Monday, September 28, 2020


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!” 




            “…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 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



1. 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:

2. Peltier legal history and decisions:

Peltier: Important reminders:

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: (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:

    Mr. X, The Interview:

    Mr. X, The Lie:

    Really? Mr. X is back?

    Really? Mr. X is back, Part II:

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


                            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’) 



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



1) Canadian Minister of Justice letter, October 12, 1994;

2) II.B.2.i)

3)-Peltier’s 12/30/82 appeal to the District Court,

 -Court of Appeals orders that an evidentiary (ballistics) hearing be held in the District court,

-District Court evidentiary (ballistics) hearing,

-Court of Appeals final decision,

4) (Response to murders claimed or alleged on Pine Ridge. July 2000) (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.


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