You can hear the chanting in the background -- "Free General Vang Pao" -- but on this side of the building people were nearly silent. There were many signs, and clearly there was a plan to dress alike. Writing on various signs:
Please release General Vang Pao on Bail!!!
Hmong need peace
President Bush -- release General Vang Pao
Let freedom ring
Honor your war heroes. Don't jail them.
We need justice
Do not betray your allies. Free Vang Pao.
Hmong need freedom
Here is the backgound on Vang Pao's arrest:
A former Laotian general and a former California National Guard officer were among nine people charged Monday with plotting a violent overthrow of Laos's communist government.
The group was raising money to recruit a mercenary force and buy enough weapons to equip a small army, including antitank missiles and grenade launchers, prosecutors said.
"We're looking at conspiracy to murder thousands and thousands of people at one time," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Twiss said in federal court....
Vang had led CIA-backed Hmong forces in Laos in the 1960s and 1970s as a general in the Royal Army of Laos...
UPDATE: Vang Pao released on bail:
He has been allowed to return to his southern California home under extremely strict conditions, but prosecutors say the 77-year-old is "the most dangerous" of the defendants and should be kept in detention pending his trial.