Predictably, every February 6th Peltier sends a message noting the anniversary of his arrest and beginning of his incarceration for the brutal murder of Agents Coler and Williams.
This year’s story is no different and it would be too kind to call most of it just fabrications. Since the creation of the first Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) in 1977, Peltier and Peltierite’s goal has been to create an ongoing myth and folklore that twists the facts and ignores the truth of what happened that fateful day at Jumping Bull.
Observations on Peltier’s latest message:
--What can I say that I have not said before?
Nothing really, because Peltier has been repeating the same fabrications for four decades.
--(Peltier, speaking of those who have passed on…) We Natives don’t like to mention their names. We believe that if we speak their names it disrupts their journey. They may loose (sic) their way and their spirits wander forever. If too many call out to them, they will try to come back. But their spirits know we are thinking about them, so I will say safe journey and I hope to see you soon.
This is a wonderful recitation, if completely accurate, of native beliefs, but we would imagine Peltier never mentions two names, Jack Coler and Ron Williams.
Another native belief is that if a vanquished enemy is rolled over to face, Mother Earth, they will not meet the Creator in the afterlife. Jack and Ron were both shot in the face, yet were found rolled over and face down in the dirt.* So, which one of the AIM cowards at Jumping Bull, counted coup, and touched the lifeless bodies? Peltier, or one of the other brave warriors that sorrowful day? Or maybe all of them? But this journey may take Peltier some time, considering whether any Native Americans believe in the interim stopping ground called purgatory (a fundamental Christian belief to which some Native Americans may or may not ascribe). But it’s a certainty that Peltier, as each of us, will face their Creator at some point and he may even face his victims. They would be whole again, ageless, dedicated, vibrant young men who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line-of-duty and not the mutilated lifeless bodies Peltier left at Jumping Bull. Perhaps, they would then offer forgiveness.
However, Peltier has remained a remorseless and unrepentant coward and adulterator of what otherwise is a proud and noble heritage. The family and friends and all those who identify with their fallen brothers would just as soon show Peltier the exit. It may be debatable whether or not there is a devil in Native beliefs, but there is a hell, and that elevator will take him straight to it.
--On February 6th I will have been imprisoned 40 years. I’m 71 years old and still in a maximum security penitentiary. At my age, I’m not sure I have much time left.
The clock is ticking for everyone. Deal with it. Jack and Ron would have chosen and deserved to live out their lives and face the predictable issues of aging. You stole that from them.
--I have earned about 4-5 years good time that no one seems to want to recognize.
Let’s dig a bit deeper here. Yes, prior to the abolishment of parole in 1984 (and Peltier falls under the old sentencing guidelines), the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that good-time is the equivalent of 87.1% (about 54 days/year) of the sentence. However, there was this little incident called Lompoc in 1979, so, let’s do the math. Assuming 1979 as a starting point, there would be about 5.3 years of good-time credit allegedly due Peltier. But, and it’s a big but, the armed escape from Lompoc brought with it a sentence of seven (7) consecutive years. (A fact that Peltier and Peltierites always avoid.) That could possibly amount to roughly 1,944 days, after Lompoc. But, and there is another but to poke a hole in the folklore: there was a little incident on June 27, 2011 that put Peltier in the “hole” and probably contributed to his ultimate transfer to another maximum facility. Peltier will cry foul over this one but the details are readily available.[i] From that 2011 date there’s roughly 1,623 days of incarceration that could count toward good-time of about 242 days, roughly eight months. To give Peltier the benefit of the doubt (a real stretch for sure), let’s petition the Bureau of Prisons to reduce his consecutive seven (7) year sentence from Lompoc by eight months. (Seems fair enough.)
--And when I was indicted the average time served on a life sentence before being given parole was 7 years. So that means I’ve served nearly 6 life sentences and I should have been released a very long time ago.
Wait just a second. This is total Peltier B.S. and doesn’t even rise to the level of qualifying for folklore but just plain fabrication (i.e. yet another lie). Historically a life sentence was considered to be, on average, 30 years (with a possible eligibility for parole consideration at 25 years). So let’s pose the question (it’s been asked before, of course): Peltier, please provide any proof or documentation or statistics that when you were convicted in 1977, a life sentence meant seven (7) years. (The silence from the Peltier camp is deafening.)
--Then there’s mandatory release after serving 30 years. I’m 10 years past that. The government isn’t supposed to change the laws to keep you in prison—EXCEPT if you’re Leonard Peltier, it seems.
OK, now you got it. The magical 30-year sentence. And that’s where you’re much closer to the mark. But, for all those wide-eyed Peltierites out there in Disneyland, Peltier received…gosh, repeating this for the umpteenth time, is getting old…not one, but TWO CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES. (In other words, serve one, then the other.)
For the mathematically challenged Peltier supporters, that’s 30 plus 30 for a grand total of 60 (plus the additional 7 for Lompoc, but we’ll let that go for the moment).
So, another question for Peltier: exactly what law was it that somehow morphed into your understanding of the 30-years-and-out scenario? Please, impress us with your acumen: provide something, anything that supports this spurious mythological claim. (Hopefully, Peltier isn’t suggesting that there was a bill passed in Congress entitled, Special Sentencing Guideline for Inmates EXCEPT Leonard Peltier that was signed into law by the then President.)
--Now I’m told that I’ll be kept at USP Coleman 1 until 2017 when they’ll decide if I can go to a medium security facility—or NOT. But, check this out, I have been classified as a medium security prisoner now for at least 15 years, and BOP regulations say elders shall be kept in a less dangerous facility/environment. But NOT if you’re Leonard Peltier, I guess.
Lots of great Peltier propaganda here:
First, prove it. No only “check this out,” but please post on the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC) website any proof that you’ve been classified as a medium security prisoner for 15 years. Really, it’s quite simple. Have the folks at the ILPDC in Hillsboro, Oregon create a .pdf file and put it on the website.[ii] (See, we’re not intimidated or shy about referencing the Peltier website…matter of fact, it’s been on the NPPA home page for almost sixteen years. Of course, its changed a bunch of times and has had to be repeatedly updated.)
While they’re at it, to further support your contention that you’ve been such a model prisoner, have them also post on the website the transcript (certainly one exists) of the July 28, 2009 parole hearing at Lewisburg. There should be plenty for Peltierites to digest there…things you certainly don’t want them to know or ever hear about. I was there, so I know some of the particulars.[iii]
Well, true enough, Peltier is old, and a Native American (of French lineage), so maybe he considers himself an Elder. Elders though, in Native American culture, are not only just old, but wise, possessing great wisdom, guidance and leadership for younger generations to emulate. Peltier is elderly but a far cry from anyone’s role model, let alone young Native Americans who are struggling on the Reservations to find their own identity.
Less dangerous facility? Last time we checked Peltier is a convicted double murderer in a prison of his peers, with an armed escape added to his prison résumé. Just because he’s gotten long-in-the-tooth doesn’t make him eligible for the white-collar criminal country clubs (that are also inappropriate for those who stole from the unsuspecting). But…there was that incident where some gangbangers weren’t buying into the notoriety of the big-shot wannabe Indian Chief and beat the snot out of him. Proving only that he’s not as much the tough, ruthless thug he was back at Jumping Bull or when he stuck a gun in Anna Mae Aquash’s mouth to force her to confess to being something she wasn’t. She didn’t, she wasn’t, but was ordered killed by AIM anyway.[iv]
--Ronald Reagan promised President Mikhail Gorbachev that he would release me if the Soviet Union released a prisoner, but Reagan reneged.
Wow! Exactly in which alternate universe or on what planet did this happen? Uranus? (No pun intended.) Not even the dimmest Peltier sycophant can believe that load of donkey dung. Imagine, President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev dithering over Leonard Peltier? Although, there is a grain of truth to this tall tale: Actually, it was radical leftist attorney William Kunstler’s brilliant idea to engage the communist nation in April 1988 for possible political asylum. As a result “signatures of twelve million Soviet citizens have been sent to the White House demanding clemency for Peltier…”
Perhaps Peltier or Kunstler didn’t get it, but Peltier biographer Peter Matthiessen sure did. He recognized that Peltier was just being used as a propaganda tool against the United States. Engaging the Soviets in issues of alleged political prisoners is the proverbial pot-calling-the-kettle-black and backfired anyway because the U.S. Media paid little attention. But it is worth reminding everyone about it at this point.[v] (Enough said.)
--George H. W. Bush did nothing. The next app was with Bill Clinton, He left office without taking action even though the Pardon Attorney did an 11-month investigation (it usually take 9 months) and we were told she had recommended clemency. George W. Bush denied that petition in 2009. And in all the applications for clemency, the FBI has interfered with an executive order. That’s illegal as hell.
Houston, we have a problem. President George W. Bush served from January 2001 to January 2009. The long standing Pardon Attorney Roger Adams was transferred in January 2008. His successor, Ronald Rodgers was appointed in April 2008, serving until November 2014. So, we have an obvious gap of only three months. Peltier claims his clemency investigation took 11 months. (Research was unable to identify whether there was an acting (female) pardon attorney between Adams and Rodgers or perhaps a (female) deputy who may have just assumed at least the administrative role in the interim.) A question perhaps Peltier can easily answer is: since 11 months doesn’t fit into 3 months very well, then aside from the timeliness issue, who exactly was the “she” Peltier refers to who allegedly recommended clemency? A simple question, prompting an even simpler answer. (Or like the New York wiseguys were fond of asking: “Give me a name.”) The real answer? Just more Peltier pandering (fabrications, also known as lies) to the dramatically dwindling supporters. (So, prove us wrong.)
By Department of Justice administrative process the agencies (investigative and U.S. Attorney) involved in a case that is being considered for clemency are entitled to provide their response either for or against the petition. The completed application is then either denied by the Pardon Attorney or sent to the President for consideration. Occasionally, the system is adulterated. Perhaps the most notable instance involved Eric Holder and Bill Clinton and the despicable, unprecedented mockery of the pardon of Marc Rich.[vi] Obviously Peltier didn’t have that kind of pull with President Clinton. (No pun intended.) The FBI has every right to voice its opposition to a bid for clemency, as does the non-governmental associations of current and former FBI agents.[vii] Notwithstanding that, let’s not forget Peltier’s seminal comment on politicians: “These politicians are such sleazebags that you just don’t know.[viii]
--“…the FBI has interfered with an executive order, That’s illegal as hell.”
Really? Once again, it’s very simple, exactly what Executive Order are you talking about? If there is such an animal out there (that animal would more likely be on the order of a Jackalope), have the folks in Oregon post it on the website. (Not likely to happen either.)
--You made donations to the defense committee so we could continue fighting for my freedom.
This remains Peltier’s dirty little secret. Do Peltierites ever wonder why he and the ILPDC no longer beg for “tax deductable” donations? (We know why.) Truth is that the fundraising and charitable activities have the appearance of a front. Fact is, no one knows how much they’ve taken in or where that money has gone, no matter how many times Peltier has been challenged for proof (even from his own people[ix]). This has been going on for a very long time. For some relevant details, see this footnote.[x]
--I believe that my incarceration, the constitutional violations in my case and the government misconduct in prosecuting my case are issues far more important than just my life or freedom.
Come on! All Peltier wants is crystal clear, out of FCI Coleman, and he’ll say and do just about anything, tell any lie, create any fabrication to help bolster a lost cause. And there’s a concept that Peltier ignores and Peltierites either forget or don’t understand, that if there was just one (1) constitutional violation in his case, he would have been out a long time ago and this conversation would have never taken place. The fact remains that Peltier’s case has arguably received more scrutiny than inmates on death row. Every aspect and allegation concerning Peltier’s conviction has been under the proverbial microscope for decades, and its outcome never altered. The legal history is here along with a concise history of his guilt.[xi]
--With YOUR encouragement, I believe Obama will have the courage and conviction to commute my sentence and send me home to my family.
Not so fast. The President has made it clear that he does want to and will exercise this sole Constitutional authority but has laid the groundwork to grant clemency to those serving long incarcerations for minor drug offenses and excluding crimes of violence. Slaughtering two federal agents pretty much falls outside of that benchmark. Clemency, like parole, is off the table.
* * *
Peltier’s 40th Anniversary Statement is just what is outlined above, worn-out efforts to spew the same tired drivel hoping that the dwindling myths and folklore will remain alive for just a while longer. Peltier is now at a crossroad. The clock is ticking loudly and will stop around noontime on January 20, 2017. Peltier is also getting desperate as witnessed by a recent development that will be the topic of subsequent NPPA blogs.[xii]
Peltier believes that repeating the same fabrications (and adding some astonishing and unbelievable ones along the way) will eventually take hold and miraculously become fact. Let’s, at least for the President’s sake, establish that Peltier had his days in court and over many years none of his claims have been anything more than terminally defective. It’s not a foreign concept in the Peltier legal history that “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.” [xiii] “…the direct and circumstantial evidence of Peltier’s guilt was strong.” [xiv] To add another overlooked indication of Peltier’s character and demeanor, even during his own trial: “The two witnesses testified outside the presence of the jury that after their testimony at trial, they had been threatened by Peltier himself that if they did not return to court and testify that their earlier testimony had been induced by F.B.I. threats, their lives would be in danger.” [xv] (Shades of the ghost of Anna Mae.)
But, more so for the President’s understanding of the issues beyond Peltier’s conviction is that of an individual who has remained unrepentant and remorseless for his crimes. Anyone who would state, as Peltier has, “I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and he gave me a smile.” (As told by Peltier to his biographer relating to the crime scene on June 26, 1975 while two dead and mutilated FBI agents lay at his feet.) After thirty-five years, in a 2010 public statement, showing his true heart and nature, “And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.” And as late as 2014, thirty-nine years after the murders, “I don’t regret any of this for a minute.”
One more important element of Peltier’s character to consider is that an innocent person would have no need to create an alibi that has been a proven an outrageous lie. For almost two decades, even on film[xvi], Peltier claimed that someone they knew, the phantom Mr. X in the infamous red pickup, killed the agents.[xvii]
How do we separate the Peltier lies and fabrications from the truth? Simple, with some fundamental facts.
Rhetoric, myths and folklore aside, Leonard Peltier is exactly where he belongs and shall remain until he eventually faces that day of reconning.
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
*The crime scene and Mr. X http://www.noparolepeltier.com/just.html
*The crime scene and Mr. X http://www.noparolepeltier.com/just.html
[v] Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (New York: Penguin Books, 1991) 572-573
[vi] Congressional Report, 107th Congress, Committee on Government Reform, March 14, 2002; https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-107hrpt454/html/CRPT-107hrpt454-vol3.htm (Last accessed 2/13/16)
And a Concise History of Guilt: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/debate.html#concise
[xii] As a convicted felon, Peltier is still entitled to his First Amendment right of freedom of speech and expression as he and his supporters have freely exercised. So to, others have that same right to respond to Peltier’s public statements, especially those that are inaccurate, false or demean the sacrifice and memory of two young men murdered in the line of duty.