Dear NPPA Supporters:
The young Preston Randolph, college student and aspiring director, continues on his remake of Incident at Oglala under the new documentary title, “Wind Chases the Sun.” Catchy title even if the geophysics is implausible.
Preston recently stated of Wind; “This film with the new information and very new and very shocking testimonies from former FBI, BIA and BOP as well as key witnesses will be revealing for the first time the horrific truth…we will be blowing this case apart…etc., etc.,” You get the point.
(Side note: If Wind includes, for the BOP, the love-affair scenario between Leavenworth guard Bruce Smith and Peltier, it will lack credibility; nothing Smith claims has any relevance to Peltier’s conviction, sentence, appeals or feigned innocence. It would amount to meaningless filler.* Also, if Wind includes, for the FBI, anything from former FBI agent M. Wesley Swearingen, it will contain even less credibility. Swearingen’s ramblings have covered all the bases from the incredible to the bizarre [he knew of the plot to kill JFK…]. Swearingen adds nothing of substance to the Peltier debate except that he did say “Why does anyone have to know who actually fired the fatal shots? I can assure you that if I had been in such a shoot-out there would have been a hell of a lot of dead Indians.” “Peltier is a joke, as is Bob Robideau.”** )
Early on I exchanged emails with Preston but it became apparent that confusing agenda with facts was problematic; it’s much easier to pursue the folklore.
With his “expansive team of researchers and producers,” (in other words, Preston and buddy or two), they plan to undo nearly 37 years of intense scrutiny, multiple trials and hearings, dozens of appeals and thousands upon thousands of pages of reports, documentation and transcripts that will produce “…documents, testimonies, affidavits and interviews you have never heard of…”
Wonderful threat, and a tall challenge that cannot be reached, and here’s why: Every single question concerning June 26, 1975 has been asked and answered, and the fundamental facts of what happened that day cannot be altered no matter how deep the mythology surrounding Peltier becomes. The substance of what the Peltier jury heard from the “critical witnesses” establish the sequence of events that began with the overheard radio calls from Agent Williams himself that they were about to come under fire, and then were, as those nearby responded to their aid. But too late, as Joe Stuntz and Norman Brown fired on the first responding agent and BIA officers.
We don’t have to search too terribly far for some basic facts, just ask Leonard, and quote directly from him perhaps the most crucial single sentence in this entire, nearly
four-decade-old drama. “I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and I looked at him when he put it on, and he gave me a smile.” (ITSOCH p552)
That was an FBI jacket (and thanks for the smile, Joe), as they stood there with two dead agents at their feet, their faces blown to bits, (and by the way, they were both physically moved; shot in the face but found face down establishes that; the crime scene photos are self-evident ). Then Peltier and others stole their weapons and one of the vehicles, and using Peltier’s words again, “We gotta get out of here.”
And yes, the prediction. Mr. X.
For nearly twenty years Peltier had an alibi and stuck to it as it was chronicled in ITSOCH with even a cameo appearance in “Incident.” Yes, Matthiessen and Redford both bit into that rotten apple. Quoting Peltier… “This story is true. But I can’t and will not say anything about it. For me to testify against anybody-or even mention-try to get somebody else in trouble-is wrong. And I won’t do it. Because it’s against my belief, it’s against my religion, my culture. It’s against everything that we’ve fought for or stood up for. (Everything, of course, but the truth.)
Really, how quaint that he felt so strongly about not identifying Mr. X, even though it turned out to be one huge lie (just ask Dino Butler).
So, how will young Preston handle this in the blockbuster “documentary” Wind Chases? Ignore it (as Peltier did, never mentioning Mr. X or the infamous red pickup truck in his autobiography, Prison Writings)? Claim, like so many others, that it must have been another government conspiracy of some sort or anther? (Tough to do with all the admissions from Butler, Robideau and Peltier.) Or try to spin it yet in some other direction. Odds are it won’t even be mentioned.
Perhaps a tile change would be appropriate. “Wind Chases Mr. X” would work.
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
No Parole Peltier Association
*See NPPA Blog: Peltier “Shot” in Prison dated August 28, 2011 re Bruce Smith.
**See Editorial Essay #28; M. Wesley Swearingen: No longer supports Leonard Peltier,
http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#swear, and the “1 Star” reviews, by this writer, on Amazon.com, of Swearingen’s two hopeless and ineffective books.