Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PELTIER UPDATE: Worthington, Canada, Columbus Day, Belgium, and ...Users...

Dear Supporters:

October 27, 2012, The Toronto Sun, by Peter Worthington:

“The Americans, god bless them, are consumed with the concept of “freedom” — as are people who come from countries where individual liberties are repressed.” “But the world’s oppressed people, refugees, and those in danger in their birth countries, invariably look to America as salvation for their despair. It’s where they seek to go to for the sake of freedom.” “Without America being what it is, our world today would be a more perilous and dangerous place.” “I forget who said it, but United States is the kindliest country in the world.” “Can anyone imagine a world in which there is no United States?”

The Peter Worthington article was entitled “Why the U.S. Matters: Worthington.” Leading this editorial was a photo of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan standing in front of their campaign aircraft and included “…what happens in the U.S., and what that government decides, affects the world and can be of incalculable importance to free countries like Canada.” It seemingly was an endorsement of the Republican candidates and certainly America. Thank you for that.
So what’s the point you ask? What does this have to do with Peltier, Jumping Bull and the murder of two FBI agents?

Well, a lot actually. Not the least of which is that Canada, our longtime democratic ally and neighbor to the North, with their small but highly skilled and professional military has been side-by-side with American armed forces in every major conflict for freedom and democracy for many decades, especially those perilous days on the Normandy beaches and of late, Afghanistan.

But Peter also said in the same editorial “I think tolerance towards extremists that advocate terrorism is a form of insanity that threatens the 21st century.” He’s certainly astute on that point. But what of the 20th century extremists, homegrown in the U.S., that under the guise of helping correct wrongs of the past created more anguish for their people and accomplished nothing in the process except death and destruction and a sham of ideology? Yes, we’re talking about the American Indian Movement (AIM), and Leonard Peltier.

On the LPDOC website recently was another Worthington article entitled “Leonard Peltier’s Sole Crime Was His Heritage,” within which he provided some patently erroneous information.

So how can someone who apparently has such a broad worldview be so myopic and fact-less when it comes to one homicidal U.S. inmate? Peter regurgitates the Peltier boilerplate without one ounce of proof to support his, or Peltier’s claims.

It would take some time to respond to all of Peter’s claims so we’ll just debunk a few of them, a few that a serious journalist could verify himself if the blinders and the uncomfortable and unprofessional adoration were removed.

“60 Indians were murdered – with no arrests or convictions.” Try this for starters:, and by the way…there’s always Anna Mae Aquash for your consideration. A murder by AIM. (“which was once a more radical rival to the NCAI” you say. Really? Just radical? Discuss that concept with her family or the two in prison for her murder. Actually, the jury may still be out on that as well, considering the implications of Peltier putting a gun in her mouth and rampant suspicions that he at least had some tacit involvement).

Regarding Peltier’s extradition from Canada:

“Myrtle Poor Bear testified she witnessed Peltier shooting the agents…” Well, would it come as a surprise that at Peltier’s trial: “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.’” (, II.B.2.b.i, if you want to look it up.) So if she was that critical why were Peltier’s attorneys so afraid of her testimony?

But the final word comes from Peter’s own government:

In a four page letter dated October 12, 1999 (not ancient history, but recent to the Peltier debate), from A. Anne McLellan, Canadian Minister of Justice to U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno, who reviewed the entire Peltier extradition matter stated:

"As I indicated above, I have concluded that Mr. Peltier was lawfully extradited to the United States." "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 decisions of the Canadian courts and Minister of Justice should be interfered with." The entire letter can be read here:

It’s amusing, ironically really, that Peter references the acquittal of Butler and Robideau on the basis of “self-defense.” So, essentially ambushing two federal agents and then blowing their faces away wouldn’t be viewed as murder in Canada? I think it would. And have you followed at all how deeply Robideau placed himself and Peltier at the scene of the crime? Geesh, please do some serious research. Mr. X would be a great place to start and while you’re at it, it was Robideau who said, “They died like worms.” And he ought to know, because, by his own admission, he was there. I suspect if someone said that about dead Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers, it would not be well received up North either.

Visiting Peltier three times in Leavenworth was a cute anecdote; guess the Kokopelli charmed you on that one. I visited him in Lewisburg, but it was a more serious occasion telling the parole-hearing officer all the things that Peltier has said over the years. I was neither charmed nor impressed by the bloated felon sitting next to me.

And the charitable acts, model prisoner, Nobel Peace Prize nominee is just so much hogwash; if you have that expression up there. Take a look at where some of his awards and charitable activities really come from:

Although, Peter does have a sense of humor by pointing out Peltier’s alleged anguish when learning his recent cellmate was a serial killer. “Peltier was genuinely shocked that he’d have to share a cell with someone who was a dangerous criminal.” Really? That is funny. We heard of a compelling different anguish that the serial killer didn’t want to be stuck in a cell with a phony, self-possessed, narcissistic, make-believe Indian warrior Chief wannabe. That’s being facetious, of course, but probably not too terribly off the mark. Peltier only has two murders to his credit. That we know of.

Summing it up Peter puts this fine-point on the Peltier matter, that he was an activist who got caught up in the politics of the times and has been a scapegoat.

So, setting the Peltier mythology aside for a moment and that fundamental jurisprudence both here and North of the 49th Parallel is based upon the presumption of innocence, please point to anything that supports Peltier’s claims, and yours, that he’s innocent.
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Columbus Day: Peltier’s Columbus Day message was repeated boilerplate with more of an edge this year. Hard to argue with the concept that celebrating Columbus Day (I would assume by the vast majority of Native Americans) rings hollow for the devastation that followed while the number of Europeans (and their descendants) increased as the relentless Manifest Destiny pushed westward unabated. Calling it Indigenous Day may not be all that bad of an idea (except certainly to Italian Americans). And that’s where most of the problem rests; too much classifying and categorizing…but we’re a long way from the melting pot and getting, it seems, further away all the time. But Peltier, true-to-form wants to take some credit for the change with, “…if in some way my incarceration and sacrifices for our People…” Afraid not, your people are the ones in the adjacent cells, in the chow hall and in the yard, the fellow ‘dangerous criminals’ you have lived with for many years now. Those other people, Native Americans, you failed miserably.
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Means: Peltier’s rather short epitaph for the recent death of AIM founder Russell Means was cautiously worded, walking a fine line between all that is known about him; the somewhat good things along with the secrets and hypocrisy. You “couldn’t ignore him,” Peltier says, and he was “an inspiration for all of us younger guys at the time.” Apparently he was a lot smarter too, living in both worlds, conniving one and being enriched by the other, and not spending his entire life behind bars. Peltier says, “so I know I will see Russell again.” Maybe, but not so fast: Before either of you face each other The Creator will have a few questions. And when that time comes, all the excuses, alibis, fabrications and outright lies won’t pass that test. It may be a cold day in Hell indeed before Peltier and Means may meet face to face again. Besides, just how many times did Russell visit Leonard in prison anyway?
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Belgium: There’s a simple answer to this question. “Good News from Belgium,” was a recent LPDOC post proclaiming support by a parliamentarian for Peltier adding that “recognizing the fact that the American justice system has structural shortcomings.” Really? Belgium folded to the Nazi onslaught in 18 days but was liberated and allowed to return to freedom by the United States. That doesn’t minimize the bravery of the many Belgium’s who fought gallantly alongside the Americans, British and (for Peter), the Canadians. Belgium’s government and society is segmented along cultural, language, and strong religious divides, but no matter how any Belgian’s may feel or are mistaken and confused about Peltier facts, the short answer is, Who Cares? It’s simply none of their business and all it does is make Peltier think he’s more important than he will ever be. (Elsie, you still out there?)
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The Users; Peltier has been plagued with supporters; genuine believers, those who have no clue about the facts beyond what Peltier has spoon-fed them, those who hate the United States (but still remain here nonetheless…ever wonder why no one is trying to escape from America) and use him as just another anti-American tool (the Jericho Movement is a prime example), and those who, without latching onto Peltier’s notoriety, would remain what they are, losers. Those who have joined the club, brandish their membership cards and have neither the facts nor a clue about what Peltier is all about; those who have floated around and accomplished nothing. They pretend they are something that they never have been; like marginal musicians who hit the big venues like a Tap room, guitar shops and cigar bars and are largely ignored as the chatter continues in the foreground. Those who adopt Indian sounding names believing that in some way it will connect them to the make-believe Peltier world and increase their own failing existence. Like those who try to make a tribute to the famous and only embarrass themselves. (For a further related reference, see the Rezinate blog:

But these are the good cronies. The kind Peltier cherishes because they are cut of the same cloth; mindless foul-mouthed followers of the rhetoric that won’t be confused by the facts. These are the Peltier supporters who turn-off the ones who just might consider coming into the Peltier camp, but witnessing these antics instead head for the flap to get out of the tent.

All this though is a benefit for Peltier as it just makes other inmates envious. Those souls spending minutes that pass like hours with no end in sight, watching Peltier pick up his bundle during mail call. But even with that false adoration from the outside, the concrete walls aren’t getting any further apart.

We’ll leave Peltier with this to contemplate, his very own words as it turns out: “There’s an ever-present background chorus of shouts and yells and calls, demented babblings, crazed screams, ghostlike laughter. Maybe one day you realize one of those voices is your own, and then you really begin to worry.”

Listen, and be worried.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods