THE COURT-MARTIAL OF CLAYTON LONETREE by Lake with William Hoffman Headley


Email this review


The book clearly represents a point of view."" With these words, Headley, a private investigator, and Hoffmann, a writer (Doctors on the New Frontier, 1979; Queen Juliana 1981; By Land, By Sea, 1988), dismiss a recent book that dealt with the ""spy scandal"" at the US embassy in Moscow. No more fitting words could be applied to their defense of Clayton Lonetree, a Marine court-martialed and sentenced to 30 years for espionage in the same scandal. In a style reminiscent of a scholastic reader, Headley, chief investigator for the defense, and Hoffman offer their version of Lonetree's life and court, martial. The Native American Lonetree, a cause c‚l≤bre of the Left, is presented as a naive loner, the product of a broken home and unsettled childhood. After becoming involved with a Russian woman while stationed in Moscow, Lonetree was manipulated into providing information to KGB agents--a seduction made easier by Lonetree's visions of becoming a double agent. The authors argue that the penalty was disproportionate to the crime, as ""Lonetree's 'crimes'. . .weighed little against a system that put a troubled, inexperienced, trusting youth into the position to commit them."" Despite the authors' attempts to portray Lonetree as a tragic figure, he comes across across as an immature man now paying his debt to society. And while raising some questions about society's fairness, this one-sided opinion piece fails in its attempt to arouse the reader's sense of injustice.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Henry Holt