Wednesday, October 30, 2019

PELTIER: REALLY, MR. X IS BACK? PART II

Dear Supporters:

This is a follow up to the September 12, 2019 NPPA blog entitled, Really, Mr. X. is Back?

What follows continues a review of an early August radio interview with one of Peltier’s attorneys, Larry Hildes of Bellingham, Washington. Set forth below are direct quotes followed by factual responses challenging Hildes’ claims:

First Amendment

The Claim: FBI Agents conducted an illegal picket and violated federal law:

Clinton promised to and didn’t in the face of a demonstration, on-duty FBI Agents, several hundreds of them staged a picket, which is illegal under the Hatch Act, demanding Leonard not be released.

The Facts:

This is a classic example of someone exercising their First Amendment right of freedom of speech and expression while publicly denying it to others.

Categorizing December 15, 2000 as a “picket” is disingenuous and against common usage and definition of the term. The term implies protesting and usually denying access, as with a union strike or when Peltier supporters yell, scream and chant (with bullhorns) and carry all manner of signs. This was nothing of the sort.

This is what Hildes is referring to:

On a cold, crisp Friday morning in Washington D.C., a number of FBI Agents gathered at the Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial where a prayer was offered and the names of FBI Agents killed in the line of duty were read. Later, several hundred (there wasn’t an exact count but estimated at around 500), FBI Agents gathered at Pennsylvania and 15thStreet NW and at noon, two by two, in a dignified and solemn procession walked to the perimeter of the Ellipse, ultimately gathering at the West Gate of the White House. All were in business attire and there was no chanting or verbalizing of any kind. The procession was led by two agents carrying a single large white banner that read, NEVER FORGET  FBI Special Agents, Coler and Williams, Killed June 26, 1975, while two others held large photos of FBI Martyrs, Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams(Footnote 1)

A representative from the group was invited into the White House to deliver over 10,000 signed petitions and signatures asking then President Clinton to fully review the murder of Agents Coler and Williams and to not consider granting clemency to Leonard Peltier.

So much for the “picket” claim and although a large gathering, it was nowhere near the meaning of a “demonstration” either.

It was a legal gathering. The organizers had secured permits from the U.S. Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. The organizers gave guidance for those who participated to take Annual Leave for that time, but since it was conducted at noon, some may have used that time as their lunch break.

Hildes opines that this gathering to express the opinion that Peltier should not be granted clemency was “illegal” and violated the “Hatch Act.”

Perhaps Hildes should understand that the Hatch Act prohibits certain federal employees from being viewed as partisan and openly supporting any particular candidate or party and/or using their federal position to engage in a political agenda or activity.

The Constitutional authority to grant federal pardons or clemency rests solely with the President, and is discretionary. Its intent is to be separate from political considerations and based solely on the facts of each petition, it is a legal and not political remedy. 

Hildes is invited to review the list of “Mays and May Nots” available for review on the government Hatch Act website. (Fn. 2) Hildes would be hard pressed to find where the December 15th procession to the White House violated any of those restrictions.

But, we can make it much simpler:

On September 28, 2019 an email was sent to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel describing exactly what is stated above regarding the 12/15/2000 actions of federal Agents bringing the petitions against Peltier’s bid for clemency to the White house.

On September 30, 2019 the following was received:

            Dear Mr. Woods,

            None of the activities described in your email would violate the Hatch Act.

            Kind regards,

            Ana Galindo-Marrone
            Chief, Hatch Act Unit
            U.S. Office of Special Counsel

So much for improperly accusing citizens of violating federal law by exercising their own rights to free speech and expression. (Fn.3) 

The Old Cowboy Boots story

The Claim: The Agents were looking for a man who stole cowboy boots:

(the FBI Agents)…supposedly looking for a man who had stolen a pair of boots and was involved in a minor burglary ring. Not, not Leonard.

The Facts:

This incident, turned fairy tale has been a cornerstone of Peltier folklore. There was no “burglary ring” or “supposedly.” Instead, there was a serious incident in which federal warrants had been issued for Jimmy Eagle and three others. Agents’ Coler and Williams were searching in the Oglala area of Pine Ridge following up on information that the fugitive Jimmy Eagle may have been in that area, which ultimately led to the events of June 26, 1975.

But perhaps the best way to demystify this claim is to provide an excerpt concerning the victims from an Editorial Essay that was posted on the NPPA website in 2000 and updated in 2005 (Fn. 4):  

On the evening of January 17, 2005 Mr. Jerry Schwarting was telephonically contacted and asked if he would be willing to discuss the incident which occurred on June 23, 1975. He agreed. Mr. Schwarting stated that he considered Hobart Horse a family friend and after a day of branding cattle with several other individuals agreed to provide Hobart Horse a ride to the residence of Teddy Pourier. Also at this residence were Herman Thunder Hawk and Jimmy Eagle. Accompanying them to Pourier's residence was a younger male, Robert Dunsmore. Mr. Schwarting is white; the other individuals were Native Americans.

While there, after some prompting and friendly dares from Hobart, Schwarting agreed to wrestle Hobart Horse for fun; he did, and beat Hobart three times. It was at that point the evening turned from an impromptu social gathering into a dangerous and criminal confrontation. Schwarting was beaten by the others, and held, along with the young teenager Dunsmore who was stripped of his clothes. They were both threatened, even with castration, and had guns repeatedly fired over their heads by the others. 

During the telephonic interview, Mr. Schwarting, on his home computer, reviewed the NPPA section (above) concerning this incident and agreed that it was an accurate summary of what had happened. Mr. Schwarting added that at one point they stole his vehicle, jacket and boots, and clarified that the boots were only two months old and cost $200. Two hundred dollars in 1975 was a good sum of money to for a pair of boots.

Mr. Schwarting stated that during this episode he was put in fear for his life, was cut several times by Hobart and still carries the scars to this day…

The fact remains that there was a violent confrontation, felony laws were violated, charges were filed, including robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, warrants issued, and on June 25th, one of the subjects, Teddy Pourier was arrested. Agents Coler and Williams were pursuing a fugitive investigation at that point and were attempting to locate and apprehend Jimmy Eagle on June 25, and at Jumping Bull on June 26. 

To claim that the "Incident at Oglala" was over a stolen pair of old cowboy boots, as Peltier and the LPDC have repeatedly suggested, would be like saying Leonard Peltier has never changed his version of what happened at Jumping Bull that fateful morning.

Life Sentences

The Claim: A Federal life sentence was seventeen years:

And, I will point out that if he had done the standard federal term for murder he would have done seventeen years on each count, he would have been out ten years ago. He’s not out because of his politics

This Federal life sentence premise goes along with a couple of better ones Peltier has offered, all of which are equally untrue:

In October 2018 Peltier claimed:

I have been here too long. The beginning of my 43rdyear plus over 20 years of good time credit, that makes 60+ years behind bars.” 

Work on the math a bit longer: The Bureau of Prisons guidelines just don’t work that way.

In February 2016 Peltier offered (the all-caps are his; bold are editorial comments):

“I HAVE EARNED ABOUT FOUR TO FIVE YEARS GOOD TIME THAT NO ONE SEEMS TO WANT TO RECOGNIZE. IT DOESN’T COUNT, I GUESS? (That’s correct, it doesn’t count) AND WHEN I WAS INDICTED THE AVERAGE TIME SERVED ON A LIFE SENTENCE BEFORE BEING GIVEN PAROLE WAS SEVEN YEARS. (Seven years? Maybe on another planet) SO THAT MEANS I’VE SERVED NEARLY SIX LIFE SENTENCES AND I SHOULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED ON PAROLE A VERY LONG TIME AGO. (Not quite) THEN THERE’S MANDATORY RELEASE AFTER SERVING 30 YEARS. (No, the  “mandatory” Peltier is imagining is “eligibility for parole”) I’M 10 YEARS PAST THAT. THE GOVERNMENT ISN’T SUPPOSED TO CHANGE THE LAWS OF (Sic) TO KEEP YOU IN PRISON—EXCEPT IF YOU’RE LEONARD PELTIER, IT SEEMS. (No, they haven’t for Peltier. Any changes are for the entire Federal inmate population.)

Can’t get the story straight; is it seven years or seventeen as his attorney suggests?

Peltier seems to always forget the fact that he is serving two consecutive life sentences, one each for Agent Coler and Agent Williams. Peltier also conveniently omits that he owes an additional seven consecutive years for the armed escape from Lompoc Penitentiary. 

Here’s a simple offer, provide any proof that a life sentence in 1976 when Peltier was sentenced for murder was seven or seventeenyears.

What will be found is that a life sentence was typically assumed to be thirty years before an inmate would be eligible for parole, with no guarantees at that point either. On balance Peltier is on the hook for sixty-seven (67) years; thirty for each life sentence plus the additional seven. Since the parole board has nixed any chances of release, that leaves roughly 24 years and counting.

He’s not out because of his politics.”

Let’s pretend to understand this premise and try to place it in some context, along with the fact that Peltier has claimed to be a political prisoner almost from day one.

Where was the political connection to what happened at Jumping Bull?

Peltier and those in the camp were AIM members. Peltier et al. would retort with Cointelpro, (omitting that the program had been shut down four years earlier). The FBI did not know that Peltier, a fugitive wanted for the attempted murder of a police officer, was on the Reservation.* There is nothing to indicate that the FBI was aware of the AIM encampment along White Clay Creek adjacent to the Jumping Bull property. Agents’ Coler and Williams were searching for fugitive Jimmy Eagle and followed a red and white vehicle from Highway 18. We do know how things rapidly developed because there was an eyewitness. Agent Williams, describing over the FBI radio that those in the vehicle they followed were about to fire on them. And we do know how it ended that day for Agents Coler and Williams. Later, Peltier was indicted and a warrant issued. He was added to the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to consecutive life sentences. Nothing politically motivated there. A straight-up criminal case with many appellate decisions to fill in the details, only one of which favored Peltier for a period of time. 

But for the moment let’s play along with the political prisoner fantasy and assume Peltier’s arrest in Canada for the murder of two government agents was motivated by his affiliation with AIM and that the government agents were searching for Peltier all along. If one accepts that premise then the unprovoked attack on the Agents wasn’t spontaneous, but deliberate and planned and the government agents were lured onto the Jumping Bull property to be attacked, with Peltier administering the final coup de grace. Then it follows that Peltier isn’t a murderer after all, but as a political operative he assassinated two government agents. Peltier, the political prisoner is therefore an assassin. If one buys into the political prisoner fantasy then this is the result. You can’t have one without the other. 

Peltier Under Oath

The Claim: Hildes wants Peltier to testify in the Washington State paintings case:  (Fn. 5)

We are going to file a motion in the near future to ask the court to bring Leonard to the trial. I don’t know if we’ll win. We are going to try very hard. Because he has a right to be there. The jury has a right to hear from him personally, and you know, see him, and have him talk about why this was important and his expression, and you know, this case is an opportunity to bring more discussion about Leonard’s case, about who Leonard is, about why he needs to be out, he’s not in good health, he has a long litany of medical problems, and people who have been in the prison system for many years, and he’s been in prison since he was thirty.

There are really two points being made here:

1) To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, any publicity is good publicity, and Hildes is correct that if Peltier took the witness stand in Tacoma, Washington it would generate publicity and “more discussion.” Whether it would be good or bad publicity depends on a number of factors. Considering the location it’s possible that Peltier may add new followers to his dwindling supporter’s network who may go to his website, read the folklore propaganda, accept it at face value and gather around the Peltier campfire. The controversy may cause some to seek out titillating content and for some, heightened public curiosity. The percentage of those who are genuinely interested in the truth and make an effort to do the research and examine both sides, especially the appellate decisions where most, if not all of the spurious Peltier allegations against the government are completely vetted and discounted, may be a smaller percentage. However, those who do will certainly see through the myth.

2) How many attorneys would consider putting someone like Peltier on the witness stand in Federal Court, no matter what his client, Peltier, may want? (It’s likely Peltier would love to get out of USP Coleman for a while with a field trip to Washington State, along with the audience and spectacle of publicity it could generate. It would certainly salve his overbearing ego.) The obvious problem lies with all of Peltier’s baggage, beyond just the murders, conflicting public statements, a narcissistic autobiography drawn from the pages of Alice in Wonderland, the self-incriminating statements, the armed escape, etc., etc.; the list is very long.

There would likely be quite a number of federal prosecutors who would love nothing more than to question Peltier under oath on the witness stand. They would have an absolute field day. Imagine what foundation questions might be asked? (Certainly considering what latitude Judge Leighton may allow the Washington State Assistant Attorney General.) “Mr. Peltier, can you tell the jury where you are currently residing and why you are there?” Peltier could respond, “I’m a political prisoner who was given life sentences for supposedly killing two FBI Agents.” It would be quite a circus and an eye-opener for the jury. The media would salivate over headlines, notwithstanding the issue that the trial actually relates to Peltier-the-painter and his allegedly infringed First Amendment rights that likely would be lost in the ether of the moment. 

Hildes’ comment during the radio interview may have just been bluster or wishful thinking. No attorney in their right mind would put the likes of Leonard Peltier voluntarily before any jury.

* * *

What is clearly evident from Hildes’ radio interview is that he is willing to pontificate about Peltier and offer statements that are difficult or nearly impossible to support, and as a result we have to agree in the undeniable premise that facts do matter.**

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

Footnotes:
1) FBI Martyrs, Wall of Honor: https://www.fbi.gov/history/wall-of-honor
    This is a ‘must see’ Video honoring FBI Agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozhEumzwgKA
3) 2005 Editorial Essay regarding Peltier’s legal team and the 12/15/00 event:
Update: On 9/16/19, by order of the court, the trial has been postponed until summer, 2020 due to an illness of the State’s attorney assigned to Peltier’s case.

* Peltier was acquitted of this charge. 
** There are still other points to discuss regarding the radio interview that may be topics in Part III.

Monday, October 14, 2019

PELTIER: UPDATE OCTOBER 2019

Dear Supporters:

Messages from the Peltier Committee (ILPDC) have been a bit scarce lately but a recent one brings out some interesting issues.

Doing his time:    

Peltier is complaining because of a system lockdown that may continue until December. Certainly the warden has good reasons for the lockdown.* “It’s hard on his health to have no exercise and the lighting is so weak that reading and writing are hard on his eyes.” 

Allegedly, at least according to the recent Peltier message, even the“Elder Unit is confined to their cell 24/7 and allowed a half-hour to shower every three days.” Peltier wants complaint letters written to the warden.

Certainly not an ideal way to spend one’s life, but consider the alternative: Alive and confined, even if not under great conditions, or, being attacked, severely wounded and having his face destroyed at point blank range with an AR-15 wielded by an unrepentant cold-blooded murderer? Peltier would likely choose the former.

Trial Transcript:   

Peltier is posting a trial transcript search tool on his website. The trial laid the foundations for his conviction but the real answers to all the spurious and erroneous allegations from Peltier and the Peltier camp are found in the extensive and detailed appellate decisions where all those nagging Peltier conspiracy theories and bogus claims are answered and thoroughly exposed and discredited. 
(Footnote 1)

Our legal fund which is sad at this time.”    

Peltier’s Committee is doing all they can to raise money “to bring financial help for Leonard’s legal fund,” but there is an illusory catch here. They claim that they are researching legal documents so that they “hope” Peltier’s lawyers can file a legal brief that will have “…the possibility of getting Leonard back into court.”

It’s not difficult to discern the subtle inference of this call-for-cash agenda. It’s purpose is to give Peltierites some “hope” that there will be a legal process that will free Peltier while in the meantime keep them on the emotional financial hook in the expectation that the money will keep coming in, (as thin as it has been), and that the “legal fund” won’t dry up altogether.  (Their effort is transparent and made shamelessly.) 

This baiting of Peltierites is creating the mirage of future success, but in reality the chances of success border between none and zero, especially on the legal front.

The Committee message mentions Facebook, Amazon Smile and PayPal, but there’s no mention of “tax deductible” donations. Wonder why? (Fn. 2)

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

Footnotes:
1) Court decisions that can be searched: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/court.html
Concise history of guilt, 2009: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#concise
2) Tax deductible:
*On August 6thone inmate was killed and several wounded in a gang related incident. This blog is being posted, only coincidentally, on Columbus day 2019 and it is well recognized how Native Americans feel about this day. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

PELTIER: NATIVE AMERICAN SUPPORT?

Dear Supporters:

In the section of Peltier’s website whoisleonardpeltier.info under Resources; Peltier Supporters; Native American and Tribal Leaders, there is a list of 46 entries of various descriptions. (Footnote 1)

What follows is a review of this list and summarization as to whether Peltier’s claims of widespread support within Native America is valid:

The list contains three individuals, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Chief Wallace Dennison and Shawn A-in-chut Atleo (Canada)

(Any Canadian support for Peltier must be ignored. It is a matter of record that Peltier was lawfully extradited from Canada as was officially confirmed by the Canadian Minster of Justice. Fn.2)

There is one Association; First Nations School Association whose stated mission is “promoting education in British Columbia (Canada).” Once again, another foreign entity that has no legal authority or rights under American jurisprudence. 

 There are two Committees: 

Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, which according to its website consists of nine elected members who govern the Nez Perce Tribe. A search feature available on this website showed no results for Leonard Peltier.

Prairie Island Indian Committee: Although no reference was found regarding a committee on the website, the Tribal Council consists of five elected members who govern the tribe.

There is one ‘Assembly:’ Assembly of First Nations of Canada, an “Advocacy Organization Representing First Nations Citizen’s in Canada.”

Honor the Earth is a Native American non-profit for environmental justice. 

The listing of the National Congress of American Indians has a special note to “see the historic 2011 resolution here.” According to the NCAI website it was “organized as a representative congress of American Indians and Alaska Natives that serves to develop consensus on national priority issues that impact tribal sovereignty.” In other words it is an umbrella and advisory organization on Native issues and doesn’t actually represent or have authority over its constituent members. 

A review of the referenced “2011 resolution” lists approximately six factual errors as it welcomes the opportunity to develop a “strategy” to meet with then President Obama for consideration of clemency. The resolution also states that Peltier had been “nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year.” (Being nominated or a Nobel Prize [and Peltier for the ‘Peace’ Prize] is an ongoing yarn. A joke of sorts that is even recognized as such by the Nobel Committee itself, which has stated, “…so being proposed for the prize is no distinction in itself.” (Tell that to Peltier supporters.) (Fn. 3)

The list includes 18 Councils that we can assume for the moment may have passed some type of resolution providing support for Peltier. If Council members voted to provide support for Peltier that in no manner suggests that members they represent collectively endorsed the resolution.  

Peltier’s list includes 15 Native tribes and nations, from small groups like Duckwater Shoshone Tribe with 288 members to entire Nations like the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Navajo Nation consisting perhaps of tens of thousands of Native American tribal members, which begs the question: If the leadership of those Nations passed some sort of resolution supporting Peltier does that mean that every member of the Nation also supports Peltier?

To assume that every member of all these Tribes and Nations supports Peltier—or perhaps even know who he is, is sheer folly. It’s a predictable Peltier ploy and absurdity that he would expect us to believe that he has complete support from every tribal member when, in some instances, the council or leadership agrees on some support for Peltier. Are we to expect that tribal leadership took a survey of all tribal members and received a hundred percent agreement? That would be a senseless conclusion. Many Native Americans have recognized that the American Indian Movement has done little for the benefit of Native American culture. To the contrary, many have recognized that Peltier and AIM created more conflict than any benefits they ever claimed. Even a casual review of AIM’s tumultuous history and leadership would support their conclusions and that fact.

* * *

Nevertheless, let’s give Peltier the not wholly deserved benefit of the doubt and for the sake of argument allow acknowledgment for all “46” on the “Supporters” list, even including the foreign entities from Canada and Native support, cultural, environmental and non-profit organizations. Let’s give him temporary credit for the whole thing.

Nevertheless, the latest information from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs indicates that there are five hundred and seventy three (573) registered tribes in the United States.

Even if, for the sake of debate, we were to credit Peltier with all 46 on the list of Peltier Supporters this would represent only eight percent (8.3%) of the total number of recognized and registered tribes. Hardly a significant number to write home about.  (Removing the foreign Canadian and other non–Tribal organizations would reduce this percentage to an even more embarrassing level.)

The inference, notwithstanding Peltier’s claims of extensive Native American support to the contrary, places this list on par with the rest of the Peltier myth.

Peltier’s claims of widespread Native American support has as much validity as his claims for his questionable fund raising and alleged philanthropic activities. (Fn.4)

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods
ADDENDUM: More Supporters?

On Peltier’s website the list of “Supporters” continues with ten additional categories of 206 individuals and entities ranging from “Nobel laureates” to “and more.” (Fn.5)

It would be a complete waste of valuable time to vet the entire list, however, it’s not difficult to identify the ones that are just too obvious to ignore or not challenge. The low hanging fruit is very easy to pick.

Under “Foreign Parliaments and Commissions” Peltier wants supporters to believe that the entire “European Parliament” supports him and his bid for clemency. That’s quite a bold claim, but not so fast. 

There is a ‘written declaration’ dated 10/24/16 (with an “elapse date” of 1/24/17; that’s a total of about three months!). According to the official entry the declaration was signed by “29 signatories” and submitted under “Rule 26.” This written declaration contains two glaring factual errors as it calls for Executive Clemency: The same glaring errors that are commonplace in Peltier folklore and challenged repeatedly by the NPPA.

So what does this actually mean?

The European Parliament is made up of 28 member States of the European Union and 751 members elected for five-year terms.

In real terms with the 29 signatories who signed on to support Peltier and with 751 Parliament members, Peltier’s support among the European Parliament is a staggering (with obvious sarcasm) 3.86%. Four percent hardly provides bragging rights. Although it does suggest a significant misrepresentation of the truth.

But that’s just the obvious part. More significantly, stated at the bottom of the ‘Written Declaration’ is the following; “…is published in the minutes with the names of the signatories and forwarded to the addressees, without however binding Parliament.”

In other words, simply a meaningless Peltier claim.

Peltier, as he has done for so many years, is playing the “Hey, look over here” game when there is nothing of substance in many of his claims. There is no there, there.

Noble Laureates: Nine are listed. There are currently 935 total Nobel recipients, so for Peltier this represents less than one percent (0.96). As referenced above with a footnote, there is a pattern to all this.

Literary Artists, Musicians and Celebrities: Jane Fonda. 
Of all people, Leonard Peltier should not have accepted an endorsement from the likes of Hanoi Jane.  By Peltier’s own words in Prison Writings (p.17) his father, Leo “…served in World War II, getting machined-gunned (sic) in the legs for his effort; his brother, my uncle Ernie was killed in battle.” Fonda is an anathema to every family member of those who served their country, and the all too many who died defending democracy. 

Yet there was a time when Fonda was hawking Peltier’s prison artwork for sale. If Peltier had any reverence for his father’s wartime service and his uncle’s ultimate sacrifice he should have denounced Fonda for what she really is, a traitor who aided and abetted the enemy, smiling and clapping on a North Vietnamese antiaircraft gun that shot down, and resulted in American airmen being killed or imprisoned and tortured.  Fonda is a loathsome individual who should have been prosecuted for her treasonous actions. Why she wasn’t is a topic for another time and place. But, unsurprisingly, she’s in bed with Peltier.

Scholars: Ward Churchill. Really? Peltier counts among his ‘supporters’ the disgraced wannabe who fraudulently claimed Native American heritage and his stolen valor alleging to be an Army airborne Ranger who participated in long-range reconnaissance patrols in Viet Nam, when military records show he was trained as film projectionist and light truck driver. So much for disgracing Peltier’s Native heritage as well as his own father and uncle. But likely Peltier doesn’t recognize the irony of having support from the likes of the disgraced Ward Churchill.

Legal: Honorable 8thCircuit Court Judge Gerald Heaney (RIP). It’s ironic that Peltier invokes support from Judge Heaney without placing it within its proper context. Judge Heaney felt very strongly about Native American issues and did write two letters expressing his ‘feelings’ on Peltier and Native American issues. However, Judge Heaney, each time the Peltier matter came before the 8thCircuit Court voted against Peltier’s interests, not on any technicality as Peltier tried to claim in the past, but on the law. Judge Heaney never suggested that Peltier was innocent either, quite the opposite, and when interviewed Judge Heaney stated that Peltier got a “fair trial, not a perfect trial, but a fair trial.” (For more details see the following editorial essay, Fn. 6)

Peltier supporters come in several predictable categories:

-Those who have a genuine concern for the historic ill-treatment of First Americans; being forced from their native lands onto substandard and often desolate Reservations, decimating their lifestyle and culture and every treaty broken by the government. They can even sympathize with Peltier who did grow up on a Reservation but they ultimately fail believing that any consideration for the murderous Peltier will correct wrongs of the past.

-Those who use Peltier, without him recognizing it, for their own ego or notoriety.

-Those who either forgot, or deliberately ignore the years long phony alibi and the lie of Mr. X.

-How many of those on the list have ever taken the time and effort to go beyond the superficial Peltier, beyond the myth and folklore; reading the trial and hearing transcripts, the many appeals that answer all of Peltier’s spurious allegations of a wrongful conviction and shallow claims of innocence; his own public statements some of which support a notion of his guilt; his media interviews, press releases and his own book, and the list goes on. The number of those is very small and with only a few very minor exceptions; such as Judge Heaney and Peter Matthiessen, who obviously came to opposite conclusions, although Matthiessen provided some details that Peltier would sooner forget.  

            There is much more to criticize but the lists of Peltier supporters are nothing more than a red herring creating a sizeable gap between Peltier rhetoric and reality. But based on forty-four years of myth and folklore, none of this is surprising. 

Footnotes:
1) This is the same list on the website as the link to “selected statements of support.”
2) Canadian Minister of Justice, A. Anne McLellan letter to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, 10/12/1999: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/canadaletter.html
3) Background regarding the Nobel Peace Prize and Leonard Peltier:
Restriction against a nominee making a public disclosure:
4) A history of Peltier’s fund raising and alleged philanthropic activities, 2004, 2006, 2007: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#fraud
5) On whoisleonardpeltier.info is a section relating to the International Forum with signatures on a boilerplate petition and a ‘complete’ list of VIPs and supporters. The links to pages that do not go to ‘no page found’ reflect letters with the same tired rhetoric that is the bedrock of Peltier myth and folklore. In other words, supporters offering erroneous information and skewed facts. There are also some photos with not thousands or hundreds but only a handful of people with Peltier signs.

6) See the third section of this editorial essay regarding Judge Heaney’s involvement in the Peltier case: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html