Praise of CRS workers


Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

And most of the guys in CRS did real well. I could come up with name after name of people who were just outstanding. In this agency, I mean say what you want to, but this was one of the best investments that the federal government ever made in anything. The only thing that I regret is that they didn't let us become a Bureau and have autonomy to the point to where you really could have gotten some things done. But despite all that, you have people here who have managed to do so well and put some things together that were incredible. And it keeps a lot of people from getting hurt, seriously. We could have had a lot of genocidal stuff going down if it wasn't for CRS, and that's the bottom line.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

One of our guys, Ed McClure, worked in developing a really comprehensive and excellent program on diversity and how to make it work.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Have you ever worked with Ed Howden (former CRS Regional Director)? Boy, he wrote a thesis when he wrote his agreements. He was an excellent writer. I have some of his models that I keep because they are just gems,





Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The people that I worked with in CRS were pretty trustworthy, sincere, honest individuals who wanted to do the right thing and wanted to find the ways by which we can get some of this racial conflict and other conflict resolved. They had been human rights workers, some of them. Some of them had done other things, some of them were even in law enforcement. But they wanted to see this mean-spiritedness reduced seriously. So most of those individuals that you're going to talk to are people who went about their work and their business trying not to do harm to other people.





Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

CRS people were just like I told you. Pretty genuine individuals. I can't think of too many that you're going to meet with or otherwise that were unethical about anything. Very few. These people came to this agency with the idea that they were going to try to make things better.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Some of us got letters when we were done. All kinds of letters started flowing out from the white House, the President commending us on this and the Secretary of Interior and the Attorney General. It was almost farcical.

Question:
But did you get any more money?

Answer:
You never know what or how things are regarded. I think there was true appreciation in some quarters for us. I got a beautiful letter from a lawyer with the Civil Rights Division, Dennis Ickes. He thanked us for being there, saying it’s very important that we were there to help keep the peace. It was important because we were the only ones who were saying, "Well, maybe there’s a better way than to just go in and shoot up the place.” Others knew it but couldn’t say it. After the agreement was signed, Kent Frizzell got on the radio that reached every federal official said, "I want to thank everybody who helped bring this to a peaceful conclusion and the FBI and the BIA, you were outstanding and I really want to thank you and credit you for what happened.” And that’s all he said. Our guys were livid when they heard that. I went over to Kent and I said, this was late in the day, I said, "You didn’t say anything about CRS, and I’ve got a team of guys who’ve been hanging out there, strung out there, being hassled, having their car searched, being accused of everything. Someone would pick up a shell as a souvenir, a bullet shell off the ground, and then all of a sudden they’re being accused of carrying ammunition. We’ve gone through so much.” He said, "Oh I’m sorry. I neglected that. Let me come over and talk to your people.” So he came over to our quarters in the church basement and said, "I want to tell you guys what a great job you did.” But he was scared to put it out over the air and let the others hear that, because they were so angry with us.






Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I’ve got some letters about that work. Martinez and Petterson opened up communications between the Indian leaders and the county commissioner, local folks, where they had never talked before. I have letters from the heart, thanking Martinez for the work he did to bring them together, and as a result of that, things must be better up there. People were communicating. Whether it reverts, I doubt that it all reverts, but you need another glance everywhere, to explore this.






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