1) Mo Money:
In an announcement entitled “What do we do next?” dated 2/28/13 the LPDOC tried to shore up its flagging support and thinning support groups. To answer their question: Maybe…Punt? They say that one of their ongoing efforts has been with Amnesty International. Yes, the same U.N., UN-American group that provides support provided that they have neither used nor advocated violence. Go figure! The LPDOC ends with a startling comment, and for once perhaps an honest one (but no way of really knowing): “the New York concert was not successful financially.” So much for the great plans of mice and men AIMed (no pun intended) at fringe elements and convicted murderers. Truth is, nobody is admitting how much the concert really made, but it comes as no surprise that maybe it was a complete flop as they beg again for ‘mo money’ from unwitting supporters, and then embarrassingly advertise the price of Peltier T-shirts have been drastically reduced. What a bargain. Maybe they should just give them away. They would make handy dust rags.
2) Escape plan Part 3:
Since Mr. Peltier hasn’t responded to the first two straight-forward questions (see Blogs 2/5 and 2/19) regarding any first escape plan that didn’t involve phantom assassins and government plots, we’ll have to pursue this a little further to seek some answers, or at least get to the bottom of the issue.
After being arrested in Canada on February 6, 1976 Peltier was housed at the Lower Mainland Regional Correctional Centre, Burnaby, British Columbia, previously known and still then locally referred to as Oakalla Prison (although it closed in 1991 and was replaced by pretrial services and a correctional center, or ‘centre’ as our northern neighbors call it).
Peltier was in the “Observation Ward” along the certifiably criminally insane and some IRA terrorists (same category, different causes and titles), which kept him under constant security surveillance.
Peltier’s first priority to move forward with any alleged first escape plan was to get out of “observation” and into general population where the opportunities for escape would be considerably better.
* * *
But first a little more history:
Peltier and the others fled Pine Ridge after the murders of Agents Coler and Williams and was nearly captured, and slightly wounded, during his escape from Oregon State Troopers on November 14, 1975 while riding in Marlon Brando’s motor home. Peltier was helped by a doctor who was sympathetic to the American Indian Movement (AIM) and participated during the pillaging and murders of WKII in 1973 (one has to wonder if he provided any assistance or had knowledge of the injuries and death of Perry Ray Robinson). Apparently—the killing of FBI agents be damned—the good doctor was an aider and abettor, after-the-fact to felony murder. Anyway, Peltier eventually made his way over the border into British Columbia and later over the mountains to Alberta to Smallboy’s camp way out in the bush near Hinton where the Mounties finally nabbed him. No secret about who gave him up…concerns about Anna Mae Aquash notwithstanding. Peltier said “the person who was responsible for our arrest was the old man Yellow Bird who we learned later was paid for his work by the R.C.M.P.” (Footnote #1) Peltier was on the run in Canada for approximately 2 ½ months and another five months prior to that.
Why is this relevant? Because Peltier said “I’d been in and out of Canada a half dozen times…I wasn’t running to Canada just to hide…I (spent) most of my time in the Untied States.” (Fn. 2)
This could very well be empty boasting but also significant timing. AIM activist Anna Mae Aquash was killed in December 1975 because she was suspected by AIM hierarchy, in their raging paranoia, of being an informant—let alone that during the escape she heard Peltier’s admission and details of the agents’ deaths, including the key admission, “The m... f... begged for his life but I shot him anyway.” She was in jeopardy at the hands of those she had faithfully supported. She already had a warning as Peltier previously put a gun-in-her- mouth to make her confess and prove what a tough guy he was with Indian women. Although two are now serving life sentences for her murder, Peltier’s participation—or contribution to the orders to kill her—have yet to be unearthed;
Peltier’s shallow laments over her death do not sit well with Anna Mae’s family. (Fn. 3)
Yet, ironically, even the sleazy, ponytailed, wannabe, “I’ll take the 5th” AIM lawyer, Bruce Ellison, (at least according to Matthiessen’s reporting), didn’t believe Anna Mae was an informant, but his actions then and later indicate otherwise. (Fn. 4)
* * *
Peltier’s scheme to work his way into general population was through winning support from Amnesty International...playing them like Nero’s fiddle, which points to one of the greatest ironies in the entire Peltier matter; had his name been John Smith and the killings took place in Indiana, no one would even know his name; or care.
Another, slightly lesser, but significant irony was a November 1976 letter from the A.I. visitor to Oakalla lamenting poor Leonard Peltier’s treatment at the hands of the Canadian prison authorities that demanded, or at least proffered, “Once again I must urge you to transfer Mr. Peltier into the general inmate population.”
A third irony was at the bottom of this letter, on official stationary, a statement of Amnesty International’s mission, which said in part, “Amnesty International works, irrespective of political considerations, for the release of men and women who are in prison because of their beliefs, ethic origin, colour or language, provided that they have neither used nor advocated violence.”
Ooops. Yes, Peltier was, in fact a Native American (part French though), and was apparently successful in selling the A.I. visitor a bill of goods that he was being discriminated against because of his ethnicity and beliefs. Or, less likely, but just as evident , that Amnesty International speaks out of both sides of it’s mouth, or to put it colloquially, with forked tongues.
Maybe they just forgot or overlooked that Peltier was in jail suspected (at that point) of a brutal double murder.
So, Mr. Peltier, please answer these questions: Was your whining to Amnesty International to get into general population just a ploy to help facilitate an escape? And, was this step-one of the first escape attempt that was devoid of assassins but had some other, more obvious, motive?
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Unrelated to the one’s above, yet one more irony in the Peltier saga is that Peltier is serving time in Coleman, Florida with Melvin Guyon, the murderer of yet another FBI agent.
1) Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, pp. 250, 403
2) Trimbach, American Indian Mafia, p.457; Footnote 8: Unpublished interview provided to News From Indian Country by the late Yakima journalist Richard LaCourse.
4) ITSOCH, p.252