On whoisleonardpeltier.info, under “Facts about the case,” and “The Shoot-out” is this statement:
“For unknown reasons, a shoot-out began. A family with small children was trapped in the cross fire. Throughout the ranch, people screamed that they were under attack and many of the men present hurried to return fire.”
Aside from the obvious flaws: A family caught in the crossfire?
Would it be too kind to call this statement disingenuous, or perhaps a fabrication, another nugget of myth, an element of folklore, or what it really is, a shameful lie?
There is ample proof this is not true and never happened, Yet here it is, again.
First a little history: on December 15, 2001, the NPPA challenged a statement on the former LPDC website made by (another) former Peltier attorney, Jennifer Harbury. Harbury’s erroneous statement was contained in paragraph #5 of a long list of equally feeble allegations.
But, a review of—those often pesky—details relating to whether or not a family was caught in any kind of crossfire between the initial assault on Agents’ Coler and Williams and AIM members at Jumping Bull, can be easily disproved.
The family this refers to is Angie Long Visitor, her husband Ivis and two children.
While washing dishes (at the Jumping Bull house) her first awareness of a problem was when she heard “firecrackers or something.” She walked out onto the bluff to have a look and saw in the distance two white men in separate vehicles; obviously lawmen, she knew, because of their new condition and the antennas. Approximately a hundred yards away from the other two vehicles Long visitor noticed a white over red Chevrolet van parked on the dirt roadway by the Y-fork. She did not see anyone around this van at that time but knew it was used by Leonard Peltier. Long Visitor said she saw three Indian males (Robideau, Stuntz, and Brown; known to her at the time as Bob, Joe and Norman), firing at the agents.
Long visitor and her family fled south along the edge of the plowed field, and then cut across toward Highway 18. On the way they met a few AIM Indians from the camp down in the woods, who were running uphill toward the houses.
Before a Federal Grand Jury, Long Visitor testified under oath that “Me and my husband and kids ran across the field and went down to the little dirt road that goes to the highway. There were a lot of cop cars going by.”
Another observation was from Norman Brown (who, in the film Incident at Oglala, describes how he could have shot Agent Adams in the head, but instead shot out his tires forcing Adams and two BIA officers out of range and back onto Highway 18). Brown also saw Leonard Peltier lying down by a row of junked cars near the woods, rising up to fire, lying prone again.
The point here is that although it was a dangerous situation that morning, there was no “family with small children trapped in the cross fire.”
It’s not true, it never happened that way and you have the person involved describing what actually occurred and what she saw and did.
For a thorough review (along with maps and references) of the ”family caught in a crossfire” please see Editorial Essay #13, entitled “Paragraph #5.” http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#13
So, WhoisLeonardPeltier anyway? In reality, just another cold-blooded murderer who is entertaining himself (through his surrogates) into believing what they have invented, all the while denigrating a proud Native American history and culture. The fact remains that the vast majority of Native Americans recognize that Peltier and the American Indian Movement of the 1970s contributed nothing to the well-being and welfare of those on the Reservations. AIM contributed chaos at the least, and theft, destruction and murder at the most. Peltier’s continued claims of innocence are overturned at every corner, mostly from his own contradictions of what he allegedly claimed happened. He hopes the general public can’t read and understand the history of his case or somehow suffer from collective amnesia and fail to remember those contradictions from year to year.
Leonard Peltier and the LPDOC must be giddy with excitement that some popular names are holding “An evening of music and learning,” which is a great opportunity to learn about Native American culture and music, but its title to “Bring Leonard Peltier Home in 2012” will do nothing in terms of learning the facts surrounding Jumping Bull. Ticket prices range from $35 to $125. I’ll spring for one and will be there but expect to only hear the same tired rhetoric that’s been passed out for decades. The music may be worth it however. Peltier will learn that this is not…repeat not…a popularity contest and besides those who do ignore the facts and do adore him, his reputation within Native America is almost non-existent. Aside from the record of Peltier’s case, which has stood on its own through countless appeals, his own words have repeatedly convicted him again. His innocence and philanthropy is a sham. (Perhaps we should ask where some of the proceeds are going, but that’s always been another well-kept secret.) Maybe I’ll buy an extra ticket and sit next to Mr. X.
Peltier also hopes, and no doubt prays, that the President will somehow believe the Peltier folklore is real or that Peltier’s release will somehow heal any wounds caused to Native Americans and their history at the hands of the government. Nothing could be further from reality and the President, an attorney, certainly understands the law, the weight of the evidence against Peltier and the level of scrutiny this case has received throughout the long and detailed appellate process. As the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals succinctly concluded “…the direct and circumstantial evidence of Peltier’s guilt is strong…”
The President will also not be impressed with Peltier’s February 6, 2010 statement that “I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do.”
Yes, Mr. President, Peltier believed it was the right thing to do; two mortally wounded federal agents who were summarily executed in the line of duty. Peltier’s release would be a stain on the service of every law enforcement officer in this country who willingly place themselves in harm’s way to protect its citizens and uphold the law. Peltier’s release would certainly denigrate a proud Native American culture that Peltier has adulterated with his incessant claims that on June 26, 1975 he did something noble for his people. Peltier is a charlatan and an unrepentant murderer who should serve the remainder of his two life sentences along with the seven consecutive years for his armed escape from Lompoc Penitentiary.
To quote Peltier’s own claims of innocence (Prison Writings, p.15):
“I state to you absolutely that, if I could have possibly have prevented what happened that day, your menfolk would not have died. I would have died myself before knowingly permitting what happened to happen. And I certainly never pulled the trigger that did it. May the Creator strike me dead this moment if I lie.”
Careful, Leonard, better watch what you wish for.
But he continues, placing his feigned sympathy into perspective. “I cannot see how my being here, torn from my own grandchildren, can possibly mend your loss. I swear to you, I am guilty only of being an Indian. That is why I am here.”
For now Peltier can bounce that myopic rhetoric off the concrete walls, and then when the time comes, offer it himself to the Creator. The Creator knows exactly what happened that day, and the myth, folklore and lies won’t pass His test.
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”