Sometimes, Leonard Peltier makes it just too easy.
Based on a February 13, 2010 “press release” from Peltier’s prison cell at Lewisburg, he beats the drum, yet again, about being a “political prisoner.”
That there is confusion, anger and misinformation surrounding the myth of Leonard Peltier, makes it even more important to examine the facts and listen very carefully to those involved, particularly Leonard Peltier himself.
In a confusing twist, however, Peltier, who has denounced America continuously for decades, now (as he aligns himself yet again with another murderous soul, Wesley Cook*) claims “We are not terrorists! I love my country,” which is hardly consistent with his anti-America and AIM rants in the past.
He describes himself as a political liability and a “political prisoner in this ‘land of the free.’”
If, and it’s a tremendous “if,” his actions at Jumping Bull were “politically” motivated, then it does indeed sit on the mantle of terrorism.
First, let’s not forget that Peltier himself said this was a random event that began over a pair of old cowboy boots and that he was innocently in the AIM camp and “could smell the wonderful smell of those pancakes,” when the shooting started. Hasn’t he repeatedly said that they acted in “self-defense” (yet another theory he has strangely distanced himself from**). And then, for more years than he wants to remember, Peltier blamed it all on their friend, Mr. X, who murdered the agents and escaped in the infamous red pickup truck. (A theory, of course, that died when Dino Butler publicly called both him and Robideau liars.) But then there’s the pre-planed government raid with “dozens, maybe hundreds of FBI, local lawmen, GOONS and white vigilantes out there” waiting for Peltier and the other AIM members to surface. But there has never been a shred of evidence or proof to support that outrageous claim.
What Peltier is offering by painting himself as a political prisoner, is that his own actions that day were then politically motivated. And lest there be no confusion on that point, Part IV, Chapters 19-26 of his autobiography are entitled “Becoming Political.”
If that was, according to Peltier, the situation at Jumping Bull, then Agents’ Coler and Williams were not searching for Jimmy Eagle at all, but must have been lured into an ambush to be assaulted and wounded and caught in a crossfire between Peltier, Norman Charles and Joe Stuntz from one direction, and Robideau, Butler and more AIM members from another.
Then, since the critically wounded Coler and Williams were shot in the face at point-blank range as an act of political defiance, Peltier is now clarifying another explanation and motivation for their murders. Speculation varies about those final moments (but a few fundamental facts do remain), but if we should accept Peltier’s latest public revelation at face value then there is no other explanation for the agent’s deaths other than, they were assassinated.
These are two words Peltier, his supporters and attorneys have cautiously avoided for many years. These are the two most powerful words that help clearly explain Peltier’s motivations that day at Jumping Bull.
I believe, though, it was the ultimate act of a coward; Matthiessen offered a simpleminded laundry list of possibilities; the government believed it was a spontaneous event, but maybe now we do have the truth from Peltier himself.
And, Peltier is ignorant of the facts surrounding the cold-blooded murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner (it certainly had nothing to do with race or political extremism) but he has happily jumped in bed with Mumia anyway, as well as with the sociopathic, domestic terrorist, McVeigh.
Finally, we can thank Peltier for the clarification and allowing America to see that he’s happy with his conclusions and with the company he keeps.
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
*aka Mumia Abu Jamal. Please see the following links to Editorial Essays and Peltier’s solidarity with Jamal and terrorist and murderer, Timothy McVeigh:
**In Peltier’s 2/6/2010 “Press Release” lamenting his 34th year of incarceration and inadvertently offering a confession to the “Incident of Oglala,” he never mentions that is actions were in “self-defense.” http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#confession