Feb 1, 2009
STATEMENT FROM PELTIER: A Hero’s welcome (1/31/2009)
I want to thank each and everyone of you for your efforts in my urgent time of need, you cannot imagine how much my spirit has been lifted from the cards and letters, the phone calls and how everyone kept up the pressure. My gratitude is really more than I can express.
My return to Lewisburg was met like a hero’s welcome, and many people came to assure me of my safety there. It is so ironic that the prisoners in a federal maximum-security prison can guarantee my safety, but the Bureau of Prisons will not. I did not say, “cannot”, but “will not” do so. You have to remember the BOP is a little brother to the FBI and they came from an illegitimate mother called the JUST-US (Justice) Department.
Do I sound a little angry? Well, I am angry that many of my friends have died in assuring my survival while I’ve been in prison. All the men who were involved in my escape at Lompoc, all died mysteriously soon after: Dallas Thundershield at Lompoc, Bobby Garcia at Terre Haute, and Rocky Duenas, whose body was never recovered. And Standing Deer, he gave away his life when he revealed the assassination plot against me. He lived under the shadow of death for years, waiting to be killed for defying the government, until he was eventually paroled to Texas. He was murdered soon after the same person who contracted him to have me assassinated warned him about his involvement with my campaign. Surviving this attack brought back memories of those losses, and it is with tears of more gratitude in my eyes and in my heart that no one died this time. I don’t ever want to lose another brother in protecting me; a human life is precious and important.
I know in other countries, prisoners who have been held by their government have been placed in house arrest after they have attained international support as I have. If the BOP cannot guarantee my safety to the extent the prisoners here can, then I demand to be returned to my nation, Turtle Mountain, where I can be assured of my safety!
Turtle Mountain has issued a resolution to transfer me into their custody, and they have asked to meet with Obama on a nation-to-nation basis. This has to happen and it will when a lot of energy is placed behind it. In the past 18 days your efforts brought me out of the hole and to where there is a measure of safety.
The FBI has said that I will never leave prison alive, and we should not accept that as an idle threat. There have been a few times that my life was targeted by the FBI in the 33 years since my capture, and each of those who have helped me to survive are now dead. The transfer and attack at Canaan is just a warning to me of what is to come. The warden’s know of the psychological make-up of their inmate population in their prison, and they clearly knew that placing someone who is well known, as I am, with connections to many famous people and at my age, I would be subject to predatory attacks. This was deliberate by the BOP, and as far as the motivation for the attack, it could have been ordered by any prison official at the request of the FBI, or someone trying to curry favor from the feds. It could have also been a tactic to beat me into submission for purposes of extortion or something as stupid as trying to make a reputation.
We know they are afraid and Trimbach’s smear letter support that. They see pressure, in the form of your letters and calls, growing and they know that my committee has been tirelessly developing plans to set up a wave of activity. The FBI is now afraid that they will fail to keep me falsely imprisoned. We are becoming stronger and we must keep building our network to succeed.
I am proud of the brother’s & sisters, the Elder’s and my family who make up the committee; they have all personally sacrificed more than many people may ever know. It is humbling when I hear about the difficulties they have had due to being associated with me, but they do not quit. They are putting in many hours of their lives that they could be spending with their own families, but I hear they are on the phones talking to people, writing letters, and networking through the computers. They have been criticized by a few people and have attempted to create divisions within the committee through spreading accusations about them. So let me say this, I know the people I have invited to serve on my committee, and I’ve known most of them for years. A couple of them are my Sun Dance brothers and I have entrusted my life in their abilities and their commitment to bring about my freedom. The decision I have made to place them in their positions of responsibility is mine, not the crit!
Ics. I ask all my supporters to ignore those who would have you waste your time listening to or reading petty gossip based upon jealousy or personal dislike. These are activities that the FBI uses to destroy a movement, and they are not the Indian way of doing things. So we need to be aware that those who are bad-mouthing my committee, and talking behind their backs to smear them, may be infiltrators sent by the feds to tear down the committee. Watch out for those people and make some distance from them.
I am also asking all of my supporters and allies to follow the directions of the committee when the plans and strategies are presented at the Feb. 6th event in Boulder, CO. It had begun as an educational event and now it will be a very important event because of everything that has happened recently. We had wanted to release it when Obama was sworn in, but my transfer placed it on hold. I am a believer that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. It all happens for a reason, and it feels as if things are coming together the way they should. It is significant that an intense campaign will be begin after 33 years in captivity and with a newly elected President who could be receptive to my clemency appeal in office.
We will be making our message stronger in what we do and in how we will do it. I cannot stress how important it will be to increase our numbers after this event because the committee members, spokespersons, and their families will be making more personal sacrifices to help increase awareness. They’ll need your support in organizing other events and networking in your area.
Again, I want to thank everyone who wrote, called and emailed. My hand in appreciation is extended to those who have held rallies and protests on my behalf to call attention to the attack on me. I also extend my gratitude to Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman for her recent letter to President Obama urging him to free other political prisoners and myself.
In all these years, there have been so many people who have prayed for my safety and freedom from all faiths. There is power in those prayers and that is what I know will bring about my freedom. I can feel something different this time, and many others have expressed the same thought to me. So when you pray, don’t pray only for me, but the warriors of AIM who have died for our people, the victims of the “Reign of Terror” on Pine Ridge, and other victims who has suffered as we have. Pray for their families as well. They must not be forgotten and they must have justice!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Dallas Thundershield, Bobby Garcia, Rocky Duenas, Standing Deer, and in The Spirit of Total Resistance,
Feb 1, 2009 11:05pm
Jan 22, 2009
THIS IS LONG BECAUSE IT HOLDS A LOT OF HELPFUL &/OR IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING LEONARD PELTIER.
From Leonard’s Defense Committee
Holder, Attorney General Designate
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Re: Leonard Peltier #89637-132
Dear Attorney General Holder:
I am writing today to provide you with a number of serious concerns stemming from the case of Mr. Leonard Peltier and explain how this case impacts all US citizens.
• Mr. Leonard Peltier, is an American Indian that has been imprisoned since 1976, convicted based on fabricated testimony, circumstantial evidence, extraordinary FBI influence and falsified test results.
(Appellate Court findings)
• He was sentenced to two life sentences for “aiding and abetting” when two other persons tried for the same exact crimes were found not guilty because the jury said they were acting in self defense based on the climate of fear pervading the Pine Ridge Reservation at the time.
Whom was he aiding and abetting?
• No federal employee was ever investigated or found responsible for the killing of Joe Stuntz, who was killed at the same Jumping Bull property in 1975. Further there are a number of American Indians that were killed under questionable circumstances on Indian reservations or at Wounded Knee in 1973, while no federal official have ever been charged with their deaths.
• Since 1976 repeated requests for files concerning Leonard Peltier, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the Freedom of Information Act have been unsuccessful. The typical response has been that the files were misplaced or lost, and sometimes after years of waiting the FBI responds with a vague “no”.
• Title 18 Section 4206 (d) states that “Any prisoner serving a sentence of five years or longer shall be released on parole after serving 2/3 of each consecutive term or after serving thirty years of each consecutive term including any life term”. Congress has stated and the Courts have ruled in other cases that Title 18 of the United States Code 4205(a) means that time served is equal to ten years in the case of a life sentence. The law says that a prisoner serving a life term shall be released on parole after serving thirty years if they were not released on parole after 20 years. The most a prisoner would serve is 30 years. This has held true except in the case of Leonard Peltier who has been in prison for 33 years.
• In late 2008 the Turtle Mountain Reservation passed a resolution calling for Leonard Peltier’s release into their custody. Leonard Peltier is an enrolled member of Turtle Mountain. Tribal officials at Turtle Mountain were willing and able to meet almost any given conditions set forth by the Parole Board or the Bureau of Prisons, however they were not given the opportunity to even discuss this alternative, their status as a sovereign nation was totally ignored and Leonard Peltier transferred to Canaan, PA on January 12th, 2009.
• Beginning in October 2008, friends, family and supporters have repeatedly e-mailed, called, and written to the Bureau of Prisons asking for consideration in Leonard Peltier’s imminent transfer. While one recognizes that there are many factors for the BOP to consider, we only asked that he either be transferred to Turtle Mountain facility or closer to home. Instead Mr. Peltier was placed in a facility even further from his home and family making it unreasonably burdensome for them to visit him.
• Once Mr. Peltier arrived at the Canaan prison facility, he was jumped by younger inmates, severely beaten, put in solitary confinement and placed upon meal restrictions despite his having diabetes and other medical conditions. The family has requested copies of the video tapes of that incident to no avail. It is as if the whole scenario was contrived to detract from the fact that Mr. Peltier has been a model prisoner having more than enough points to qualify for parole.
• Retired, former and actively employed FBI agents have taken action against the release and parole of Leonard Peltier time and again. While it is their right to speak their opinion, it is not right to do so on federal time and at the taxpayer’s expense. Their letters, writings, articles, books, protests, outcries and interviews concerning Mr. Peltier, are a conflict of interest and tip the scales against him unfairly. In addition, it is certainly questionable as to the timing of a letter written by a former FBI Agent to Representative John Conyers and the beating Mr. Peltier received at Canaan.
It is apparent to me and many others that there are numerous violations of Mr. Peltier’s civil, constitutional, and human rights in the federal government’s quest to punish someone for the deaths of two FBI agents.
Justice has not been fair or blind to Mr. Leonard Peltier who has spent more than half of his life in prison. He is at 64 years old, in failing health and his life expectancy in prison is shortened greatly. And so I ask for your swift review of his case and release him so that he can spend the rest of his natural life with friends and family. The release of Leonard Peltier will go far in repairing the faith of the American people in the justice system and restore hope to many American Indians who otherwise have given up on the federal government’s promises. Thank you.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Harry J. Lappin, Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
Kathleen M. Kenney
Assistant Director/General Counsel,
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
Morris L. Thigpen, Sr., Director
National Institute of Corrections
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534
All Possible Media Outlets – Television, Radio, Print
All Elected Federal Officials
More new news~
A mans life hangs in the balance! Barbara
January 21, 2009
I just placed a call 570-488-8000 to the Canaan Federal Prison, Pa. And at first all I got was a strange sound so I hung up and dialed again. This time, pushing the button to inquire about a prisoner! A man answered, I said I was Barbara Williams of the Dare To Dream Network, and he asked if I was inquiring about a prisoner. I answered yes! Leonard Peltier, and this man
Immediately told me that they have no such person there. I, being upset by this obvious lie, said what sort of fool do you think I am and hung up!
With that my phone rang, immediately, and when it was answered we
Heard that same odd sound I heard when I made my first call...Tracing US?
This is yet another reason why "We" Americans must do something to help Leonard Peltier before they finally kill this innocent man! Ask yourself: What are they afraid of? I received a lie from this man who answered the phone. It would seem that Canaan Federal Prison picked up my phone number for future; WHAT?
Please do what you can to make this Canaan Federal Prison 570-488-8000 understand that the American people will not tolerate this treatment of this man, Leonard Peltier, nor any prisoner!
No doubt this latest game plan has much to do with the recent push, especially on Obama's site Change.org, to have Mr. Peltier released! Please do your part to bring attention to this man who recently received a very bad beating when moved from one prison to another! Leonard is a diabetic and it seems that they will deprive him of food as well!
His sisters email is below...I "Dare" Dream that "We" Americans can do this! "We" must! The treatment of political prisons, given the last eight years, should be alarming to US all! Could someone you love wind up in one? Heads out of the sand! These are sorry times! Torture has become the norm!
Get in touch with your state and Washington legislators...
Canaan Federal Prison, Pa. 570-488-8000 <+++++ Make the call...Barbara
Leonard Peltier Defense Site
Peoples Path home Page
We Will remember The Reign of terror
International Indian treaty council
Join American Indian Movement
First nations - CANKPE OPI
Leonard Peltier biography
May Leonard Peltier feel the Sun on his face as a free man!
Dare To Dream
The Bridge To Nowhere
Original Message -----
From: Diana Smith
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 8:14 AM
FW: Leonard Peltier brutalized, life in jeopardy!
Flyby News <Flyby@flybynews.com
Wed, 21 Jan 2009 11:18:43 -0500To:
Flyby News Alert <FlybyNews@flybynews.com
Leonard Peltier brutalized, life in jeopardy!Flyby News
Alert - www.FlybyNews.com
21 January 2009
Jonathan Mark, editor, publisher
Notes: Following is an extremely urgent letter from Leonard Peltier's sister.
Please consider taking action in any way you can to stop Leonard Peltier's murder in prison.
Subject: URGENT ALERT! Leonard Peltiers safety is in jeopardy!
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 17:20:21 -0800 (PST)
Dear LP Supporters
I am so OUTRAGED! My brother Leonard was severely beaten upon his arrival at the Canaan Federal Penitentiary. When he went into population after his transfer, some inmates assaulted him. The severity of his injuries is that he suffered numerous blows to his head and body, receiving a large bump on his head, possibly a concussion, and numerous bruises. Also, one of his fingers is swollen and discolored and he has pain in his chest and ribcage. There was blood everywhere from his injuries.
We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety. It may be that the attackers, whom Leonard did not even know, were offered reduced sentences for carrying out this heinous assault. Since Leonard is up for parole soon, this could be a conspiracy to discredit a model prisoner.
He was placed in solitary confinement and only given one meal, this is generally done when you won't name your attackers; incidentally being only given one meal seriously jeopardizes his health because of his diabetes. Prison officials refuse to release any info to the family, but they need to hear from his supporters to protect his safety, as does President Obama. His attorneys are trying to get calls into him now.
This attack on LP comes on the heels of the FBI's recent letter, prompting this attack by FBI supporters as an attempt to discredit LP as a model prisoner. Anyone who has been in the prison system knows well that if you refuse to name your attackers or file charges against them, then you lose your status as a victim and/or given points against your possible parole and labeled as a perpetrator.
It is not uncommon, in fact is quite common for the government to use Indian against Indian and they still operate under the old adage "it takes an Indian to catch an Indian". In 1978, they made an attempt to assassinate him through another Indian man who was also at Marion prison with LP. But Standing Deer chose to reveal the plot to him instead of taking his life in exchange FOR A CHANCE AT FREEDOM. When Standing Deer was released in 2001, he joined the former Leonard Peltier Defense Committee as a board member. He also began to speak on Leonard's behalf until his murder six years ago today. Prior to his murder, Standing Deer confided with close friends and associates that the same man who visited him in Marion to assassinate Peltier, had came to Houston, TX and told him that he had better stay away from Peltier and anything to do with him.
We are aware that currently, the FBI is actively seeking support for his continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier and also also seeking support from Native People. So please be aware, and keep Leonard in your prayers. The FBI is apparently afraid of the impact we are having. If they will set him up to blemish his record just before a parole hearing, what will they do when it looks like his freedom will become a reality? We need to make sure that nothing happens to him again!
Please write the President, send it priority or registered mail. Email to Change.gov or email President Obama. Call your congressional representatives and write letters, not email, to them. Do what you can to get the word out to insure that LP is receiving adequate medical attention for his injuries.
I am asking you, supporters of Leonard and advocates of justice at this time to help. I don't know what else to do. Please Help!
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
Also call and request Leonard be treated with dignity and respect.
Canaan Federal Prison
<><><><><><><><><>Free Leonard Peltier --
"Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner whose avenues of redress have long been exhausted....Amnesty International recognizes that a retrial is no longer a feasible option and believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released." Documents show that although the prosecution and government pointed the finger at Peltier for shooting FBI agents at close range during the trial in 1976, for three years the prosecution withheld critical ballistic test results proving that the fatal bullets could not have come from the gun tied to Leonard Peltier. This trial also denied evidence of self defense. The U.S. Prosecutor, during subsequent oral arguments, stated: "we can't prove who shot those agents". The Eighth Circuit found that "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, a new trial was denied. Judge Heaney, who authored the denial now supports Mr. Peltier's release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to gain Mr. Peltier's conviction. A good way to learn about Leonard Peltier is to read his book: Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. For excerpts, see the following link, under article by Louise Erdich: Time for Human Rights on Native Ground
. This YouTube of Leonard reading his own words to music and photos is really beautiful. For more resources: Free Leonard Peltier!
Jan 22, 2009 1:19am
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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