Tuesday, October 20, 2020

PELTIER: UP ON THE ROOF

Dear Supporters:


 


No, this doesn’t hearken back to the glory days of Motown and the 1962 hit by the Drifters. 

 

A recent article in the San Francisco News, an online bay area news source, described a large-scale statue of Leonard Peltier sitting, literally, up on the roof of the San Francisco Art Institute. 

 

The twelve-foot high redwood and steel likeness, created by an accomplished artist, is based on Peltier’s self-portrait sitting forlornly and contemplating his forty-four year existence in federal prison (Footnote 1). The article emphasized the significance of Native American challenges but at least did not repeat Peltier’s shallow claims of innocence (Fn. 2). The article mentioned that Peltier has been incarcerated since 1977 (actually since his arrest on February 6, 1976, after fleeing to Canada), but fails to mention his conviction for the brutal murder of two already wounded FBI Agents, nor the initial unprovoked attack on the Agents by Peltier and other American Indian Movement members.

 

The Peltier effigy is deliberately placed to “gaze across the bay to Alcatraz, a pivotal place for the American Indian Movement.” (With no insignificant sense of irony Peltier did not participate in the seminal AIM event, the occupation of Alcatraz in 1969. Peltier also missed the takeover and destruction of the Pine Ridge village of Wounded Knee in 1973. Peltier was in jail at the time. However, he did participate in the “Trail of Broken Treaties” and the ransacking of the Washington, D.C. Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in 1972, and of course, the murder of two FBI Agents on June 26, 1975 on the Jumping Bull farm.)

 

Peltier is facing in the wrong direction.

 

Looking almost due North toward Alcatraz, he should instead be turned to the south-southeast facing Lompoc, California, and its federal prison. On July 20, 1979 Peltier was involved in an armed escape where guards were taken under fire. Captured five days later he received an additional seven years added to his consecutive life sentences.

 

According to the article the statue has removable feet that have travelled around the country and supporters have stood on the feet to show solidarity. This may be a metaphor to symbolically walk in Peltier’s shoes as Peltier, undoubtedly, wishes he could walk-back from the carnage at Jumping Bull and that he had taken a different path. One likely path could have been his artistic interests that were frustrated after being turned down for a Santa Fe art school scholarship. He lamented later that “I often wonder what my life would have been like if I’d have just gotten that scholarship” (Prison Writings, p.85). Peltier, perhaps another Rigo 23, would not be in the situation or the subject of discussion he finds himself in today.  

 

The article pointed out that at times the effigy has not been well received as when it was on display at the American University in Washington, D.C. and was “censored and taken down after complaints from the president of the FBI Agent’s Association.” 

 

The FBIAA is an organization dedicated to providing support and advocacy to active and former FBI Agents and challenged American University’s apparent endorsement, using public space, of Peltier’s criminal actions (Fn. 3). Further, that facts regarding Peltier’s conviction were being ignored by the university including, “through well-over a dozen appeals, twice reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, every aspect of Peltier’s trial has been reviewed in minute detail and his conviction and sentence has been upheld in every instance” (Fn. 4). The manner in which Agents’ Coler and Williams were murdered was seen as an affront to law enforcement across the country as the FBIAA sought to continue to honor the sacrifice in the line-of-duty of two of their own.

 

American University thought better of its decision to display the effigy and stated, in part:

 

With the benefit of a fuller review, we have made a decision to remove the piece from this location.  The subject matter and placement of the piece improperly suggested that American University has assumed an advocacy position of clemency for Mr. Peltier, when no such institutional position has been taken.

 

            The San Francisco News states in their “Declaration of Principles,” that, “we promise,” “To allow commentary writers the freedom to express their opinions and views without interruption, censorship, or persuasion.”

 

Having pointed that out, this blog will be sent to the San Francisco News in the hope they will permit a response to the article, “Artist Rigo 23 Unveils New Statue In Honor Of Leonard Peltier.”

 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

 

Footnotes:

1) San Francisco News article: https://www.thesfnews.com/artist-rigo-23-unveils-new-statue-in-honor-of-leonard-peltier/68470

2) Anyone who has even a cursory understanding of the history of the unconscionable treatment of First Americans cannot ignore, or deny, that their treatment by the U.S. Government was tantamount to genocide. Correcting those wrongs: the broken treaties, the banishing to remote Reservations and the cultural dismemberment of a proud Native heritage cannot be ignored. Without question it is a complicated history that even God cannot change. In contrast, however, the events at Pine Ridge on June 26, 1975 by Peltier and others was a purely wanton criminal act.

3) FBIAA press release, December 29, 2016: https://fbiaa.org/fbiaa-press-releases-list/fbi-agents-association-calls-american-university-remove-leonard-peltier

4) Significant legal decisions re the conviction of Leonard Peltier:

http://www.noparolepeltier.com/court.html

A concise history of guilt:

http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#concise

Important reminders re Peltier’s conviction and guilt:

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2018/03/peltier-important-reminders.html

Monday, September 28, 2020

PELTIER: PODCAST PART II

Dear Supporters:

 

(Please feel free to forward this blog.)

 

‘More of the same with some added misinformation’

 

What follows is a continuation of a review from the “Leonard Peltier Political Prisoner Podcast.”  (Footnote 1)

 

The podcast is pure boilerplate that originated in 1977 with the initial Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC), which morphed into the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC) that shape shifted into the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC). Along the way there were several large time lapses where the Peltier message was dormant or almost nonexistent. 

 

The LPDC began its mission hyping their primary sources: Matthiessen’s In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (Spirit), Redford’s (Michael Apted’s) Incident at Oglala (Incident), Peltier’s autobiography Prison Writings, and countless subsequent public statements by the ‘committees,’ Peltier, other protagonists and Peltierites. 

 

Even with all the later legal history the foundation of the Peltier Myth and Folklore began to grow, yet at the same time dissembled as the facts and bogus allegations were placed under the proverbial microscope and systematically discredited.

 

The Podcast simply repackages the same tired and skewed rhetoric and ignores the over forty-year history of the Peltier saga.

 

In the meantime the No Parole Peltier Association (NPPA) has addressed every spurious allegation made by the various ‘committees,’ Peltier and others, through a series of over 70 Editorial Essays and over 225 Blogs that provided references to primary and relevant sources dispelling the underpinning of the Peltier illusion.

 

This further review of the podcast will be limited to the more egregious claims or unsupported new assertions to the Peltier narrative. (This will avoid repeating—once again—lengthy research but instead provide those references in relevant footnotes.)

 

* * *

Season 1, Episode 2, June 26, 2020:


(Stated by a Peltier attorney): “Even people who want to support Leonard talk about this in the wrong way because everyone’s confused. ‘You know, he was convicted of shooting and killing two FBI agents.’ No he wasn’t. By the time it comes out that the ballistics test—what we’d refer to as exculpatory evidence—was hidden; it’s a Brady violation. It should be over.”

 

It is baffling to believe that after all these years Peltier, the committees, supporters and now podcasters have read the entire Peltier legal history. And if they did, why is there a continuing misrepresentation of the facts and issues that have long been addressed and resolved? Unless, of course, it’s for a transparent agenda.

 

No he wasn’t!” 

 

Really?  

 

            “…Peltier was tried by a jury, was convicted on both counts (§§ 2, 1111 and 1114; Aiding and Abetting and Murder) and was sentenced to life imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run consecutively.” “Secondly, the direct and circumstantial evidence of Peltier’s guilt was strong…” “The judgment of conviction is affirmed.”(See, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit {8th CoA}, September 14, 1978; Direct Appeal showing no Brady violation. {This court statement is restated in many subsequent decisions}.) (Fn. 2)

 

It’s a Brady violation!” 

 

Well no, actually it wasn’t.

 

Referencing a prior decision:“We then held that the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find Peltier responsible for the murders.” “There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been 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.”(8th CoA, September 11, 1986)

 

“…the ballistics test.”  

 

This falls under the dead-horse theory, or more accurately the matter of illusory truth as the myth purveyors believe a false narrative after nearly endless repetition.  Peltierites are yet to comprehend that the October 2, 1975 FBI Laboratory Teletype (the ballistics evidence) has been resolved and cannot mutate into anything else. 

 

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.” (8th CoA, September 11, 1986. See also http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com Section 2)

 

Nevertheless, one podcast detail does have a ring of truth among Peltier supporters, “because everyone’s confused.”  That is, they do not want to be confused by the facts. 

 

* * *

Why Mr. X cannot be resurrected or altered

 

The narrators sought to provide context and background, albeit with a liberal quantity of editorializing without documentation. As well they should regarding the Peltier matter and the 1973 – 1975 period on Pine Ridge. (The podcast mentioned Angie Long Visitor, who will be discussed later.) (Fn. 3)


However, the Podcast rather quickly segues into the legacy of the phantom protagonist, the infamous Mr. X: The individual who, according to legend and Bob Robideau, murdered the agents and drove off in the infamous red pickup. This fable was detailed for about six minutes by Robideau in Redford’s Incident at Oglala. (Incident, by the way, was certainly not a ‘documentary’ as the podcast asserts, but simply a screenplay of Matthiessen’s book.) Following Robideau, as the podcast correctly recounts, is Leonard Peltier gazing forlornly into the camera; “This story is true!” Well, it wasn’t, not then or ever. Peltier was accurate though that it was a “story,” but a story that was publically refuted as a falsehood by another protagonist, Dino Butler in 1995, and even publically admitting that Mr. X was a lie by one of Peltier’s own attorneys. (Fn. 4)

 

(Much has been written exposing the fallacies of the Mr. X fable. Fn. 5)

 

In a borderline effort to blaze new ground in the Peltier myth the narrator offers this:

 

“There’s a lot more to the Mr. X story. In fact, we may dedicate an entire episode to him: who he is, or as Jean Roach just alluded to, whether he exists or not. But for now, it’s much less important to prove that Mr. X killed the agents, and much more important to show that Leonard was, quite, literally, framed by the FBI.”

 

What are the podcasters trying to do?  Minimize, soft sell, ‘delete,’ or pretend that in some perverse way Mr. X was a distraction to deceptively spin in some other direction? 

 

Not a chance. No matter what the follow-up podcasts may offer, this is a documented and provable lie that Peltier and his supporters must live with.

 

And why is that?

 

Because, it was Peltier’s only real alibi for nearly two decades.

 

These are just some of the explanations that are just too obvious to ignore:

 

1) An innocent man would not have to invent a fictitious killer or alibi. “This story is true,” he asserted. A simple truth would be easily remembered and repeated. If he didn’t lie he would never have to remember anything else or make up other fictions; and there were many others over the years.

 

2) None of Peltier’s attorneys would touch this fantasy because they couldn’t defend it. They knew better because it would not pass the smell test.

 

3) Peter Matthiessen, who wrote about and even interviewed the fully disguised Mr. X, didn’t even believe it and characterized Bob Robideau as having a “lidded ex-con look that reveals nothing” and that “He (Robideau) gives the impression of bare honesty even when to protect others he is not telling the truth; that you suspect he may be lying does not bother him (Spirit p. 547).

 

            Matthiessen, to his credit, offers the following which provides a great deal of context to the unprovoked attack on Agents Coler and Williams and the falsity of Mr. X: “…if there is another persuasive explanation of the location and position of their cars, I cannot find it. (Spirit p. 544) 

 

4) Redford himself bought into the Mr. X fantasy by including it in Incident, but even years later when the lie was evident, he ignored the fact that he had been conned by Peltier. So much for Hollywood credibility.

 

5) Peltier, in Prison Writings offered many outrageous claims nurturing his feigned innocence, but what he never recounted in his autobiography was his legacy alibi, Mr. X. Wonder why? 

 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

 

Footnotes:

1. http://leonard.buzzsprout.com The podcast is well organized and presented. The podcast team obviously put a lot of time and energy into their collective passion and cause. Providing a transcript of the podcasts is an efficient feature. (The original NPPA intent was to summarize all the podcasts in one blog, however, there was too much material to challenge and future blogs may address each podcast separately. See Blog re Season One, Episode Seven: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2020/09/peltier-podcast.html)

2. Peltier legal history and decisions: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/court.html

Peltier: Important reminders:

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2018/03/peltier-important-reminders.html

3) (No one with any understanding of the treatment of First Americans can, or should, dispute their horrible treatment by the government. From the very beginning of the NPPA and its website, on the homepage since April 30, 2000, is a statement regarding ‘Correcting the Wrongs of the Past.’ All the history must be acknowledged. The broken treaties, the early belief that one needed to kill the Indian to save the man and events like the Indian Removal Act of 1830 that resulted in Native Americans being forced from their homelands, and the infamous Trail of Tears. But we should not forget either that before the Europeans landed and settlers steadily pushed westward that this continent was not a Valhalla. There was a great deal of Indian on Indian turmoil as stronger, more aggressive tribes killed, captured and enslaved weaker Nations. As dreadful as the Trail of Tears was, unarguably a stain on American history, the Cherokee left the south for Indian Country bringing with them their own black slaves. We simply cannot forget, ignore or erase any of our collective history. We cannot, or should not, turn back the historical clock but endeavor to understand the errors of the past and strive not to repeat them. )

4) Peltier attorney Michael Kuzma admits the lie of Mr. X:

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2012/12/peltier-kuzma-closes-circle-much-more.html (It should also be noted that early on the LPDC tried to back away from the Mr. X. fallacy; that quote is available.)

5) Mr. X, the Movie: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/movie.html

    Mr. X, The Interview: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/interview.html

    Mr. X, The Lie: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/lie.html

    Really? Mr. X is back? http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2019/09/peltier-really-mr-x-is-back.html

    Really? Mr. X is back, Part II: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2019/10/peltier-really-mr-x-is-back-part-ii.html

6) There are many other falsehoods from Peltier that have been repeatedly addressed. To list just a few; the phony ‘Sanctioned Memo,’ that the Agents were deliberately set up by the government, that Jumping Bull was surrounded by hundreds of police and SWAT teams, that a family was caught in the cross fire, that the Agents’ came onto Jumping Bull firing their weaons, etc., etc. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

PELTIER & THE PODCAST

                            September 12, 1944*


Dear Supporters:

 

(Please feel free to forward this blog.)

 

Peltier has been the subject of a recent series of podcasts claiming he is the “longest- serving political prisoner” in American history. The fallacy of Peltier’s self-proclaimed notoriety and promotion by the podcast is easily dismissed along with years of myth and folklore. The murders had nothing to do with politics or political activities. There were no ‘political issues’ at Jumping Bull; only the criminal acts by Peltier and other AIM cowards.

 

To be absolutely clear, this is not an attack on the people running the podcast. They are dedicated and passionately support their cause. However, this is a criticism of providing disinformation to Peltier supporters and the general public. They deserve the truth. If the podcasters have issues with Peltier’s conviction then they can continue to challenge it. Nevertheless, they are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

 

Responses to allegations from the podcast are readily available and need not be repeated yet again, but only now to address just a few of the erroneous comments made in the last segment of the first season and how simple and straightforward are the explanations to discredit Peltier’s and the podcast’s claims:

 

The following quote from the podcast cannot go unchallenged. This is beyond most previous Peltier fabrications and is devoid of any relation to the record and facts. It is not known whether the narrator is repeating what their attorney claimed, or has embellished the truth. In either case these claims are fatally flawed and if offered as facts, they are illusory. 

 

The podcast narrator made the following statement:

 

But here’s a quick primer on why (name omitted) believes that the federal government essentially framed Leonard. Leonard was convicted of murdering FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams in April 1977 largely on two pieces of evidence; a sworn affidavit of a woman named Myrtle Poor Bear claiming that she saw Peltier execute the agents and the testimony of an FBI ballistics specialist who performed tests on a .223 shell found near the agents’ vehicle. To the second point first, Leonard had access to an AR-15 which fired the .223 round, but the gun had suffered serious damage in a fire. It was impossible, the FBI’s expert testified, to test the weapon’s firing pin. However, he was able to analyze the weapon’s mechanism that discharged the spent casings. Markings on the shell found at the scene, the specialists alleged, could have only been ejected from Leonard’s rifle. Twenty-three years later though a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the ballistics expert had lied on the stand. He had in fact had been able to test the firing pin, and the impressions didn’t match Peltier’s gun. 

 

Now to the affidavit: Myrtle Poor Bear signed an affidavit claiming she’d been on the Jumping Bull ranch on June 26th1975 and had seen Leonard kill the agents. But by the time Leonard’s trial was scheduled to begin she reversed her story and began to claim publically that the FBI had pressured her into inventing her eyewitness account, but when she attempted to correct her statement Judge Paul Benson barred her, quote, “on grounds of mental incompetence.”

 

1) Myrtle Poor Bear

 

It should be no surprise that Poor Bear never testified, either at Peltier’s trial or during his extradition from Canada. 

 

After a thorough review of Peltier’s extradition, the Canadian Minister of Justice stated that the three Poor Bear affidavits, along with other submissions by Peltier’s attorneys had been considered by the Ministry of Justice and the Canadian Courts. The Canadian Minister of Justice A. Anne McLellan wrote to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno; “As I have indicated above, I have concluded that Mr. Peltier was lawfully extradited to the United States. 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.”(Footnote 1)

 

Further, claiming that Judge Paul Benson barred Poor Bear’s testimony at Peltier’s trial demonstrates either a fundamental unawareness of the facts or yet another effort to promote Peltier misinformation. This cannot be casually dismissed as an inadvertent misreading, a misinterpretation of the facts, or a lack of understanding of the trial and appellate record. The narrator’s statement is explicit and clearly given; there is no confusion on the points offered.  

 

So what really happened regarding Poor Bear?

 

It was not Judge Benson but Leonard Peltier, through his attorney, who threw Poor Bear under the proverbial bus.

 

From the 8thCircuit Court of Appeals, quoting the trial record:

 

Indeed, defense counsel, anticipating that she would be called as a witness for the government, described her in his opening statement as a “witness whose {F.2d 333} mental imbalance is so gross as to render her testimony unbelievable.” (Fn. 2) 

 

It was Peltier’s attorney John Lowe, not Judge Benson who chose to eliminate Poor Bear as a potential witness. (A curious but irrelevant question at this late stage is why they decided to do so.)

 

2) The .223 shell casing vis-à-vis the murder weapon; Peltier’s (the ‘Wichita’) 

AR-15:

 

The issue here relates to an October 2, 1975 FBI Laboratory Teletypethat Peltier later received under the Freedom of Information Act. The narrator erroneous claims that an FBI ballistics expert “lied” and that he had “in fact been able to test the firing pin and the impressions didn’t match Peltier’s gun.”  These “in fact” claims are false. 

 

In order for the podcast to have even a shred of credibility on this point, what follows is a review of the chronology of the crucial legal history of the shell casing and the 1975 Teletype.

 

    After receiving the October 2, 1975 Teletype Peltier appealed to the District Court which denied his motion noting an October 31, 1975 FBI Laboratory ‘Report’ (already in evidence) and concluded, in part, “Peltier’s allegation that Hodge gave perjured testimony is a clear misstatement of the record and is obviously without substance or materiality.” Peltier appealed the District Court denial to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, (It is vital that the narrator and podcast team not lose sight of the role of Judge Gerald Heaney during Peltier’s appeals, and thereafter.) After a review concerning issues related to the Brady legal test, the Court of Appeals decided to “…remand to the district court for an evidentiary hearing.” During October 1-3, 1984 an evidentiary (ballistics) hearing was held by the District Court. After lengthy testimony and review of the facts the Court concluded, in part, “On the basis of the foregoing, it is clear the October 2, 1975 Teletype does not evince perjured testimony.” Peltier again appealed this decision to the 8thCircuit. In another lengthy decision, the Court of Appeals denied Peltier’s appeal based on the law that Peltier had not proven a Constitutional violation of Brady v. Maryland or U.S. v. Bagley and noted, most significantly, as a finding of fact; “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 it’s own ballistics expert, it offered no contrary evidence. Peltier raises general questions regarding the handling and examination of the .223 casing and the Wichita AR-15, but does not make specific allegations of tampering.” (Fn. 3) 

 

The narrator made an utterly unsupported statement: “He had in fact had been able to test the firing pin, and the impressions didn’t match Peltier’s gun.”

 

Nowhere within the perhaps thousands of pages of transcripts, motions and decisions in the Peltier case is there even a hint or suggestion (except for an allegation by Peltier) that Peltier’s ‘Wichita AR-15’ had a successful firing pin test. A firing pin test was not possible because of its smooth characteristics and thus the extractor markings on the .223 shell casing were the relevant and probative evidence. “He (FBI firearms examiner Hodge) was not able to reach either a positive or negative conclusion based upon a comparison of the firing pin impression on Q#2628 and the Wichita AR-15 exemplars, because he was not able to identify a sufficient number of characteristics in the firing pin impressions left on the exemplars.” For the podcast narrator to claim this was “in fact” not the case, abandons the very provable facts and obvious truth.

 

3) “…the sixty-some Aim activists and supporters killed on Pine Ridge in the 1970s.”

 

            This has been a familiar refrain by Peltier and his supporters. An early claim (2000 and before) by the prior Leonard Peltier Defense Committee stated, “Yet these deaths were never adequately investigated and no prosecutions were brought.” The facts, however, tell a different story: 

 

Of the then 56 named deaths, 21 resulted in federal convictions, 22 were declined prosecution by the U.S. Attorney, by ‘No-Bill’ after presentation to a Grand Jury, insufficient evidence or no proof of a crime, 1 resulted in local prosecution, 11 deaths were not within FBI jurisdiction and ‘one’ (at that time) remained unsolved.

 

Fifty-six of the named deaths included: child abuse 3, domestic violence 4, alcohol- related 5, robbery 2, fights/personal disputes 14, vehicular homicide 4, accidental shootings 2, health issues 2, suicide 1, accidental 2, no record of death 1. (Fn. 4)

 

However, that ‘one unsolved death’ was Anna Mae Aquash, the AIM member suspected of being an FBI informant. She was the one who the brave warrior, Leonard Peltier put a gun to her head to make her confess. If there is any doubt about this, just ask Anna Mae’s daughters. Anna Mae was not an informant but a loyal AIM activist who was nonetheless kidnapped, raped, murdered and dumped in a ravine. However, nearly three decades later two AIM members were convicted for her AIM ordered murder. 

 

* * *

 

Over the past twenty years every allegation contesting Peltier’s conviction has been addressed using primary and relevant sources; the trial transcript, the lengthy appellate process and decisions, Matthiessen’s In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Redford’s Incident at Oglala, statements by Peltier’s many ‘committees,’ and most certainly Prison Writings and Peltier’s public statements. Taken as a whole, these resources leave no doubt as to Peltier’s valid conviction and remorseless guilt.

 

The podcast is just a further sad, bordering on shameless, example of how Peltier and others have ignored, albeit deliberately it appears, the facts of his conviction. The podcast, with its glaring faults will be added to the dustbin of prior decades of Peltier myth and folklore. Peltier’s guilt is unmistakable as he denigrates the memory and sacrifice of two young men killed in the line-of-duty as well as what is otherwise a proud and noble Native heritage.

 

As the late Judge Gerald Heaney publicly stated, (even after writing letters essentially supporting Peltier’s release, but never suggesting by any means that Peltier was innocent), “Peltier got a fair trial, not a perfect trial, but a fair one.

 

On June 26, 1975 Leonard Peltier took a step from which there was no turning back.

 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

 

Footnotes:

1) Canadian Minister of Justice letter, October 12, 1994; http://www.noparolepeltier.com/canadaletter.html

2) http://www.noparolepeltier.com/585.html(see II.B.2.i)

3)-Peltier’s 12/30/82 appeal to the District Court, http://www.noparolepeltier.com/553_890.html

 -Court of Appeals orders that an evidentiary (ballistics) hearing be held in the District court, http://www.noparolepeltier.com/731.html

-District Court evidentiary (ballistics) hearing, http://www.noparolepeltier.com/609.html

-Court of Appeals final decision, http://www.noparolepeltier.com/800.html

4) http://www.noparolepeltier.com/response.html#7 (Response to murders claimed or alleged on Pine Ridge. July 2000)

http://www.noparolepeltier.com/usapressrelease.pdf (Mention of Arlo Looking Cloud and Peltier’s ‘M-F’ statement.}

 

*The date should be apparent. As a matter of full disclosure, this writer did not listen to the entire series, only the final episode of season one anticipating what Peltier may have said during a phone call with the narrator. However, Peltier mostly talked about health issues. As we know, Jack and Ron never had the chance to face the usual and expected infirmities of the aging process.

 

            Previous Blog: http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com

            Peltier & November 3, 2020 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

PELTIER & NOVEMBER 3, 2020

Dear Supporters:

 

Peltier sits in his cell at USP Coleman and counts the days. Well probably, counting the hours, minutes and maybe even the seconds until the end of the day of the first Tuesday in November.

 

Peltier knows that a pardon, clemency, parole, the Cares or First Step Acts are off the table. As long as there is a Trump administration an unrepentant convicted double-murderer will not see the light of day. Peltier will continue to serve the remainder of his consecutive life sentences along with the seven additional consecutive years for an armed escape from Lompoc penitentiary.

 

The unprovoked attack (there was an eyewitness*)and brutal slaughter of two already wounded and defenseless human beings does not place Peltier in the sympathetic category deserving of forgiveness or compassion. Among many other facts, there are a few critical points in Peltier’s long appellate history that need to be noted.** 

 

Peltier likely prays daily to his Creator that candidates Biden and Harris will be elected. Peltier may have visions of another day, February 6, 2021 marking his forty-fifth year of incarceration and may imagine being freed on that arguably significant date. With a change of administration the possibility of a free Peltier is stronger now than ever before, notwithstanding the fact that even President Obama denied clemency. Peltier may hope to leave Coleman to waiting throngs of supporters welcoming him with drums, chants and open arms. Well, he can dream anyway. 

 

After forty-five years in prison is that enough for his crimes? We believe not.

 

On September 12thPeltier will be seventy-six. Should he be relocated closer to his native territory? Perhaps, but that is up to the Bureau of Prisons.

 

Whatever the outcome of November 3rd, Peltier will continue, whether in or out of Coleman, the fabrications he has honed over the past decades, ignoring the facts, offering unfounded scenarios of what happened on June 26, 1975 and continuing to peddle the same tired myth and folklore. Although Peltier has made it clear that he does not consider himself an American citizen, he would certainly covet the Constitutional benefit of a pardon.

 

If, by chance, Peltier is free in 2021, there are two issues that will not end.

 

Peltier’s fund raising through alleged and largely undocumented philanthropic activates has remained a dark secret. Peltier has forgone any pretense of financial clarity or openness, which was even demanded by his own support committee and surely noticed by the I.R.S. But those efforts may morph into different forums like stumping for speaking fees to continue spreading skewed versions of the facts and the incoherent premise of being an alleged political prisoner. Peltier making money from the vicious murder of two human beings is abhorrent and unacceptable.

 

Peltier profiting from the brutal slaying of FBI Agents’ Coler and Williams will be monitored and any lies and fabrications challenged in the public forum.  Peltier, a public figure, will still be held to task for any misstatements of the truth. 

 

However, if Peltier returns to the Turtle Mountain Reservation and lives his remaining years in quiet solitude with family and friends, then so be it.

 

If that is the final outcome, we will nevertheless continue to honor the memory and sacrifice in the line-of-duty of Special Agents Jack R. Cole and Ronald A. Williams.

 

May they rest in peace.

 

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”

Ed Woods

 

* Agent Williams was overheard on the FBI radio describing exactly what was happening, an unprovoked attack. Those listening heard Ron as he was shot.

** http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2018/03/peltier-important-reminders.html

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozhEumzwgKA

P.S.

There is a recent podcast series touting Peltier as the “longest serving political prisoner." The narrator, while well intentioned, blindly repeats the same scripted, tired and disproven Peltier rhetoric, the same decades-long myth and folklore. All the issues raised by the podcast have been addressed and resolved and provable if they took the time to understand and explore Peltier’s lengthy appellate history. Repeating old allegations serves no purpose and does nothing to support the notion of Peltier’s feigned innocence. As to the matter of being a political prisoner, the narrator fails to understand a simple premise: If Peltier is really a political prisoner it would strongly suggest that June 26, 1975 was not a random over-reaction by Peltier and other AIM members, but that FBI Agents’ Coler and Williams were lured onto Jumping Bull to be assassinated. But that is simply not the case.

Friday, July 31, 2020

END OF WATCH: FBI AGENT RONALD WILLIAMS

Special Agent Ronald A. Williams, July 30, 1947 – June 26, 1975. Rest in Peace.

 

Dear Ron:

 

Today you would be turning seventy-three.

 

Looking down on everything that is happening around us you must wonder why and how things seem to have become so out of control. A nation horribly divided, lawlessness, rioting and destruction and respect for the rule of law and law-enforcement at a bewildering low point.

 

Those, like you and your partner, Jack Coler, who took an oath to uphold and enforce the laws of this nation, and the brave men and women in Blue who put themselves in harms way every day to protect its citizens are under relentless attack. A festering anarchy, fueled by ignorance, intolerance and disrespect for common decency and civility seems to be growing. All of this fueled from the disruption caused by a worldwide pandemic.*

 

Birthdays are an earthly event as one day to the next we are simply just another year older. 

 

For us who remain, you are ageless. You are still the same vibrant, intelligent, dedicated and handsome young and proud FBI Agent that those who knew you personally still remember. To us, you are still that same wonderful person when your mortal birthdays stopped being counted.

 

Ron, as you can see, you and all the FBI Service Martyrs have not been, and never will be, forgotten. 

 

But for the actions of the cowards of Jumping Bull your productive life was cut short, while those remaining here deal with even the remote possibility of inmate #89637-132’s freedom, you have the omniscience and understanding to know that we will ensure justice prevails.**

 

Ron, I know we do not have to ask, but look after us as we remember you on this day.

 

“In the Spirit…

Ed

https://www.odmp.org

 http://www.noparolepeltier.com/meet.html

** Recently an ardent Peltier supporter offered the following observation regarding Peltier’s prison artwork and by inference, his character: I have spent my entire adult life in the art world and I can tell you that I have a clear window into who Leonard Peltier is as a human being.  What is expressed through a work of art cannot be faked.”


Well, yes it can. One would think that Peltier has mastered the art of not being branded as a fake when in fact he has succeeded in disguising who he really is by building a reputation upon a mountain of lies. One fabrication after another, incessantly repeated, has convinced some that he is innocent. All it takes is a little effort to counter the claims through which he has created the myth of innocence and shallow folklore: Folklore that can easily be countered with actual facts. Setting aside for a moment that for years—even admitting as much on film—that someone else, the infamous Mr. X, killed FBI Agents Coler and Williams, there is still so much more to easily dismantle the faux legend.  That lie—Peltier’s only real alibi—was put to rest by one of his own cowardly co-conspirators and even by his former ‘committee’ and one of his own attorneys. But his supporters want to forget this and avoid the obvious conclusion that an innocent person doesn’t have to lie about what actually happened. Just a casual review of his own autobiography, replete with easily disproven fabrications, bolsters the premise that Peltier is indeed faking it.  The window that the supporter is looking through isn’t really glass but perhaps just a mirror. Even recently, in response to a simple question about a significant detail of his own conviction, Peltier lied to the interviewer, and that lie was easily laid bare. 

http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2020/07/peltier-new-observations-ballistics.html

(This blog was was scheduled to be posted on July 30th but due to a server issue was published on July 31st.)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

PELTIER: NEW OBSERVATIONS & BALLISTICS

Dear Supporters:

A recent article entitled “The Pine Ridge Reservation, Prisoner of War Camp #344” on the website for the publication, New Observations, referenced Leonard Peltier and his artwork. (Footnote 1)

The article covered several topics and lauds Peltier’s artwork for its representation of Native life and culture, joy and despair. It also takes a giant leap of faith presuming that Peltier can stand beside the likes of “Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and others who has inspired us to strive to become our best selves.” However, this was preceded with a factually incorrect statement that only serves to perpetuate Peltier’s long-standing myth and folklore. 

The article states:

Ballistic evidence that proves Leonard Peltier’s gun was not used in the death of two FBI agents on Pine Ridge on June 26, 1975 was not allowed to be presented during his appeals trial. In any other country, he would have been released by now. (Emphasis added)

(The source of this statement comes from Peltier himself during an interview for New Observations. Response to a question about his conviction, Peltier erroneously claimed, “The prosecutors, with the assistance of the FBI, hid ballistics testing that showed the weapon prosecutors tried to link to me was not the weapon used to kill the agents.” This is just one of countless examples of Peltier either forgetting the history of his case or more likely offering another frequent fabrication that people will just accept it at face value or fail to thoroughly research Peltier’s claims.) 

(Actually, “any other country” ignores a stark reality. In many other countries, once ‘convicted,’ the likes of Leonard Peltier would be taken out back and shot. Here, however, he received due process and was well represented through multiple appeals.) 

The factual errors in the New Observations quote are:   

            -There was no proof of ballistics evidence that proved Peltier’s “gun” was not used in the murder of FBI Agents Coler and Williams.

            -It is incorrect to claim that ballistics evidence was not allowed to be presented.

            -The referenced “appeals trial” is inaccurate; it was a court-ordered hearing, not a trial. 

The ballistics issue relates to the crime scene and a .223 shell casing located in the trunk of Agent Coler’s government vehicle and Peltier’s rifle (referred to in appellate filings as the “Wichita AR-15”) that was recovered in a burned-out station wagon on a Kansas turnpike as AIM protagonist, Bob Robideau, and others, were making their escape from the carnage at Jumping Bull.

After his conviction, Peltier received government documents through the Freedom of Information Act. One of those documents was an October 2, 1975 FBI Laboratory Teletype regarding ballistics examination of Peltier’s AR-15 and the recovered shell casing.

Based on the belief that this Teletype represented “new evidence,” Peltier made a series of appeals claiming he was entitled to have his conviction vacated and was entitled to a new trial based on a Constitutional violation related to Brady v. Maryland (a prosecution discovery requirement). The appeals resulted in a three-day (ballistics) hearing.

The timeline of Peltier’s appeal on the ballistics evidence (Teletype) follows:

1) Peltier appealed to the District Court (the court in which he was tried and convicted). That court denied this motion adding, “As noted by the Court of Appealsthe evidence of Peltier’s guilt was strong.” This decision further reviewed the prior direct appeal decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated, as a finding of fact based on the complete trial record, that Peltier was the only one among the AIM members possessing an AR-15 and who had fled Pine ridge with that weapon.  The Government’s position was that the Teletype did not constitute new evidence and was not Brady material. (Fn. 2)

2) Peltier appealed the lower court’s denial to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that stated in part: “After a careful review of the decision below and the records on appeal, we find no error in the district court’s decision to dismiss without a hearing all allegations of purported prejudicial concealment by the government save the one example detailed in Peltier’s brief and specifically argued to this Court. That example concerns the validity of the FBI ballistics tests linking a .223 caliber bullet casing found during the investigation of the murders in questions to an AR-15 rifle attributed to Peltier on the day of the killings.”  “…we remand to the district court for an evidentiary hearing. At this hearing the court shall limit its consideration to any testimony of documentary evidence relevant to the meaning of the October 2, 1975, Teletype and its relation to the ballistics evidence introduced at Peltier’s trial.” (Fn. 3*)

3) October 1 – 3, 1984, Evidentiary (ballistics) hearing: The entire sequence of events concerning submissions (total of three) of hundreds of items of evidence to the FBI Laboratory and the timing of the examination of the “Wichita AR-15” and the .223 shell casing was explored at great length. The court concluded, as a finding of fact what the word “different” in the October 2, 1975 Teletype meant and denied Peltier’s  ¶2255 motion based on an alleged Brady violation. The court noted that “Defendant had an independent firearms expert present in the courtroom at the hearing, but he was not called to testify.” (Fn. 4)

4) Peltier appealed this denial to the Eighth Circuit. That court addressed prior filings and decisions, stating, “We then held that the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find Peltier responsible for the murders.” At considerable length the court reviewed the evidentiary issues relating to the Brady material and the application of Bagley (U.S. v. Bagley) legal standards. Regarding Brady, the court stated, “Constitutional error occurs, and the conviction must be reversed, only if the evidence is material in the sense that its suppression undermined confidence in the outcome of the trial.”  Although critical of some aspects of Peltier’s conviction, the court concluded, “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. 5*)   

Further, “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. That point was not disputed; although the defense had its own ballistics expert, it offered no contrary evidence.” (Fn. 6*)

* * *

The inaccurate statement by New Observations (sourced to Peltier) that there was evidence proving that Peltier’s weapon was not used in the murder of Agents’ Coler and Williams and that Peltier was not allowed to present such evidence is simply not true and only serves to reinforce the decades-long false narrative of innocence and manufactured myth and folklore surrounding Leonard Peltier. 

Contrary to Peltier’s claims, there were no Constitutional violations regarding his conviction. Had there been just one, any discussion regarding Peltier would have evaporated long ago. After numerous appeals by many competent attorneys Peltier’s conviction and sentence have stood the test of time. As well, over the years, Peltier’s public and written statements only serve to highlight his unrepentant guilt and where reality is finally showing itself.**

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

2) Title 28 U.S.C. ¶2255motion to the U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota:
 3) Appeal to the Eighth Circuit: remanded back to the District Court for an evidentiary hearing.*  http://www.noparolepeltier.com/731.html
4) Evidentiary (ballistics) hearing: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/609.html
5) Eighth Circuit Decision; denied re Brady (Brady v. Maryland) and Bagley (U.S. v. Bagley).*  http://www.noparolepeltier.com/800.html
6)  “                                                                      “ (“The .223 casing” section)
*Hon. Gerald Heaney (Rest in Peace), Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, played a crucial role in the Peltier saga. Notwithstanding his own personal feelings regarding Native American issues he made his decisions based on the law. In a televised interview Judge Heaney was asked if Peltier received a fair trial. His response, “He received a fair trial. Not a perfect trial, but a fair trial.” http://wwwnoparolepeltiercom-justice.blogspot.com/2017/01/peltier-judge-heaney-redux.html
**Peltier supporters must be constantly reminded of Peltier’s second biggest lie (the first of claims of innocence); the false alibi of the phantom Mr. X. Peltier claimed as much on film, “This story is true.” It wasn’t then or now, but only another fabrication that never existed. http://www.noparolepeltier.com/movie.html