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PELTIER: THE HEANEY FACTOR

Dear Supporters: In the roll top desk in my study is an 8x10 color photograph. It’s been there a long time. I don’t need it on ...

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