not. I suspect that he probably
did not use it because it is not his habitual style of speech. He
would speak more of diverting, demoralizing the establishment, freaking
them out, bending their mind, driving them out of their bird.
I use the word "intimidate" because possibly since I am a bully by nature, I tend to think in terms of intimidation, but I don't think Mr. Rubin does. He thinks in terms of cataclysm, of having people reveal their own guilt, their own evil.
His whole notion was that the innocent presence of one hundred thousand people in Chicago would be intolerable for a man as guilt-ridden as Lyndon Johnson. When this conversation took place, Lyndon Johnson was still President and the war in Vietnam gave no sign of ever being diminished in its force and its waste.
MR. KUNSTLER: I have no further questions.
CHICAGO 7 TRIAL