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PELTIER: MEMORIAL SERVICE

Dear Supporters: No, this is not about a memorial service for the unrepentant convicted double murderer Leonard Peltier. Each year ...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

PELTIER: IT'S NOT ABOUT MASCOTS


Dear Supporters:

Before U.S.P. Coleman inmate #89637-132 gets too excited and giddy that his name was mentioned in a Huffington blog, let’s examine what the author, Jack Healy, didn’t say and why he’s selected the wrong person to promote his cause. (Footnote #1)

With all due respect to Mr. Healy’s lifelong quest for human rights, and notwithstanding his apparent disdain and bias towards the U.S. government, he has fallen prey, become a victim himself, to the perpetual mountain of myths, folklore, lies and fabrications that have festered around Peltier for the past four decades. His energy and intellect are woefully misplaced and promoting the myth, not the reality.

Most, and certainly not this writer, would argue against or fail to recognize the crippling history against First Americans. We can neither deny nor ignore what happened and that, as Mr. Healy points out (excluding the casino-rich tribes), the majority of Native Americans need and deserve our respect and support, not just for the injustices of the past but the condition many still find themselves in today. Pine Ridge being a glaring and shameful example. (Fn. 2)

But Mr. Healy calls for clemency for Peltier as if that would somehow heal the wounds and correct those historic wrongs. He could be no further from the truth and the heart of the matter as he shamefully references the deaths of FBI Agents Coler and Williams.

Mr. Healy alludes to Peltier’s trial and “…many legal flaws…” At least Mr. Healy didn’t pander the usual Peltier tripe of “Constitutional violations.” This case has been scrutinized perhaps to a greater extent than death-row inmates. “Legal flaws” may be a euphemistic pretense for Mr. Healy but he cannot ignore the scores of attorneys who have torn apart every crevice of his conviction, and except for one (ballistics) hearing (for which Peltier’s attorneys offered no contrary evidence, even though they had their own expert in the courtroom), Peltier’s conviction and sentence has withstood the legal test of time and never altered. Perhaps, Mr. Healey should invest the time and energy to understand the details of this case and not the mythology pandered by Peltier and his sycophants. (Fn. 3)

Without an ongoing dialogue—that this writer would welcome—there is no way of knowing exactly how much of the Peltier fables Mr. Healy has accepted as fact, but for illustration sake let’s assume he has accepted at least a good portion and provide just a handful of explicit examples to keep the record straight.

For example, Mr. Healy wrongly states “…even his extradition to the United States from Canada was based on premises that were actively manipulated by the federal authorities.” There were challenges and questions regarding the use of the Myrtle Poor Bear affidavits, however, that was not the only justification for Peltier’s extradition. Perhaps simply reading the crucial October 12, 1999 letter (a full twenty-four years--after--the murder of the agents) from the Minister of Justice to U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno where it states, “As I indicated above, I have concluded that Mr. Peltier was lawfully extradited to the united States” will clarify the misinformation from the Peltier camp and spouted by Mr. Healy. (Fn. 4) 

Sophomorically referencing the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Black Panther Party (BPP) as “…dissident groups in the United States,” as Mr. Healy does, is to ignore the reality of the destruction and chaos these groups caused. They were never simply social protesters but gangland style thugs who left a wake of social disruption and sometimes murder in their wake. Ask the widows of the police officers that fell victim to the BPP and research the destruction, under the guise of Native Rights, that AIM befell on Wounded Knee II, destroying a village and terrifying the innocent residents. Ask too, the family of Perry Ray Robinson, an AIM victim, whether AIM was just a “dissident group.” Dig further as well into the other AIM related bodies still hidden and buried in the hills surrounding that leveled hamlet (Fn. 5)

Mr. Healy does not comprehend that a truly innocent person need not offer a list of alibis, contradictory at their core, to push his feigned innocence on the non-believers. His fabrications have been as transparent as glass, starting with the twenty-year-lie that someone they all knew, Mr. X., killed the agents. So pervasive was this falsehood that his biographer (Matthiessen; who admittedly didn’t really believe it from the beginning but ran with it anyway), to Redford who bought into it but didn’t have the courage to admit he was duped, but finally even his own attorney publicly admitted it. This cannot be brushed aside because it is a glaring example of the fissure, a widening crack, in Peltier’s “I did it for my people,” vacant character.

The list is endless but focusing on the recent admissions of guilt, how can anyone be accommodating to, or ignore someone who says, “And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do. (February 6, 2010),” and “I don’t regret any of it for one minute. (September 12, 2014).”

Mr. Healy frames the Incident at Oglala as “…a shooting left two federal agents dead.”  Really, a shooting? Check the facts…Agents Coler and Williams were wantonly attacked, ambushed would be a better word, by a superior and violent force of AIM thugs. Outgunned and outnumbered they were first mortally wounded. There’s no doubt about how the incident started, we have Ron Williams’ own voice overheard by several people describing what was about to happen. That was the first part, but this is the scene within which Mr. Healy must frame his call for using Peltier in “a new era of peace.”

“I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and I look at him when he put it on, and he gave me a smile.” (Fn. 6)

So here’s Peltier, with two dead and mutilated federal agents at his feet as he accepts a smile from one of the other AIM shooters who’s stealing Jack Coler’s FBI jacket.

This is Mr. Healy’s cause célèbre for peace and healing and his way to “honor the memory of Agents Williams and Coler?”

Mr. Healy rhetorically asks “What does it mean for the families of FBI Agents Williams and Coler who died on the Pine Ridge Reservation?”

To accept Mr. Healy’s premise, to free Peltier, would be to dishonor their memory, their bravery and in a greater sense suggest—in real terms—that they died in vain.

Peltier is a panderer of his own heritage, he has adulterated and stolen all that is good about Native American history and culture and hides behind it like a thief in the night, or in this case a coward of Jumping Bull. Peltier is the last person to represent even a hint of reconciliation, for past wrongs against Native Americans, or the slightest hint of repentance for his own murderous actions that day at Pine Ridge.

Mr. Healy asks “What might we undo?” Perhaps we can undo a lot, but we cannot undo June 26, 1975.

The term “redskin” may be offensive but mascots are a whole other issue, and this isn’t about mascots. It’s about cold-blooded murder and an unrepentant sociopath who must continue to serve his sentence and pay his debt to society, no matter how that end may come.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

Footnotes:
4) http://noparolepeltier.com/canadaletter.html Further, “In my opinion, given the test for committal for extradition referred to above, the circumstantial evidence presented at the extradition hearing, taken alone, constituted sufficient evidence to justify Mr. Peltier’s committal on the two murder charges.” (Please read the entire letter.)
6) Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse; The story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI’s war on the American Indian Movement. (Penguin Books, 1992) 552.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

PELTIER UPDATE: A broken record with missing pieces; "I'm 70, send more money," Yet another admission of guilt

Dear Supporters:

Peltier’s latest, August 28th “Indian Summer” missive from Coleman is more of the same with some carefully crafted omissions (Footnote #1).

He gives thanks for donations to “my legal fees.” Legal fees? Fees he claims to have but will never disclose. Peltier supporters, Peltierites, are a clueless bunch, blindly following and accepting this little piece of unending deceit. There have been capable attorneys who have devoted many hours, some, even years to exploring every facet of Peltier’s conviction, through numerous appeals, and well beyond. They have donated their valuable time, pro bono (that’s without charge), to find something, anything, that could have opened the door to further hearings, a retrial or overturning his conviction. The Peltier case has withstood the test of time and scrutiny. Peltier is guilty and his claims of a wrongful conviction and “constitutional violations” are as weak as his claims of innocence (Fn. 2). So, if as he claims that “none of them (committee workers) take a salary or pay,” and “All the funds that have been donated will be used exclusively for (his) legal fees,” then the solution is very simple. Prove it! He won’t and that’s the dirty little secret Peltier has pandered for decades. Besides, if he ever did, even the Pelterite diehards would be aghast at the con they’ve been duped into and even more will walk away leaving no money and no support.

As for the alleged Constitutional violations, had there been one (and there was one issue that did lead to the ballistics hearing), we would not be having any conversations about, Peltier the inmate, today. The definitive word(s) have been written many times (in the final analysis; “…the direct and circumstantial evidence of Peltier’s guilt is strong…” 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 14, 1978). Besides, Peltier’s own statements and admissions have convicted him well beyond the legal system establishing not just his factual, but actual guilt. “And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do,” he’s told the world. And he would. There’s a word for that kind of personality. Recidivist.

Rambling on, lamenting that he may die in prison “…if Obama does not free me…” he’s pointing to his last and only hope. As he is well aware, parole is off the table and the President has many more pressing matters to consider than the unrepentant, cold-blooded murderer who has lied his way through the last four decades (Fn. 3). Peltier has contradicted his own feigned innocence with public statements that he was at once a warrior that day protecting his people (by instigating a vicious attack on two agents attempting to serve an arrest warrant), then brutally killing those agents as he and the other cowards of Jumping Bull fled. Then he plays the race card, the poor persecuted Indian, The Last of the Mohegan’s (no pun intended) who had to be punished for these crimes. Peltier has consistently pushed to have it both ways. But you can’t be a warrior (hero) and a victim (persecuted minority) at the same time, especially, when his own versions of the events have changed as often as the seasons. The President is aware that it wasn’t the phantom Mr. X, as Peltier claimed for many years, as the actual killer, and that with two dead and mutilated federal agents at his feet he acknowledged the smile from Joe Stuntz as he stole and put on the dead agent’s FBI jacket. No, the record is clear; even if the claims are true that no one knows who fired the fatal killing shots (which isn’t true because at least Dino Butler and Bob Robideau—and perhaps others—were there at that moment), he was also convicted of “Aiding and Abetting” in those murders. So, there in Coleman he shall sit until his sentence is complete (two life sentences plus seven consecutive years for the armed Lompoc escape) until he can walk out, or be carried out.

A ponytail does not an Indian make. This past week the disgraced Ward Churchill made his first television appearance in many years and submitted to questioning regarding his warped philosophy of America. Any reasonably informed person, no matter the education, or even high schoolers, have to walk away from Churchill’s comments recognizing that the man is a babbling fool. As difficult as it was to force oneself to watch this pathetic exhibit there was one positive note. Churchill is (or was) a Peltier supporter. And if that’s the quality of Peltier support, then bring them on. Putting Peltier in the same boat with the likes of Ward Churchill can only widen Peltier’s credibility gap with the rest of mankind. (Fn. 4)

Like a jackass lost in a canyon Peltier is bawling a new slogan, pilfered and adulterated from a true Native American warrior, Chief Joseph. “I will fight some more…forever,” is a hackneyed attempt to try to legitimize his own cowardly and marginalized past. It would have been more accurate for Peltier to have said, “I will lie forever…even to myself.”

Peltier signs off this message like all the others with selling the myth, how to make donations (to a rent-by-the-week office in Lake Mary, Florida), those questionable quality artwork prints, T-Shirts and the like. Notice though they no longer claim that donations are “tax-deductible.” Wonder why? Peltierites are afraid to ask.

The missing pieces of the broken record are easily found at (Fn.5).

Then comes Peltier’s 9/12/14 “I’m 70, send more money” message (Fn. 6). This is just more of the same providing pained excuses that his actions were for others; his lame cry that his sacrifice  was for everyone else in the world. Peltier explains that he has hired the “best legal team we could get,” which essentially throws all those prior pro bono attorneys under the proverbial bus. But at least he was “very grateful they were trying to help me.” Really, is that all they did, “try” to help? Collectively all those earlier attorneys must be shaking their heads.

The new dream team must have an easier job ahead since Peltier tells us that; “I am singled out” and “often people cannot believe the sheer amount of constitutional violations and injustice,” while he “…paid a dear price attempting to uphold justice, fairness, and truth,” and fought “…the good fight…” Again, if there was but one  constitutional violation he would have been out a long time ago, but he can’t help himself with the I’m in this for you scam and singing the same rendition of the warrior-victim song.

Although, he does come close to the core of the “hell” he finds himself in suggesting that he “…wants (his) time to stand as an example to you all.” Finally, a moment of unsuspecting clarity. Yes, there is a Peltier message for others, especially the young and impressionable, if you don’t attack and murder law enforcement personnel, then you won’t spend the rest of your life rotting in prison. That’s a good take-away from the Coleman inmate.

Over the years there have been many times Peltier’s attorney’s wished that he would just keep his mouth shut. But that’s one of the central reasons why his attorneys and “committee” has changed so often, because he is incapable of suppressing that sociopathic bullying and his self-delusional belief in the myth that’s been festering around him. A myth that’s flawed and defies the reality of Jumping Bull. In other words, he simply cannot control himself or follow simple, valid advice.

Peltier has not identified his attorneys. Why is that? There isn’t a privilege to be concerned about, either someone represents a client or doesn’t. It’s quite simple. But maybe that’s part of the gambit…the ploy to keep the unsuspecting, unsuspecting. Keep them waiting in anxious excitement for the next revelation. Where’s the harm in saying, “these are my best attorneys,” and name them? Unless, of course, they don’t exist. But keep sending the checks because that money has been going somewhere over all these years. (By the way, unlike in the past, Peltier better make sure the income is claimed and taxes paid.)

Peltier has done it once again. Yet another admission of guilt. The February 6, 2010 public statement (mentioned above; he’d do it all over again because it was the right thing to do), is only prelude as he comes to us with this, “I don’t regret any of it for one minute.”

The key here, of course, is “any.” Without qualification, reservation, clarification or exclusion, this statement, by default must include the events of June 26, 1975 and the brutal attack and murder of Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. This is yet another public admission of unrepentant guilt that will surely be mentioned at his next parole-review hearing.

At this juncture a question that can be asked is whether or not a free Leonard Peltier would still present a danger (aside from whether he has yet to fully pay his debt to society). The answer is an unqualified, yes. He played the role of a tough-guy, a self-proclaimed warrior, but the facts and his own words have proven that he was one among the “yellow robes” that day at Jumping Bull (Fn. 7). Those details support the premise that he was, in fact, a coward, and cowards always remain unpredictable and dangerous.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

Footnotes:
This is a significant essay from 2001. The factual basis remains unchanged, however, given Churchill’s history over the past thirteen years, the generous comments regarding his status are withdrawn.
7) See Peltier’s FBI wanted flyer, I.O. 4681, dated 12/3/75 for Murder; Interstate Flight-attempted murder; National Firearms Act. Peltier also, ironically used the alias of Leonard Williams, as well as Leonard Littleshell, Luis Martinez and John Yellow Robe.