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PELTIER: BYPASS & DONATIONS; PART II

Dear Supporters: On September 5 th Peltier provided us with an update regarding his recent bypass surgery. “ My cells ac/air going...

Monday, November 30, 2015

PELTIER: PAINTINGS REMOVED - PART 2

Dear Supporters:

Washington State letter: Received a cordial letter on behalf of the Governor from Joel Sacks, Director, Washington Department of Labor and Industries acknowledging the response that providing a free venue for the display and sale of a convicted felon’s artwork in taxpayer-funded government space was inappropriate and arguably illegal.

Peltier, along with Governor Inslee, Washington Attorney General, Bob Fergusson, and Olympia Editor, Dusti Demarest received a copy of the letter, stating “We are displaying Native American artwork and historical information about Washington Tribes and tribal leaders…”

It may be a little insensitive in this day and age to refer to “Tribes,” as most Native Americans would prefer “Nations,” but to be clear, Leonard Peltier is not a natural member of any Washington Nation, and hopefully, Mr. Sacks does not consider Peltier a tribal leader. That would be an insult to every legitimate Native leader since Peltier’s feigned glory is self-induced and based on fiction; he was nothing more than an AIM bodyguard, an enforcer and a thug.

We are in only partial agreement that “…it is impossible to separate his artwork from the controversy surrounding the 1975 incident in South Dakota.” True, Peltier and his paintings cannot be separated, but referring to the unprovoked attack, critically wounding and then cold-blooded execution of two FBI Agents is hardly likened to a controversy or an incident. It was murder, for which Peltier was convicted, receiving two consecutive life sentences, and through over a dozen appeals, neither has ever been altered.

Mr. Sacks continued with, “After listening carefully to the concerns, it became clear that the display of this specific artwork was overshadowing the…celebration.” Overshadowing, certainly, however, the central question raised was whether it was legal. But the paintings were removed, so there’s that.

Peltier response: On November 14th Peltier announced that his paintings are now proudly displayed at two Olympia Food Co-Op’s. Olympia’s website proclaims that they “…are different from most grocery stores. Everywhere in our organization, from markups to social justice practices, we continue to uphold our mission statement, one that is focused toward placing people over profits.” The mission statement includes, encouraging economic and social justice and fostering a socially and economically egalitarian society. 

That’s a perfect venue for Peltier’s paintings, somewhere between the cabbage and onions. Wonder if a buyer of a painting has any idea where that money actually goes? (No one knows. It’s a Peltier secret.) Or, if anyone at the Co-Op has any real sense of how far Peltier has gone to ensure they buy into (no pun intended) the myth, folklore and the paradox?

Peltier’s response ended with “Two important articles have also been written in response to the actions of Washington State.”

For a response to these, please see the previous NPPA blog.

Thanksgiving message: November 26th Peltier offered another tired message, although, he would get little argument here that his “Day of Mourning Statement” does have validity. He references the National Geographic two-night mini-series, “Saints and Strangers” about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. Peltier adds, “Let’s hope this film DOES tell the truth.” Well, not so, it seemed to be pretty much the romanticized version, although between dialogues the progressive deterioration of the Nations spanning between Columbus and the Pilgrims seemed evident. One point was also clear, that prior to the European invasion this continent wasn’t a Valhalla. There appeared to be more than just a sprinkling of Indian on Indian, Tribe against Tribe and Nation against Nation conflict and bloodshed, separate and apart from the conflicts with the settlers (Europeans, immigrants, invaders; whatever).

But that was just the warm up to Peltier’s real intent…support me for clemency… “I believe this President has the courage to do the right thing and let me go home.”

The President has made it clear that murderous felons like Peltier are not part of his clemency plan.

Peltier, (again, this is a classic example of the Peltier Paradox), says that on February 6th he will have been incarcerated for 40 years (and that is a very long time), and “Under the laws I was indicted with, a life term was seven years. I have served over six life sentences!” That’s the Paradox at work; it sounds reasonable. Two consecutive life sentences would then equal fourteen years, and he’s done that almost three times. The math seems right but the premise is fatally flawed.

Leonard: Produce some evidence that a life-sentence in 1977, when you were convicted in Fargo, was seven years. Life sentences were typically, on average--when an inmate would be eligible for parole, twenty-five years. So on that basis, we can look towards February 6, 2026 as a possible release date. No, wait, that’s not right either. You would still owe the “seven consecutive years” for the armed escape from Lompoc. So, make that February 6, 2033. It's doubtful that either of us will be around for that.

Leonard tells us of his many ailments: He cannot even sit for any length of time. When he gets up his “plexis” (Plexus; a network, as of nerves or blood vessels) area hurts so bad. He has to walk slowly while hanging on to someone for support. Those first few steps, Peltier laments, are awfully painful. “Then I have to deal with the other medical problems.” Peltier then obliges us with the predictable spin that this is his “Sundance” and he “…would not hesitate to suffer for any of you again and again.

Suffering with age issues Leonard? Well guess what?

Jack and Ron are dead.

Let’s bring this back to reality. Have you forgotten the images? Have you been able to erase the carnage at Jumping Bull, or Ron Williams asking for mercy before you shot him in the face? Can we quote you? “The M-F was begging for his life but I shot him anyway!” Or maybe you still remember Stuntz smiling at you when he put on Jack Coler’s FBI jacket. They were both at your feet, dead and mutilated. Remember that?

There is one question I have always wanted the answer to: Which of the AIM cowards that day rolled Jack Coler and Ron Williams over to face the ground? You?

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

Sunday, November 22, 2015

PELTIER: PAINTINGS REMOVED & PELTIER PARADOX

Dear Supporters:

Referencing the previous NPPA Blog, Peltier’s paintings have been removed from display at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Tumwater, Washington. (Footnote #1)

Peltier’s response was predictable, the quintessential one-trick-pony, repeating ad nauseam the same worn-out rhetoric of out-of-context quotes without proper attributions, half-truths and outright fabrications that have been the mainstay of the Peltier myth for decades. (Fn. 2)

This is stereotypical Peltier, the Peltier Paradox: A position Peltier takes that, despite the apparently sound or legitimate reasoning from acceptable premises, when examined in its entirety leads to senseless, illogical, and contradictory conclusions. In other words, the paradox sounds good, even logical at times, but the truth destroyed Peltier a long time ago.

For example, in the November 14th “Press Release” Peltier claims (through the ill-informed Peter Clark, ILPDC) are the following inaccuracies and errors:

            --Logic: Peltier became confused over the misplaced logic of his own argument by correctly stating, “former agents of the FBI” (in other words, citizens legally expressing their First Amendment rights to free speech and expression) that somehow morphs into  “government censorship.” When brought to their attention, it was patently obvious to the State of Washington that providing a free venue at taxpayer’s expense and promoting the sale of a felon’s artwork was inappropriate, immoral, and arguably illegal. That’s what led to the state, along with a public apology, to remove those paintings. (Fn. 3)

            --Acquittal: Had Peltier been tried with his co-defendants he would have been acquitted:

Well, close, and we’ll have to concede that possibility. However, the Butler/Robideau trial did not allow the government to properly present a fair case. It was forced to trial early and critical witnesses couldn’t be located in time. The jury deliberated for five days and twice reported it was deadlocked before reaching a verdict, so it wasn’t a foregone conclusion by any means. Also, in an unprecedented and wholly inappropriate move (one which, if the government had such an advantage, would have resulted in a mistrial), the trial judge took a ten-day recess allowing the defense an inordinate amount of time to prepare after the government’s case was presented to the jury. However, we have to live with that verdict…just as Peltier must live with his. (Fn. 4)

Other points raised in the “press release,” made without specific attributions and proper quoting, have long since been discredited:

            ---Ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence:

Innocence? Hardly. This had nothing to do with innocence but the meaning of the October 2, 1975 FBI Laboratory teletype that was examined and clarified during a three-day October 1975 hearing, after which, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, (authored by Judge Gerald Heaney), concluded:

“When all is said and done, however, a few simple but very important facts remain. The casing introduced into evidence had in fact been extracted from the Wichita AR-15. This point was not disputed; although the defense had its own ballistics expert, it offered no contrary evidence.” (Fn. 5)

            ---Extradition from Canada:

In spite of earlier criticism, the final word from the Canadian Government in 1999 was that “…Mr. Peltier was lawfully extradited to the United States.” (Fn. 6)

            ---Witnesses lied at trial:

During the Direct Appeal, the 8th Circuit Court stated:

“However, upon further questioning at the trial by the government attorney, they (the witnesses) stated that the testimony they gave at the trial was the truth, as best they remembered it. Thus, their testimony provided no support for the proposed defense instruction that the government induced them to testify falsely in this trial or in a related trial.” (Fn. 7)

Also, let’s remind Peltier, Clark or any of the others to remember another important aspect of what Norman Brown said regarding the shootings and his recanted testimony at Peltier's trial. During the October 17, 2000, Arts and Entertainment (A&E) documentary entitled "Murder on a Reservation," this is what Brown said about when he was brought into the courtroom to testify against Peltier:

“They marched me in. This whole crowd of native people. As I was walking down the aisle there, I heard words spoken to me. "There's that sell out." "There's that pig, there's that little asshole, " and you know, "That's him." "Hey asshole, like little whisper.”

It is clear from this public admission that Norman Brown, although he blamed his initial change of testimony on his interrogation by the FBI, was clearly in fear for his safety, and perhaps even his life (remember: Anna Mae Aquash, and Perry Ray Robinson if there is any doubt), from his own People, particularly AIM members.

            ---The federal prosecutor has twice (twice?…there was only one court statement) admitted that the government “can’t prove who shot those agents.”

What AUSA Lynn Crooks actually said during an appellate hearing was:

”Well, undoubtedly it wouldn’t, but no doubt whatsoever that we would have convicted him. I think the best precedent that one can point to is the recent murder of our two marshals. We have exactly the same kind of situation. But we can’t prove who shot those agents.”

Based on this ‘inartful’ statement, Peltier tried to claim that the government changed its theory of the prosecution, to which, the 8th Circuit Court replied:

“Peltier’s arguments fail because their underlying premises are fatally flawed.” (Fn. 8) (So you see Leonard, when the facts are disclosed, the paradox is self-evident.) 

            ---“there is a possibility that a jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier.”

However, prior to this statement in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision (Judges, Heaney, Ross and Gibson) stated:

“We affirmed the conviction on September 4, 1978. In Affirming, we too accepted the government’s theory that both agents had been killed with a high-velocity small-caliber weapon fired at point-blank range at a time when the men were seriously wounded and unable to defend themselves. We then held that the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find Peltier responsible for the murders.

And, from the same 8th Circuit decision (again, Judge Gerald Heaney), was:

“The question now before us is whether the newly-discovered evidence (the October 2, 1975 teletype) indicating Hodge (FBI Laboratory examiner) may have not been telling the truth, considered in the light of the evidence the jury had before it, would have caused the jury to reach a different result. While that possibility exists, Bagley requires more.”

“There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been made available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government’s case. Yet, we are bound by the Bagley test requiring that we be convinced, from a review of the entire record, that had the data and records withheld been made available, the jury probably would have reached a different result. We have not been so convinced.” (Fn. 9)

In other words, Leonard, Peter, et. al., No matter what Judge Heaney’s personal feelings may have been, he, and Judges Ross and Gibson, made their decision based on the law.

            ---As late as November 2003, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that “…Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and its prosecution of Leonard Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed.”

(This decision and remark had nothing to do with Peltier’s conviction but a challenge by Peltier to the U.S. parole commission.)

But, isn’t it interesting to note that just prior to, and after this comment, conveniently omitted from the 11/14/15 “Press Release,” the same appellate court said:

"Previous federal court decisions provided the (Parole) Commission with ample facts to support its conviction that Peltier personally shot Agent Coler and Williams." And further, "While Mr. Peltier, asserts 'the Commission identified no plausible evidence that [he] shot the agents after they were incapacitated,' this statement is simply not true. The evidence linking Mr. Peltier to these crimes is enumerated above.”

“Because we hold the Commission’s finding that Mr. Peltier shot and killed Agents Coler and Williams was rational, we need not address the Commission’s implication that the same disposition is supportable if Mr. Peltier only aided and abetted at the murder scene. As such, we AFFIRM the district court’s denial of relief.”  (Fn. 10)

* * *
In a subsequent November 16th “press release” a desperate Peltier laments that this event was picked up by many news organizations across the nation and ended with:

 “This attack will not be the last. Be on the alert and always respond to negative press. Use the facts presented at www.whoisleonardpeltier.info as your talking points.”

These ILPDC “talking points” is the paradox described above and it’s evident that Peltier felt the sting of an immediate and effective reaction to the Washington State situation.

Peltier press releases always begin with the solicitations to participate in the ongoing dirty little secret, the money; “Leonard counts on supporters like you! Make a donation online/Pledge to Donate Monthly. Mail donations to ILPDC, Hillsboro, Oregon.” It’s bewildering that Peltierites remain blind to the realities of the Peltier scam. (Fn. 11)

Understand this:

First, the President’s guidelines for clemency consideration; long incarcerations for minor drug offenses and excluding crimes of violence, does not include the likes of Leonard Peltier. (Fn. 12)

Secondly, it’s not just the family of Jack Coler and Ron Williams, or their friends and co-workers, nor the hundreds of agents who worked the Reservation Murders (RESMURS) investigation, nor the thousands of former and retired FBI agents, nor the tens of thousands of former and retired federal, state and local law enforcement, or the hundreds of thousands of current law enforcement officers and officials, and not even just the millions of law-abiding citizens, but it is these groups, collectively, who will make their voices heard if there is even a hint of consideration for a cold-blooded, remorseless killer.

Peltier should be shown the same compassion he gave to the wounded and murdered agents, Jack Coler and Ron Williams. And that would be none…

Clemency is as dead as parole. Deal with it.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

Footnotes:
1) Darren Smith article, last accessed 11/21/15:
2) Peter Clark, ILPDC, last accessed 11/21/15:
3) King5 coverage, last accessed 11/21/15:
4) Trials and critical witnesses:
5) Ballistics conclusion; page 5, first paragraph. (Also in re Bagley….)
7) Witnesses lied at trial, Direct Appeal, Section IIA http://noparolepeltier.com/585.html
8) Prosecutor admitted & Fatally flawed: http://noparolepeltier.com/997.html
9) 8th Circuit Bagley decision: http://noparolepeltier.com/800.html
10) 10th Circuit decision, See II: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/tenth_circuit.html

Sunday, November 8, 2015

PELTIER: DEAR GOVERNOR INSLEE


8190 Beechmont Avenue #101
Cincinnati, Ohio 45256-6117
November 9, 2015

The Honorable Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Dear Governor Inslee:

Although not a constituent, I write to you with a very serious question:

Is it morally acceptable, or even legal, for your office and Washington State to promote and endorse a cold-blooded murderer?

This, of course, relates to the display and promotion for sale of Leonard Peltier’s prison artwork by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in Tumwater, Washington.[i]

Whether Peltier is an artist is arguable, and irrelevant.

Nonetheless, Peltier is a convicted felon for the brutal execution-style murder of two already wounded FBI Agents. (Attacked and mortally wounded by Peltier and other AIM thugs.) Peltier, as well, has clearly demonstrated he remains wholly unrepentant for his heinous crimes.

Any celebration of Peltier is the result of decades-long misinformation and promotion of ongoing myth and folklore.[ii] Native America has long abandoned Peltier’s claims of any rights to represent their collective heritage and interests.

Peltier’s conviction, through over a dozen appeals, has been upheld as he has had more critical reviews of the facts than most inmates. Any reasonable review of the legal history would be clearly evident as all the challenges to his conviction have been repeatedly debunked. Please have someone in your office review that history.[iii]

There has been a long and sordid legacy of Peltier’s abuse of his native heritage but when it comes to proving his own guilt, and that he remains a remorseless murderer, we need only turn to Peltier himself for proof.
How can the Governor of any state allow the promotion of a convicted felon who has said:

 “I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and he gave me a smile.” (Relating to June 26, 1975 while two dead and mutilated FBI agents lay at their feet.)[iv] After thirty-five years in a public statement “And really if necessary I’d do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.” (2010) And, thirty-nine years after the murders, “I don’t regret any of this for a minute.” (2014)

Understanding Peltier’s conviction, the events that took place at Pine Ridge and statements like these, it is unconscionable that your state would recognize Peltier for anything, let alone advertising to the public the sale of his paintings.

And, as an aside, there has been a long-standing challenge for Peltier to prove where any of that money has gone, along with his abject failure to document any of his alleged “tax deductible” charitable activities.[v] That part of his history has been an ongoing scam, and sadly the State of Washington appears to have also bought into it.

With all due respect I would urge you to thoroughly review the Peltier matter and remove his artwork from the Tumwater display.

I remain. “In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Sincerely,




Edward Woods

cc:
1-Hon. Bob Ferguson, AG, 1125 Washington St. SE #7, Olympia, WA 98501
1-Joel Sacks, Director, WSDL&I, P.O. Box 44000, Olympia, WA  98504-4000
1-Mr. Dusti Demarest, Executive Editor, The Olympian, 111 Bethel St. NE, Olympia, WA 98506
1-Leonard Peltier, USP Coleman 1, P.O. Box 1033, Coleman, FL 33521




[ii] The Myth of Leonard Peltier: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/myth.html
[iv] As reported by Peltier biographer, Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, p.552, referring to Joe Stuntz stealing Agent Coler’s FBI jacket from the trunk of his bullet-riddled Bureau vehicle.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

PELTIER: NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD. REALLY?

Dear Supporters:

Sorry, but there is no other way to broach this subject (again), but to call it exactly what it is.

(Actually, the foundation for this blog can be found in a previous blog, below, dated September 12, 2015, entitled, “The Letters.” That blog was the most important one of the previous six years and 124 entries. Please read that blog, and then continue.)

In a letter to President Obama dated October 7, 2015, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), consisting of “thousands of lawyers,” who have “been at the forefront of political struggles of ordinary people,” urges the President to grant Peltier clemency. (Footnote #1)

There are a number of serious issues with this letter, not the least of which is that Peltier is no “ordinary” person and is not a “political” prisoner.” (Fn: 2)

The author, and NLG president, Ms. Azadeh Shahshahani, a 2004 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, must have been absent on “corroboration & research” day because she regurgitates Peltier folklore that makes her and the NLG look, at a minimum, uninformed, but more so, foolish, by offering—quotes and facts —that have been repeatedly proven to be out-of-context fallacies. The kind Peltier and Peltierites adore.

It’s not difficult or requires digging too deeply to see what NLG is all about. Any organization that holds the likes of Wesley Cook in awe, to the point that he’s their “Jailhouse Lawyer Vice President,” is fundamentally clueless about crime and true justice. (Fn. 3)  The only thing missing from the brutal, cold-blooded murder of Philadelphia, Police Officer, Daniel Faulkner by Wesley Cook, aka Mumia Abu Jamal, was a video. (Fn. 4)

This is really a waste of time because it covers the same ground for the umpteenth time, but nevertheless, to prove the point to Ms. Shahshahani, TLG. (Jennifer Harbury, Cynthia K. Dunne, Bruce “I’ll take the Fifth” Ellison, ET. AL.. Fn: 5), here are some key points they conveniently overlook (e.g. ignore):

● ”…the concealment of a ballistics test reflecting his (Peltier’s) innocence:”

Innocence? Really? What about the October 1984 three-day evidentiary hearing (the ballistics hearing regarding the meaning of the October 2, 1975 teletype), where Peltier had a ballistics expert who was not even called as a witness and no contrary evidence was offered? (Fn: 6) And when the appeal went back to the Eighth Circuit (Judge Gerald Heaney, a member of that court, infra.), there was this priceless response; "When all is said and done, however, a few simple but very important facts remain. The casing introduced into evidence had in fact been extracted from the Wichita AR-15. This point was not disputed..." and, "The trial witnesses unanimously testified that there was only one AR-15 in the compound prior to the murders, that this weapon was used exclusively by Peltier and carried out by Peltier after the murders." (Fn: 7)
  
This had nothing to do with innocence…far from it…it reinforced Peltier’s guilt.

What part of “a few simple but very important facts remain” does Ms. Shahshahani fail to grasp? Apparently, all of them. Findings of fact are evidently (no pun intended)  elusive little details to the NLG as well.

● “The FBI used improper tactics in securing Peltier’s extradition from Canada and in otherwise investigating and trying the Peltier case” (quoting a 1991 letter from retired Eighth Circuit Court Judge, Gerald Heaney. Fn: 8).

            With all due respect to the late Judge Heaney, the Poor Bear/extradition matter was finally settled in 1999 in a letter from the Canadian Minister of Justice to U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno stating, "As I have indicated above, I have concluded that Mr. Peltier was lawfully extradited to the United States," and "That the record demonstrates that the case was fully considered by the courts and by the then Minister of Justice. There is no evidence that has come to light since then that would justify a conclusion that the decision of the Canadian courts and the Minister should be interfered with." (Fn: 9)

            Further, in that impassioned letter Ms. Shahshahani selectively quotes, Judge Heaney never suggested or implied that Peltier was innocent. To the contrary, he stated “No new evidence has been called to my attention which would cause me to change the conclusion reached in that case…” and "…the record persuades me that more than one person was involved in the shooting of the FBI agents. Again, this fact is not a legal justification for Peltier's actions, but is a mitigating circumstance."
(Fn. 10) (The logic of “more than one person” points to Dino Butler, Bob Robideau, and other AIM members from the camp along White Clay Creek.)

And, in a nationally televised “60-Minutes” segment, Steve Kroft asked if Peltier received a fair trial to which Judge Heaney replied, “I believe he got a fair trial. Not a perfect trial, but a fair trial.” (Fn. 11)

(Please watch this segment Ms. Shahshahani. If you don’t do any serious research take just fourteen minutes to hear the lies from Peltier and Robideau and Matthiessen, as a starter, concerning Peltier’s only real alibi that someone else did it, (Mr. X). This has been proven time and again to be a total fabrication. (Fn: 12)

            Finally, aside from receiving years of intense scrutiny upholding Peltier’s conviction, it was the same jurist that Ms. Shahshahani invokes on Peltier’s behalf, who, along with other Eighth Circuit judges in unanimous decisions, denied Peltier’s appeals four times (1978, 1984, 1986, 2002), based on the facts and the law. (Fn: 13)

● “Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned…”

Would it come as a surprise to Ms. Shahshahani that this gratuitous and oft repeated quote had—nothing—to do with Peltier’s guilt, conviction or sentence?  

This one comes from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 when Peltier filed a motion for a Writ of Habeas Corpus seeking immediate release on parole and challenged the record before the U.S. Parole Commission.

However, just prior to this rebuke, that Ms. Shahshahani apparently (maybe) overlooked, the same appellate court said:

"Previous federal court decisions provided the (Parole) Commission with ample facts to support its conviction that Peltier personally shot Agent Coler and Williams." And further, "While Mr. Peltier, asserts 'the Commission identified no plausible evidence that [he] shot the agents after they were incapacitated,' this statement is simply not true. The evidence linking Mr. Peltier to these crimes is enumerated above.” (Fn: 14)

● “…the prosecution admitted that it could not prove who actually shot the FBI agents or what participation he may have had in their deaths.”

Would it shock Ms. Shahshahani that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (yes, including Judge Heaney) had this to say about that alleged fact:

"Peltier's arguments fail because their underlying premises are fatally flawed. (A) The Government tried the case on the alternative theories; it asserted that Peltier personally killed the agents at point blank range, but that if he had not done so, then he was equally guilty of their murder as an aider and abettor." (Fn: 15)

What part of fatally flawed, equally guilty, or as an aider and abettor is a University of Michigan law school graduate unable to grasp?

Ms. Shahshahani’s/NLG’s letter is as fatally flawed as any belief that Peltier is innocent of cold-blooded murder. It is nothing more than unsubstantiated rehashing of tired and disproven Peltier rhetoric, myth and folklore.

Besides, Peltier has repeatedly admitted his own remorseless guilt in his unfiltered public statements: To Peter Matthiessen:  “I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and gave me a smile” (June 26, 1975, ITSOCH p. 552; while two dead and mutilated human beings lay at their feet). After thirty-five years, “And really if necessary I’d do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.” (2010), and after thirty-nine years, “I don’t regret any of this for a minute.” (2014). Responsible attorneys would admit that those are tough admissions to overcome, let alone justify when trying to argue someone’s alleged innocence.

Rest assured, Ms. Shahshahani, that the President, Attorney General and Pardon Attorney are well aware of these admissions.

A letter to President Obama based on the facts and history of Peltier’s conviction, and setting forth the arguments against clemency, can be found here: http://noparolepeltier.com/obama.pdf

But what of Peltier’s victims?

Ms. Shahshahani laments Peltier’s age, “deteriorating health and inability to protect himself in a maximum security prison” yet hasn’t the decency to even mention the names of Jack Coler and Ron Williams. She grieves over Peltier’s condition while shamelessly omitting that Coler and Williams were robbed, by Peltier, of their opportunity to age and share productive lives with their loved ones and friends. 

Ms. Shahshahani has been duped by the ongoing myth of Leonard Peltier. (Fn: 16)

Reaching out for a dialogue with Ms. Shahshahani would be as wasteful as the attempts to contact attorneys’ Jennifer Harbury and Cynthia Dunne. Their efforts are futile so there’s no need to try to educate those who’s ideology blinds them to the facts while no amount of reason can dissuade them.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

Footnotes:
3) NLG re Wesley Cook, aka Mumia Abu Jamal; http://www.nlg.org/national-campaigns
     See also, Peltier, McVeigh & Mumia, In Select Company: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#10
4) Police Officer Daniel Faulkner: http://danielfaulkner.com
6) The District Court decision for Ms. Shahshahani to peruse:
7) U.S. v. Peltier, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 800 F.2d 772, 21 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 1017, 1986; U.S. App. Decision, September 11, 1986: Sections: “The .223 Casing,” and “The AR-15.” http://noparolepeltier.com/800.html
8) Appellate Court Judge Gerald Heaney (1918 – 2010) was truly a member of America's Greatest Generation. At the outbreak of World War II, as a young lawyer, he could have avoided the heat of battle and probably used his legal talents in a safe stateside assignment. Instead, he sought a U.S. Army commission and became a young infantry officer participating in the D-Day invasion and several significant battles leading to the end of war in Europe. His courage can be neither denied nor ignored.
(This writer proudly shares a small part of Judge Heaney's background, having also graduated from the United States Army, Infantry Officer’s Candidate School, Ft. Benning, Georgia, although twenty-four years and several conflicts later.)
Judge Heaney was a jurist of impeccable reputation and experience. His character was irreproachable and unquestioned, and we know this, at an absolute minimum, because of several very specific examples from the Peltier case.
9) Canadian Minister of Justice A. Anne McLellan, to U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno dated October 12, 1999, available online at http://www.noparolepeltier.com/canadaletter.html
11) 60 Minutes, Steve Kroft, Judge Gerald Heaney (last accessed 10/14/15)
15) Eighth Circuit decision regarding Peltier’s “fatally flawed” argument: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/997.html

16) The myth of Leonard Peltier: http://noparolepeltier.com/myth.html

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

PELTIER: Meeting new friends? DENNIS BANKS


Dear Supporters:

My wonderful bride of forty-nine years reads the newspaper from cover to cover (clipping coupons as she goes), cutting out articles she knows I may have an interest in, and leaving them on the kitchen table so I can read them while having breakfast before leaving for work in the morning.

One recent notice she immediately flagged, “Native American Activist to visit area next week.” The short article announced that Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement would be leading a 3,600 mile walk across America from La Jolla, California to Washington, D.C. in 2016. The emphasis is to “find solutions to drug addiction, suicide and other forms of trauma,” and that “Every native family is affected by these issues. The goal of this walk is to rescue our people.”

The public was invited to meet him at a community center in Covington, Kentucky across the river from Cincinnati, from 6 to 8pm on Wednesday, September 23rd.

What an opportunity, I thought, and immediately started the mental preparation for what I believed would be another venture into enemy territory. I had to give careful consideration about what, if anything to say, and even what to wear.

The last time I was in “Peltier territory” was attending “An afternoon in Solidarity with Leonard Peltier,” hosted by the most bizarre collection of America-haters you can imagine, The Jericho Movement, on the lower east side of Manhattan. It was to be a discussion with Peltier’s then attorney, Barry Bachrach, and one other (I have personally despised since day-one), Bob Robideau (may he rest-in-peace…Not). I really wanted to challenge Mr. Bachrach on some facts but regretfully he didn’t make it and my brother and I had to endure Robideau. I had decided I would just listen and take notes for an update to the NPPA website. However, at one point after listening to Robideau’s line of B.S., and without thinking and with an involuntary and uncontrollable reflex, my hand shot up and I had to ask a question. By the time I got to the second question we were unceremoniously asked to leave. Anyone interested in what the Jericho Movement and their membership is all about, please do so. If they hate “AmeriKa” so much, try speaking up as they do, exercising their Constitutional rights in the process, in some other parts of the world. I’d be the first to contribute to the boat ride to take them all out of here. But the hypocrites won’t go; they know better.
(Footnote 1)

I needed to dress down for the occasion deciding on jeans and considered wearing a Free Leonard Peltier T-shirt that my brother gave me as a joke. I felt that was too much and didn’t want to provoke a heated discussion, or worse. After a lot of thought I settled on one of my favorites, “The original Founding Fathers” with the Presidents on Mt. Rushmore overshadowed by renowned Indian Chiefs. (Fn: 2) I felt that would be appropriate to send a message that I was aware and sympathetic to Native rights, culture and history, without overstating it. I took Peltier’s book Prison Writings and thought that having Dennis Banks’ autograph would be an interesting keepsake and NPPA blog discussion point.  

Leaving the office I joked with a few co-workers that even after fourteen years retired, no matter how I tried to dress-down, I still pretty much smelled like a Fed. They agreed. Heck, even my vanity license plate would be a dead giveaway.

Admittedly, the motivations to go were not altruistic. After all, AIM member Leonard Peltier cold-bloodedly murdered two of my fellow agents, neither of whom I had the privilege of knowing. However, I did want to attend with an open and receptive mind.

Arriving early I parked several blocks away and gave more consideration to how I would handle things and what to expect if the situation got ugly. Taking Peltier’s book with me now became a concern and even not wearing an unbuttoned black shirt over the Rushmore T-shirt. I wasn’t being paranoid, just only overly cautious knowing that I would stick out like a sore thumb and didn’t want to be in a situation that could go south quickly. I’ve had over fifteen years dealing with the likes of some wildly sycophantic Peltierites and know many of their twisted personalities. Ultimately, I left the book and shirt behind and took a few side streets and alleyways to the community center.

Walking into the room I was instantly struck by three things that caught my eye all at once; a sign-in sheet, Dennis Banks sitting at a table (with a Kenny Rogers beard, but unmistakable with this signature black bola adorned with white and colored beading), and to my shock, across from him, none other than Ward Churchill.

I sat at the same table, offered a greeting and handshake to Dennis Banks but couldn’t take my eyes off the disgraced Churchill. Churchill, the pariah of academia, the loudmouth Indian wannabe (the absolute worst kind) that branded Americans as “little Eichmann’s,” blaming us for 9/11 and was totally unapologetic about his personal attacks on this country. (Fn: 3). After a few minutes I settled down and realized that it just couldn’t be him. (Two hours later, at the end of the gathering, I tapped this fellow on the shoulder, smiled, and asked how many times he’s been told he resembles Ward Churchill. “A bunch” he replied. Poor guy.)

As more arrived, the total reached about forty and Dennis suggested moving the tables out of the way and forming a circle. The concept of a circle being significant to Native American culture, religious practices and thought. And that’s what we did, forming a circle of chairs with Dennis at the apex.   

Next to Dennis was a large and distinguished quintessential Native American, maybe in his mid-40s, dark skinned and prominent features with traditional long hair. As we were finishing the circle he caught my eye and gave me a knowing nod and a smile that I was certain was an acknowledgement and acceptance of my Founding Father’s T-shirt. I smiled back in appreciation. (Good choice, I thought.)

The organizers/moderators, Paul and a physician, Dr. Jeremy (didn’t catch his last name) were gracious hosts and during the discussion helped to share information and keep the flow of the discussions and conversations on track, which at one point became a challenge.

Paul introduced Dennis and suggested he speak about his visit and mission. Dennis offered that they begin by going around the room and having everyone in the circle introduce themselves. (Great! I recalled that’s just how it started back on the lower East Side with the Jericho Movement. It began with a global question to the audience, “Is anyone here a police officer or in law enforcement.” Since being retired I obviously wasn’t, but their suspicions were already raised while two strangers sat in their midst. Then, when asked, I simply stated I was doing research for a book; my brother said likewise).

The introductions began as everyone stated their full name, some giving more background than others, and when it got to me I said, “My name is Ed, I live in Cincinnati, my great-grandfather was a full-blood. I have been to Pine Ridge and understand the devastation on the Reservation and am interested in learning more about Dennis’ walk across America.” Which was all true. (Another hurdle passed).

Of course, I knew about Dennis Banks and Russell Means and AIM but within the several hundred pages of Editorial Essays and several years of Blogs on the No Parole Peltier website I’ve mentioned AIM but a few times, and then only in passing. AIM, although a factor, was irrelevant to the events of June 26, 1975 at Jumping Bull on Pine Ridge and the brutal murder of FBI Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. That was a singularly criminal act by Peltier and the others. I am not alone in recognizing it as such, and so have the courts. However, in preparation, I did visit YouTube and watched every Banks’ video. Some had surprisingly low viewer counts. I had heard the same Peltier rhetoric more times than I’d like to remember and Banks rattled on in many videos and interviews providing a rehash of the misinformation that’s been the bedrock of the Peltier myth and folklore for decades. There was nothing new or unexpected in the public statements Banks’ offered about Peltier.

Sitting there that evening I faced a real challenge. I needed to set aside all my personal feelings about Banks’ and Means and the devastation wrought by AIM in the 1970s and the connection that all those who participated in first attacking and severely wounding the agents and then the brutal murders, were all AIM members. I wanted not to go there but focus on the message Banks was bringing to this group. I was prepared, of course, to answer any of those Peltier questions but would be unable to stay focused unless I was able to leave my preconceived notions at the door. I had to keep fighting the urge and concentrate on the evening’s topic.

Dennis spoke for about a half-hour mentioning he had already made several walks across America and planned three more for 2016, 17 and 18. I was both surprised and impressed. Not an especially big man, but somewhat overweight and at 78 I felt that was an admirable undertaking. He would be walking with college students and supporters, staying at various supporters’ homes and participating in sweat lodges as he spread his message making his way to Washington, D.C.

He emphasized the scourge of addiction, beginning with marijuana, crack, meth and especially a growing heroin epidemic afflicting the young. This was one area I would have been prompted to offer a comment that recently two billion tax dollars had been earmarked for the support of Middle Eastern, especially Syrian, refugees. Certainly sympathetic to their plight, but I would rather see that money spent right here, starting with places like Pine Ridge and the inner cities of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Also, since 9/11 it’s no secret that precious government resources at all levels have been directed toward the terrorist threat at the expense of what once was the, War On Drugs.

Dennis mentioned other marches he had led, and for the only time that evening the name was mentioned; a “Peltier” march. That was it regarding Peltier and only one story that touched on AIM that surprisingly also lauded a former President.

He mentioned the take-over of the village of Wounded Knee in 1973. They (the government) wanted their land back, he said, but it was our land, so how could they take it back. Knowing the details of what’s been referred to as Wounded Knee II, and the utter destruction of the village, ancient artifacts, the horrible treatment of people who had been providing goods and services to the poor community for decades, not to mention the murder of civil rights worker Perry Robinson, and the strong belief of other bodies buried as a result of the AIM thugs; add in the AIM ordered murder of one of their own, Anna Mae Aquash, and it was hard not to begin to dismiss Banks on these issues.

Forty-five years ago a younger, stronger, Dennis Banks was a 70’s radical, who, along with co-founder, Russell Means, left a wake of destruction in their path when the stated goal of AIM was allegedly the betterment of their people and an awakening of the rest of America to Native rights and issues. Mostly it had the opposite effect. Means, in that famous photo of himself wrapped in the American flag was but an oxymoron. Means was a user of his native fame for his own enrichment. A better photo would have him wrapped in a cloak of hundred-dollar bills. In retrospect, Banks, it now seemed, AIM braggadocio aside, appeared to be the more humble of the two.

Banks said Richard Nixon was the best President ever because he’s the only one who gave land back to the Indians and that during WKII, the Justice Department went to Nixon and wanted to cover the village with “gasoline and light it and everyone there on fire.” (I suspected Banks was referring to napalming the village.) But, according to Banks, Nixon said, absolutely not. I felt the story was a total fabrication, but Banks did move on to other issues.

His talk was rambling and disjointed at times and when talking about the physical manifestations of drug addiction, not all that accurate, but speaking of that and the Native significance of respect for human life and adoration of Mother Earth and reverence to follow the Creator, his overall message was sincere and positive. And although segued into other topics, he did return to the central purpose of his visit and walk across America.

I was a little surprised to hear him say that this area (Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky) was one of the worst drug infested areas in the country. No one in the gathering objected, (a few grunted in agreement), but I found it considerably exaggerated seeing the utter turmoil of gang and drug violence in some of the major cities. After all, I lived here for nearly thirty years and although there are problems, the news reports are minor by comparison to places like Chicago and Baltimore, to name just a couple.

As Dennis spoke and responded to questions he exhibited a certain warmth and civility, not unlike a kindly grandfather, also with a sharp wit and noticeable sense of humor.

Those gathered that evening were an—eclectic—group. No captains of industry or highly successful individuals living the American dream, just everyday people, mostly, it appeared from some of their comments, struggling with life and even survival. One older couple (actually my age) told of three addicted adult children struggling and failing with rehabilitation. There was an anthropology student, whom Dennis singled out to make a point that those explorations, those bones, were the sacred remains of his ancestors and should remain untouched. A social worker told of the some forty deaths she experienced from the ravages of drug addiction and the lack of both courage of political leadership and a paucity of funding to help those most in need. Some spoke, with specifics, about the lack of rehabilitation options in northern Kentucky due in large part to a single source of hospital and medical support while just a few yards across the Ohio River there were multiple hospitals competing with one another offering more options to their residents.

One fellow, antsy in his chair, forced his opportunity to speak, jumped up and in the middle of the circle railed on, waving, gesturing as animated as anyone could imagine, spouting a philosophy that clearly made sense to him while repeatedly seeking acknowledgement and approval from Dennis. He went on for what felt like an interminable amount of time; maybe ten minutes that felt like an hour. His philosophic ranting, at least to me, made absolutely no sense and gave the impression, that since this was a gathering about drug abuse and its effects, seemed pretty much wired and probably would have continued for the rest of the evening if allowed. Gratefully, Dr. Jeremy, politely, as the apparent gentleman he was, offered that perhaps others had questions they wanted to ask Dennis. The speaker complied. I silently suspected that Paul and Dr. Jeremy were familiar with this individual.

Dennis related that he was raised on a Reservation and had to endure the trauma of Indian boarding schools designed to strip away his tribal identity. The mantra of those times was to kill the Indian and save the man. Dennis mentioned the broken treaties and the denigration of his culture and I believe, at one point, used the word, genocide. Was it really genocide? Perhaps not. According to noted historian, Stephen Ambrose, the consistent idea was to civilize the Indians, incorporate them into the community, to make them part of the melting pot. That it did not work, that it was foolish, conceited, even criminal, may be true, but that does not turn, (a then), well-meant program into genocide.  
  (Fn: 4)

However, retrospection has its own clarity and that’s perhaps an uncomplicated explanation from a 21st Century white man, even with Indian blood. The fact remains, I never had to live that experience, or with its consequences.

At the end Dennis offered that everyone stand so he could go around the circle and give each person a hug. A meaningful gesture I thought, being at once gracious and sincere. I had already regretted not bringing Peltier’s book because it would have been very easy to ask Dennis for an autograph. As he approached, we hugged. I offered a handshake, touched him on the shoulder and wished him success on his journey. He graciously accepted. I asked if he would mind a photo, and we posed together for a selfie.*
* * *
Having tried earnestly to set aside my feelings and bias against the murderous coward Leonard Peltier and the failure of AIM to contribute anything meaningful to the betterment of Native America, I saw Dennis Banks in a different light as a genuinely concerned native elder in his own way searching for solutions for the betterment of mankind in general and particularly his people. I had to show him the respect he deserved for that.

I walked away with the sense that I would benefit from having the opportunity to sit down with him, one-on-one, maybe over a beer, or more appropriately at a sweat lodge, share a peace pipe or the aromas of burning tobacco, and listen to his experiences, but also tell him of the things that Peltier has admitted over the years.

No, I don’t believe I could convince him of Peltier’s guilt but feel confident I could make him want to ask hard questions about what really happened that day at Jumping Bull and how Peltier has denigrated a proud Native American culture that, certainly, Dennis Banks holds closely to his soul.

Can’t say I made a friend that evening, perhaps so, but nevertheless, it was a positive experience.

However, I was glad I went and more so that it wasn’t tainted with anything Peltier.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

*The selfie, for obvious reasons, showing only Dennis.

Footnotes:
1) See Editorial Essay and footnote 2: http://noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#Robideau-NYC
2) Presidents Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt, Lincoln supplanted with Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Red Cloud.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

PELTIER: RECYCLING TRASH


Dear Supporters:

Really Leonard?

Peltier sends out messages periodically, mostly whining about needing your money (never admitting where it really goes), lamenting about his confinement and contemplating exactly “how” he will leave FCI Coleman, but now he’s reaching a delusional state.

Somehow, (but it is explainable), he thinks that his detractors and supporters have no memory. He thinks that they don’t, won’t or can’t remember the claims that began the Peltier myth way back when.

Recently he talked about “death squads” and has resurrected a fairy tale that has been disproven, as if bringing it up again is something new and unique. Not so.

“Prior to the firefight on the Pine Ridge Reservation on June 26,1975—an incident for which I have now served nearly 40 years in prison—some 60 people who were connected with a resurgence of our traditional spiritual practices for sovereignty were murdered or disappeared.”

Firefight? No firefight. Leonard was there and knows exactly how it started, as told to us by an eyewitness, the murdered FBI agent, Ron Williams. Those who heard him on the radio describing exactly what was happening, and even hearing him being shot, know precisely how it began. Firefight? No, an ambush, by cowardly pinning down two men in an open field is the accurate assessment.

Resurgence? Traditional “spiritual” practices?

Death squad? Now that’s close, and let’s include Peltier and the others from the AIM camp along White clay Creek.

Serving forty years. That’s accurate and his conviction has received more scrutiny than most inmates, and he’s still there. A “Concise History of Guilt” will answer that question. (Footnote 1)

Some 60 people? This (although the number has fluctuated, early on it was 56) has been floated by Peltier and his “committees” (there have been a number of those over the years—they have difficulty sticking with Peltier), but with even the slightest amount of effort can be proven to be the same exaggerated fabrication it was thirty-plus years ago. (Fn. 2)

Going back to May of 2000 nothing has changed to validate Petlier’s spurious and ludicrous claim…in summary:

Although Peltier may argue the outcome of some of these deaths, he cannot ignore that what he’s been alleging, is again, FALSE, and not backed by what actually occurred. The statistics are clearly evident and the reader can contemplate the following:

The 56 named deaths included:
Child abuse 3, Domestic Violence 4, Alcohol related 5, Robbery 2, Fights/personal disputes 14, Vehicular homicide 4, Accidental shooting 2, Health reasons 2, Suicide 1, Accidental 2, No record of death 1.

Of these 56 named deaths:
21 resulted in Federal convictions and/or trials, 1 resulted in a local conviction, 22 were investigated but did not result in convictions for a number of valid reasons, at least one investigation remains pending*, and 11 were not within the FBI's jurisdiction.

(*Of course, that was fifteen years ago and this one case has been solved; the brutal kidnapping, rape and murder of AIM activist Anna May Aquash. Her murder lies squarely at the doorstep of the American Indian Movement. Peltier included, as he stuck a gun in her mouth to make her confess to something she wasn’t. Fn: 3)

So, after “60 deaths” what’s next?

How about resurrecting Peltier’s biggest lie, the lie that supported his only alibi that—someone else did it. (Fn: 4) The notorious Mr.X and the infamous red pickup. Let’s not forget Robideau’s detailed description of Mr. X murdering the agents in Redford’s film, Incident at Oglala, and Peltier in the very next scene stating “This story is true.” Well it wasn’t then, and still isn’t. (Robert Redford was duped but apparently it doesn’t matter that Peltier made him the fool.) How is this a lie? Well, co-AIM-conspirator Dino Butler said so, publicly in 1995, the “Committee” through attorney Jennifer Harbury* admitted it in January 2001, “Mr. X has long been a controversial topic, by both supporters of Leonard Peltier and those who oppose his release.” (Really, Ms. Harbury? Not enough courage to call it what it really was? A lie. Fn: 5), and yet another admission by a longtime attorney just a few years ago. (Fn: 6) Supporters (Peltierites) should as Peltier the rhetorical question; Why was Mr. X and the red pickup never mentioned in his autobiography, Prison Writings.

Or how about digging up a long-time good one fostered by Peltier for about twenty-five years, claiming that a family was “caught in the crossfire?” They then reworded the famous Paragraph #5 after being called out on the issue with the facts…facts that included testimony of those who were there. (Fn: 7)

The previous NPPA Blog, “The Letters” revealed, without question, how low Peltier, and his attorneys will go to scrape for some semblance of sympathy for Peltier as he hallucinates about clemency. At this point clemency is about as much of a distant wish as parole had been. They’re both off the table.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

*Attorneys Jennifer Harbury and Cynthia K. Dunne have yet to respond to an NPPA request for a dialogue. We must then put these two in the same Peltier/AIM trashcan as Bruce “I’ll take the Fifth” Ellison.

Footnotes:
1) A concise history of guilt: http://noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#concise
2) See “Reign of Terror and Indian murders never investigated” section of: http://noparolepeltier.com/response.html#7
4) From A to Z, the lie of Mr. X:
6) Admission by Michael Kuzma:
7) Family caught in the crossfire: http://noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#13