View Full Version : Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier is Up for Parole This Month. Please support his release.

Magda Hassan
07-02-2009, 08:38 AM
Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier is Up for Parole This Month (http://rebelreports.com/post/133636425/political-prisoner-leonard-peltier-is-up-for-parole)

I AM but a common man, I am not a speaker but I have spoken. I am not all that tall, but I have stood up. I am not a philosopher or poet or a singer or any of those things that particularly inspire people, but the one thing that I am is the evidence that this country lied when they said there was justice for all I am just a common man and I am evidence that the powers that put me here would like to sweep under the carpet. The same way they did all of our past leaders, warriors and people they massacred. Just as at Wounded Knee, the Fifth Cavalry sought its revenge for Custers loss and massacred some 300 Indian men women and children, then gave out 23 Medals of Honor and swept the evidence of their wrongdoing aside I dont want to spend the rest of my life in this prison. And I dont want you to spend the rest of your life in some prison of the mind, heart or attitude. I want you to enjoy your life.
If nothing else give somebody a hug for me and say, This is from Leonard.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

NOTE: Read Leonard Peltiers full June 26 statement (http://freepeltiernow.blogspot.com/2009/06/june-26th-statement-from-leonard.html). Peltier is up for parole on July 28. His supporters and friends have launched a letter-writing campaign to support (http://www.leonardpeltier.net/newsroom.htm) his release from prison after 34 years.

Keith Millea
07-03-2009, 06:11 PM
Thank you for posting this.I will send the link on to others.


Keith Millea
07-05-2009, 07:40 PM
There are two documentaries that I would like to place on here.The first is titled "Incident At Oglala".This is the story about the situation on the Pine Ridge Reservation that led to Leonards arrest.The second is titled "Trudell".It is the story of another AIM(American Indian Movement)member John Trudell.I have found them on Google video.Their might be better ways to download and watch these,but I'm not as good as most of you here on doing research on the computer.So I will just post these links.If you haven't already seen these films,please watch them.Thanks.......



Keith Millea
08-25-2009, 12:58 AM
Leonard Peltier is denied parole.I am not able to see much hope left for him to be a free man again.They will let him go home when he is on his deathbed..........:mad:

AMY GOODMAN: The imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier has been denied parole again. The US Parole Commission told the sixty-four-year-old Peltier Friday his release would, quote, depreciate the seriousness of [his] offenses and, quote, promote disrespect for the law. It was Peltiers first full parole hearing in fifteen years. He will not be eligible again for parole until July 2024 at the age of seventy-nine.

Leonard Peltier has been in prison for thirty-three years, convicted of killing two policetwo FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakotas Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Peltier has long maintained his innocence and has been widely considered a political prisoner who was not granted a fair trial. He is now being held at the Lewisburg prison in Pennsylvania.

Im joined on the phone by his attorney, Eric Seitz. He represented Peltier at his parole hearing, joining us on the phone from his home in Hawaii.

Welcome to Democracy Now! Thank you for waking up very early, Eric. Describe what happened, what you learned on Friday.

ERIC SEITZ: Well, what we learned was that the Parole Commission, which is a holdover group of people from the Bush administration and an agency of the Justice Department, is never going to parole Leonard Peltier. They adopted in full the position of the FBI that if you kill an FBI agent, you should spend the rest of your life in jail, even if there are serious questions about the conduct of the FBI itself and of the government in prosecuting him.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the questions in this case and the other men who were tried separately who were acquitted years ago.

ERIC SEITZ: There was a trial of two people who were indicted with Leonard. It was held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa before a jury that acquitted them on grounds of self-defense.

The FBI, after that case, decided they couldnt risk a reoccurrence of the same outcome, so they came up with some ballistics evidence, which purported to link Leonard to the fatal shots by which the FBI agents were killed after this shootout had occurred for some period of time and the two agents had been fatally wounded. So they convicted Leonard of firing the fatal shots, according to the jury.

And afterwards, it turned out that the ballistics evidence was questionable, at best. But the courts have refused to set aside or disturb the outcome since then. So Leonard has actually been in prison now for more than thirty-three years for a crime of which the only other two people who were actually put on trial were acquitted, and that raises all kinds of questions about the fairness of the proceedings and of, in particular, the fairness of the judgment in his case.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, in Leonard Peltiers case, he would have been tried with these men, but he, fearing he would not get a fair trial, had fled to Canada, so he was not tried and then tried separately.

ERIC SEITZ: Thats right. And then there were all kinds of questions about the proceedings by which he was returned to this country from Canada. It is an admitted fact that in the extradition proceedings, the FBI used a series of affidavits that they themselves wrote, purporting to be from a witness who was an eyewitness who wasnt even there. So the affidavits were perjured, and yet the Canadian government readily agreed at some point to send Leonard back. And after that evidence about the perjury came out, the United States government refused to take any action to correct the situation.

So there have been all kinds of issues about this case which have percolated for more than thirty-four, thirty-five years. And we were hoping at this point in time that we could get a fair consideration from the Parole Commission. We had a very good six-hour hearing before an examiner, not the commission itself, but on their review of the examiners recommendations, which we still have never even seen, the Parole Commission basically adopted the position of the FBI. And in some sense, thats actually helpful to us, because it makes it clear that they are violating the law and the guidelines, and they are basically succumbing to this whole theory that if you kill an FBI agent, you should never be paroled, and thats not what the law requires.

AMY GOODMAN: The documents that have not been released in Leonard Peltiers case, how many are there?

ERIC SEITZ: Well, there are thousands of documents from the investigation itself going back to the mid-1970s and beyond that. And a lot of those documents have been shrouded in various levels of secrecy, and there have been Freedom of Information Act cases that have been filed. And many of them have been flushed out, and at various times thats how we learned about the ballistics evidence that was fraudulent, and thats how we also learned about the nature of the FBIs investigation and the fact that they focused on Leonard and the way in which they did after losing the first trial.

Now were going to try to get some more of those documents and, in particular, the documents at the Parole Commission, and were contemplating the possibility of further litigation, although I think probably much more fruitful at this point is going to be an effort to try to get clemency for Leonard, in terms of his advanced age, in consideration of his health, and because of the fact that this just simply is a case that needs to be brought to resolution properly.

AMY GOODMAN: Have you spoken to Leonard? And what is his response?

ERIC SEITZ: I have not been able to speak with him, because I cant get calls in to him over the weekend. Other people have talked to him. And I have not yet really found out from them what the results of their visits were over the weekend. But I am hoping to speak with him either today or tomorrow.

AMY GOODMAN: And again, while we reported that he doesnt havehes not eligible for parole again until July 2024, when hes seventy-nine, his chances before then?

ERIC SEITZ: Well, as far as the parole board is concerned, there are no chances, because theyre not going to change their position unless the personnel of the parole board changes dramatically.

Basically they have taken a hard-line position. He qualifies for parole, which was the difference this time around. Hes served the minimum time thats necessary. Hes done everything in prison that he needs to do to make himself qualified. He came up with a parole plan prospectively for where hes going to live and work for the rest of his life, with people to take care of him. All of those things are requirements, which he met. The only requirement he didnt meet, according to them, which he cant change, is the fact that he committed a crime that they regard as so heinous that he should never be released from prison. So, as far as the parole board is concerned, we will file a mandatory appeal to exhaust the channels there, but we have virtually no sense that they are going to change their position ever.
AMY GOODMAN: Eric Seitz, were going to leave it there, because we have to move quickly on to our last segment. Again, commenting on Leonard Peltier, who was denied parole once again, Eric Seitz, his attorney.

Ed Jewett
08-25-2009, 05:08 AM
Statement by Leonard Peltier's lawyer

The Bush Administration holdovers on the U.S. Parole Commission today adopted the position of the FBI that anyone who may be implicated in the killings of its agents should never be paroled and should be left to die in prison. Despite judicial determinations that the unrepentant FBI fabricated evidence and presented perjured testimony in Leonard Peltier's prosecution; despite a jury's acquittal on grounds of self-defense of two co-defendants who were found to have engaged in the same conduct of which Mr. Peltier was convicted; despite Mr. Peltier's exemplary record during his incarceration for more than 33 years and his clearly demonstrated eligibility for parole; despite letters and petitions calling for his release submitted by millions of people in this country and around the world including one of the judges who ruled on his earlier appeals; and despite his advanced age and deteriorating health, the Parole Commission today informed Mr. Peltier that his "release on parole would depreciate the seriousness of your offenses and would promote disrespect for the law," and set a reconsideration hearing in July 2024. This is the extreme action of the same law enforcement community that brought us the indefinite imprisonment of suspected teenage terrorists, tortures, and killings in CIA prisons around the world and promoted widespread disrespect for the democratic concepts of justice upon which this country supposedly was founded. These are the same institutions that have never treated indiginous peoples with dignity or respect or accepted any responsibility for centuries of intolerence and abuse. At his parole hearing on July 28th Leonard Peltier expressed regret and accepted responsibility for his role in the incident in which the two FBI agents and one Native American activist died as the result of a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Mr. Peltier emphasized that the shootout occurred in circumstances where there literally was a war going on between corrupt tribal leaders, supported by the government, on the one hand, and Native American traditionalists and young activists on the other. He again denied -- as he as always denied -- that he intended the deaths of anyone or that he fired the fatal shots that killed the two agents, and he reminded the hearing officer that one of his former co-defendants recently admitted to having fired the fatal shots, himself. Accordingly, it is not true that Leonard Peltier participated in "the execution style murders of two FBI agents," as the Parole Commission asserts, and there never has been credible evidence of Mr. Peltier's responsibility for the fatal shots as the FBI continues to allege. Moreover, given the corrupt practices of the FBI, itself, it is entirely untrue that Leonard Peltier's parole at this juncture will in any way "depreciate the seriousness" of his conduct and/or "promote disrespect for the law."

See also http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=...08211188?=e (http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGPRE200908211188&lang=e)

Peter Lemkin
08-25-2009, 07:09 AM
A very sad, but predictable outcome. Peltier is innocent and just a scapegoat because two FBI [holy holy holy] men were killed and someone non-white [in this case Native American activist] had to take the 'fall'. Our prisons are full to bursting with innocent people or people serving long to life sentences for minor or political 'crimes' [like thinking or speaking-out against the injustices of society and the criminal OverClass that rules, etc.]. Peltier is a good man who, yes, sadly, likely will not be let out alive...but we can still try to help fight to get him out. We are all like Peltier and all Abu Jimal imprisoned - whether we know it or not. They have the added injustice of physical confinement and loss of movement. We who still think and question realize we are all 'political prisoners'. Free Peltier!

That a Native America [the first to be exploited, killed, enslaved, robbed, raped, mistreated in our country] should suffer like this only makes the judicial obscenity worse. I was so saddened to hear the news...but in the policestate that is America today, little else could be expected, sadly.

Magda Hassan
08-26-2009, 11:44 AM

Magda Hassan
08-26-2009, 11:55 AM
There are two documentaries that I would like to place on here.The first is titled "Incident At Oglala".This is the story about the situation on the Pine Ridge Reservation that led to Leonards arrest.The second is titled "Trudell".It is the story of another AIM(American Indian Movement)member John Trudell.I have found them on Google video.Their might be better ways to download and watch these,but I'm not as good as most of you here on doing research on the computer.So I will just post these links.If you haven't already seen these films,please watch them.Thanks.......


Hey Keith, I meant to thank you for posting the links to these videos but I see I hadn't done that. So, thank you! :star:

I think there was a Hollywood make of the Ogalala story called Thunderheart or something similar. I'm not too sure how close to reality it was and it has been many years since I saw it so my recall may be off but I thought AIM came out of it looking pretty good and the FBI not so good (except the half Indian FBI agent hero of the moment) Not bad for Hollywood anyway.

Peter Lemkin
08-26-2009, 12:44 PM
Peltier Defense Committee http://www.leonardpeltier.net/

Keith Millea
09-11-2009, 06:02 PM
[QUOTE]I think there was a Hollywood make of the Ogalala story called Thunderheart or something similar. I'm not too sure how close to reality it was and it has been many years since I saw it so my recall may be off but I thought AIM came out of it looking pretty good and the FBI not so good (except the half Indian FBI agent hero of the moment) Not bad for Hollywood anyway.

Yes Magda,Thunderheart is strongly based on the situation at the Pine Ridge Reservation.Just a little tweeking,and some Native mysticism thrown in.Val Kilmer plays the (good) FBI agent.John Trudell also plays a role in this movie.I liked the movie alot.Recommended highly.

Keith Millea
09-11-2009, 06:12 PM
I Am Barack Obama's Political Prisoner Now

The United States Department of Justice has once again made a mockery of its lofty and pretentious title.

After releasing an original and continuing disciple of death cult leader Charles Manson who attempted to shoot President Gerald Ford, an admitted Croatian terrorist, and another attempted assassin of President Ford under the mandatory 30-year parole law, the U.S. Parole Commission deemed that my release would promote disrespect for the law.

If only the federal government would have respected its own laws, not to mention the treaties that are, under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, I would never have been convicted nor forced to spend more than half my life in captivity. Not to mention the fact that every law in this country was created without the consent of Native peoples and is applied unequally at our expense. If nothing else, my experience should raise serious questions about the FBI's supposed jurisdiction in Indian Country.

The parole commission's phrase was lifted from soon-to-be former U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, who apparently hopes to ride with the FBI cavalry into the office of North Dakota governor. In this Wrigley is following in the footsteps of William Janklow, who built his political career on his reputation as an Indian fighter, moving on up from tribal attorney (and alleged rapist of a Native minor) to state attorney general, South Dakota governor, and U.S. Congressman. Some might recall that Janklow claimed responsibility for dissuading President Clinton from pardoning me before he was convicted of manslaughter. Janklow's historical predecessor, George Armstrong Custer, similarly hoped that a glorious massacre of the Sioux would propel him to the White House, and we all know what happened to him.

Unlike the barbarians that bay for my blood in the corridors of power, however, Native people are true humanitarians who pray for our enemies. Yet we must be realistic enough to organize for our own freedom and equality as nations. We constitute 5% of the population of North Dakota and 10% of South Dakota and we could utilize that influence to promote our own power on the reservations, where our focus should be. If we organized as a voting bloc, we could defeat the entire premise of the competition between the Dakotas as to which is the most racist. In the 1970s we were forced to take up arms to affirm our right to survival and self-defense, but today the war is one of ideas. We must now stand up to armed oppression and colonization with our bodies and our minds. International law is on our side.

Given the complexion of the three recent federal parolees, it might seem that my greatest crime was being Indian. But the truth is that my gravest offense is my innocence. In Iran, political prisoners are occasionally released if they confess to the ridiculous charges on which they are dragged into court, in order to discredit and intimidate them and other like-minded citizens. The FBI and its mouthpieces have suggested the same, as did the parole commission in 1993, when it ruled that my refusal to confess was grounds for denial of parole.

To claim innocence is to suggest that the government is wrong, if not guilty itself. The American judicial system is set up so that the defendant is not punished for the crime itself, but for refusing to accept whatever plea arrangement is offered and for daring to compel the judicial system to grant the accused the right to right to rebut the charges leveled by the state in an actual trial. Such insolence is punished invariably with prosecution requests for the steepest possible sentence, if not an upward departure from sentencing guidelines that are being gradually discarded, along with the possibility of parole.

As much as non-Natives might hate Indians, we are all in the same boat. To attempt to emulate this system in tribal government is pitiful, to say the least.

It was only this year, in the Troy Davis, case, that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized innocence as a legitimate legal defense. Like the witnesses that were coerced into testifying against me, those that testified against Davis renounced their statements, yet Davis was very nearly put to death. I might have been executed myself by now, had not the government of Canada required a waiver of the death penalty as a condition of extradition.

The old order is aptly represented by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who stated in his dissenting opinion in the Davis case, This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged 'actual innocence' is constitutionally cognizable.

The esteemed Senator from North Dakota, Byron Dorgan, who is now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, used much the same reasoning in writing that our legal system has found Leonard Peltier guilty of the crime for which he was charged. I have reviewed the material from the trial, and I believe the verdict was fair and just.

It is a bizarre and incomprehensible statement to Natives, as well it should be, that innocence and guilt is a mere legal status, not necessarily rooted in material fact. It is a truism that all political prisoners were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged.

The truth is the government wants me to falsely confess in order to validate a rather sloppy frame-up operation, one whose exposure would open the door to an investigation of the United States' role in training and equipping goon squads to suppress a grassroots movement on Pine Ridge against a puppet dictatorship.

In America, there can by definition be no political prisoners, only those duly judged guilty in a court of law. It is deemed too controversial to even publicly contemplate that the federal government might fabricate and suppress evidence to defeat those deemed political enemies. But it is a demonstrable fact at every stage of my case.

I am Barack Obama's political prisoner now, and I hope and pray that he will adhere to the ideals that impelled him to run for president. But as Obama himself would acknowledge, if we are expecting him to solve our problems, we missed the point of his campaign. Only by organizing in our own communities and pressuring our supposed leaders can we bring about the changes that we all so desperately need. Please support the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/) in our effort to hold the United States government to its own words.

I thank you all who have stood by me all these years, but to name anyone would be to exclude many more. We must never lose hope in our struggle for freedom.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier
Leonard Peltier #89637-132
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837
For more information on Leonard Peltier visit the Leonard Peltier Defense-Offense Committee website (http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/).

Magda Hassan
09-12-2009, 12:09 AM
It is obscene what they have done and continue to do to this man. I guess there are no juicy trade deals in it for them. Justice alone doesn't seem to be enough.

Charles Drago
09-12-2009, 02:20 AM
Leonard Peltier will die in prison because the war being waged by the United States of America against the tribal peoples of this continent is an ancient, Manichean, pitiless spiritual war.

To release my brother Leonard is to admit to the lie.

The lie upon which this abomination has been erected.

Until we confront this reality, all the parole hearings from here to eternity will not free his body.

His great soul, however, soars as an eagle soars.

Hoka Hey!

Magda Hassan
09-12-2009, 07:34 AM
Leonard Peltier will die in prison because the war being waged by the United States of America against the tribal peoples of this continent is an ancient, Manichean, pitiless spiritual war.

To release my brother Leonard is to admit to the lie.

The lie upon which this abomination has been erected.

Until we confront this reality, all the parole hearings from here to eternity will not free his body.

His great soul, however, soars as an eagle soars.

Hoka Hey!

That is the truth Charles.

Peter Lemkin
09-12-2009, 07:44 AM
Leonard Peltier will die in prison because the war being waged by the United States of America against the tribal peoples of this continent is an ancient, Manichean, pitiless spiritual war.

To release my brother Leonard is to admit to the lie.

The lie upon which this abomination has been erected.

Until we confront this reality, all the parole hearings from here to eternity will not free his body.

His great soul, however, soars as an eagle soars.

Hoka Hey!

Hoka Hey! There are SO MANY injustices in the USA and in her prison gulags, but this is one of the most agregious. I'm afraid Charles is correct - they intend to offer this innocent man NO justice - just as they offered none to all the Native Americans; broke every treaty; killed them and moved them from rich lands to barren defacto concentration camps - even used biological warfare on them. It was the first War [unjust offensive and Genocidal one!] on the land now called the USA, and to admit it is to question the legitimacy of the 'country' and all that has followed. It personally pains me greatly this innocent and wonderful man and writer/thinker is behind bars when the real criminals live in luxury on the backs of most of their fellow citizens and the World. I used to have on my car in the USA a bumper-sticker that said, "If you're not a Native American, you are an illegal alien" Surprisingly, given all the other strongly worded peace and justice stickers on my car, that one generated the most anger and even damage to my car. I think Hitler once cited the Native American Genocide as a model for his Jewish one.
Encountering the American Holocaust - Ward Churchill
In the Nazi holocaust approximately 15 million Jews were killed; around 67 percent of their population. In 1892 the U.S. Census Bureau concluded that there were less than a quarter-million Native Americans in the country. At one point it was estimated that there were as many as 125 million Native Americans; which means their population was reduced by over 90 percent! And I thought Hitler was bad

The people had died in their millions of being hacked apart with axes and swords, burned alive and trampled under horses, hunted as game and fed to dogs, shot, beaten, stabbed, scalped for bounty, hanged on meathooks and thrown over the sides of ships at sea, worked to death as slave labors, intentionally starved and frozen to death during a multitude of forced marches and interments, and, in an unknown number of instances, deliberately infected with epidemic diseases.

The American remains unmatched by any other genocide in history. It was by far the worst both in terms of its magnitude and the degree to which its goals were met, and in terms of the extent to which its ferocity was sustained over time by not one but several participating groups. The denial of this tragedy is uncanny. How can something this immense go on and not get more notice? It is manifested in more-or-less equal parts at all points on the ideological compass of the dominant society.
Read Ward Churchill's book Native American Holocaust

Keith Millea
09-12-2009, 05:18 PM
If Obama could only realize what pardoning Leonard would do to lift the Spirits of ALL the Native peoples.You know,just one measly gesture given to the downpressed.Just one signature,and there would be joyous celebrations across the land,in every tribe.Maybe the indigenous would even begin to learn how to smile again.Maybe it's already too late............

Keith Millea
09-16-2009, 02:48 AM
Well,I see that John Trudell will be back around again at this years Hempfest celebration.So,I thought I would add this video here.It goes straight to the Heart of the situation.


Magda Hassan
09-16-2009, 03:02 AM
Thank you Keith. Beautiful words. Wise words.

Ed Jewett
09-16-2009, 01:55 PM
Thank you, Keith. :dito:

Keith Millea
09-16-2009, 04:42 PM
That video always makes me tear-up.Lots of emotional stuff in there.Besides the massacre pictures at Wounded Knee,the pictures of Johns beautiful family are surely heartbreaking.For those that haven't seen the movie "Trudell",it should be noteworthy that in 1979 only hours after John burned the American flag on the steps of the FBI building,his house was destroyed by a suspicious fire.He lost his wife,3 children,and mother in-law.Nothing else to say...........................................

Ed Jewett
09-16-2009, 04:58 PM
.. thus proving the statements in the film about acting like human beings.

It is never good but somehow motivational to be witness to what we are dealing with.

Keith Millea
04-23-2010, 04:55 PM

April 23 - 25, 2010
Indian Country, the FBI and the Death of Anna Mae Aquash

The Unquiet Grave

As the FBI told the story, it happened like this.
On February 24, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, a rancher on that part of the South Dakota steppe that crumbles into the Badlands was looking for a place to run a fence line when he turned a bend in a gully and found, curled on its left side, clothed in a maroon jacket and blue jeans, and looking for all the world like someone sleeping in perfect peace, a corpse. Its place of rest was the bottom of an embankment not fifty steps from the main artery in those parts, Highway 73, but hidden from the road by the embankment. The nearest settlement lay ten miles to the southwest, a smattering of chipboard federal houses called Wanblee; a few miles to the north, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, on which the corpse rested, petered out into one of continental Americas emptier expanses. The body lay, if not in the precise middle of nowhere, hard on the edge of it.

Roger Amiotte did not approach the body. He returned to his truck, drove the mile back to his house, and called the Bureau of Indian Affairs police in Kyle, a slightly more sizeable outpost past Wanblee. The police had an officer at his place in twenty minutes. The officer was followed by deputy sheriffs from Kadoka, the county seat, then by two BIA investigators and a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from the town of Pine Ridge, the reservation capital ninety miles off. A search of the scene showed no sign of crime: no violence to the body, no bullet casings or gunpowder, no scuff marks in the scrub, nothing so much as a footprint. A few tufts of dark hair clung to the face of the blond embankment, suggesting the unfortunate had fallen over it.

When they were hauling the body off, Amiotte would later say, one of the cops saidI thought it was pretty tactlesshe said, Well, I guess there must not have been a rape involved, her pants are still on. Her pants. That was my first clue she was a woman. I didnt get too close, and you couldnt tell one way or the other from a distance. She had no identification on her.

As the sun fell, Jane Doe was loaded into an ambulance and driven to the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge, where next afternoon an autopsy was performed. The pathologist judged her an Indian of twenty to twenty-five years, five feet two inches, 110 pounds, and light complexion, though dehydration and exposure had darkened her. She had borne a child or children and had surrendered a gallbladder to a surgeon and, nearer to death, had had sexual intercourse of a voluntary nature. She had died, the
pathologist eventually saidthe precise moment of his saying so is a matter of some importance and uncertaintyof frostbite and had lain in the elements for seven to ten days. Her decay was so severe that her http://www.counterpunch.org/hendricks.jpeg (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568583648/counterpunchmaga)fingerprints could not be taken at the hospital, so the FBI asked that her hands be chopped off and forwarded to its laboratory in Washington. The doctor amputated them, and they were sent east. While the lab worked, the authorities on Pine Ridge tried to identify the woman, but none of their leads proved fruitful. Her decomposition worsening, she was moved to a mortuary, but the body proved too far gone to preserve. On March 2, 1976, a week after her discovery, Jane Doe was given a Catholic service and a paupers burial in an unmarked grave by order of the BIA police.

The next afternoon, the FBI Identification Division in Washington called the FBI field office in Rapid City, which oversaw operations on Pine Ridge. It was Ash Wednesday, the day on which believers since the Middle Ages have darkened their foreheads to remind themselves of the approach of Judgment Day. Washington told Rapid City that the lab had lifted prints from the womans severed hands and the ID Division had matched them to Anna Mae Aquash, a federal fugitive and luminary in the American Indian Movement. It took two days to find her family in the Canadian MaritimesAquash was a Mikmaq tribeswoman, a Nova Scotian by birthat which point the press was also notified.

That was the FBIs story.

Neither the family of Anna Mae Aquash nor her colleagues in AIM believed she had died of exposure. The Aquash they knew was too smart to have taken an underdressed stroll in the prairie winter, and even if she had, she was too strong a backpacker and too shrewd an improviser to have succumbed to the cold. And she nevernevertraveled alone on Pine Ridge, which was then in a state of anarchy just shy of civil war. Her friends and family thought her as likely to have died of exposurealone, on Pine Ridgeas of a paper cut. They wanted her body unearthed and a second autopsy performed, but the government, aware of these sentiments, beat them to it. On March 9, six days after Aquash was identified, the FBI asked for and a federal judge ordered a post-postmortem. Two days later a backhoe was sent to Holy Rosary Cemetery, outside the tumbledown town of Pine Ridge, and the grave dug up.

Candy Hamilton, a friend of Aquashs, stood vigil. Years later she said, After I got there, Dave Price and Bill Wood and Gary Adams showed up. They were about the worst of the FBI agents on the reservation, though they did sort of keep their distance from me that morning. I had always sworn no matter what they did, they were never gonna see me cry, but Id already gotten started before they got there. I heard one of them say, Well, shes crying. It wasnt a sympathetic tone. They were making jokes and laughing.

Special Agent Wood eventually introduced himself to Hamilton, who said she knew who he was. He asked if she had information about how Aquash had died, and she told him to go to hell.

In half an hour, the pine vault holding Aquash was lifted from the ground, loaded onto a flatbed truck, and driven to the hospital. There waited Dr. Garry Peterson, deputy medical examiner for greater Minneapolis. Peterson had been hastily retained by the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee, AIMs legal arm, to observe the governments re-autopsy. At the hospital, however, FBI agents told Dr. Peterson their doctor was not coming. They did not say why. They said only that if a second necropsy were to be had, Peterson would have to do it. Peterson had brought none of his tools, and the hospital was ill equipped. (The original autopsy on Aquash, like all Pine Ridge autopsies, was the work of a pathologist who came from off the reservation, kit in tow.) Peterson asked the staff to gather what equipment they could and sent Special Agent Price to Sioux Nation, the general store in Pine Ridge, to fetch a butcher knife. A clutch of Aquashs friends, women chiefly, marked time outside the autopsy room.

I thought, Oh shoot, these agents are having it much too easy today because were all so upset, Candy Hamilton recalled. So I started quarreling with Wood. I said, Her familys coming and we want her jewelry and personal items to give to them.

He said, Well, thats all evidence now, you cant have any of that.
I said, Thats not evidenceyou couldnt even identify her by em. We want it. He just sneered and walked out.

Hamilton is a compressed woman with a voice metered in the Cumberlands and a chin that comes at you like a shovel. She was one of many white do-gooders who came to Pine Ridge in the 1970s for the cause of Indian rights and one of the few who stayed after the moment expired.

Well, Wood came back in and was way across the room from me, and he said, Candy, you want something of Annie Maes? Hereand he threw a box across the room at metake her hands. I caught it, and all the women turned and looked and said, Whats that? And I said, He says its her hands. You could hear them rattling in there. Everybody was horrified.

They hadnt started the autopsy yet, so I went in the room where Peterson was. They still had her all covered up. I told him, Its really important for her to have all her body together. Could you put these in with her or put them back on her or something? And he did, he sewed them back on at the end of the autopsy.

When Dr. Petersons tools were at last assembled, he unsealed the pine vault and with the help of Agents Wood and Adams removed the cloth-covered coffin inside. The coffin was opened and the body, wrapped in plastic and cloth, was extracted and unwrapped. It was coated in a disinfectant of such pungency that Agent Adams had to excuse himself and revisit his breakfast.

No sooner had Peterson brushed the disinfectant from Aquash than he noticed a lump in her left temple, just above the eye. It looked and felt like a bullet. He suspended his examination while a radiologist took the body for X rays, which confirmed that the lump was a metal object the size and shape of a slug. The body was returned to Peterson, and in seconds he found a hole at the base of the skull. It was surrounded by a circle of dried blood and gunpowder two inches in diameter.

You could not believe it, he would later say. I mean, the hole was so plain in the back of her neck. And in the front you could feel the lump. You could see the bullet from across the street.

Even before he opened her skull, Dr. Peterson concluded that Anna Mae Aquash had died of a different kind of exposureas it turned out, exposure to a .32-caliber, copper-jacketed bullet.

* * *
It fell to Norman Zigrossi to explain how the government had missed a bullet in the head of a corpse and failed to recognize in her a fugitive whom federal officers had not only arrested more than once but were also searching for at the time her body was found. Zigrossi was the assistant special agent in charge of the FBIs Rapid City resident agency, which meant he ran the office. A sad-eyed man of languid posture but fleet speech, he would soon become infamous in Indian Country for saying of its occupants, Theyre a conquered nation, and when youre conquered, the people youre conquered by dictate your future. He called his agents, not inaccurately, a colonial police force. Zigrossi saw no mischief in the first autopsy. He said a small-caliber head wound could cause almost no bleeding and could be nearly undetectable once a body had begun to decompose. In proof thereof, he said that no onenone of the paramedics or nurses or doctors or lawmenwho had seen the body had detected the least sign of injury. As for the FBIs not recognizing Aquash, no agents had been at the autopsy, and the lone agent who saw Aquash at Amiottes ranch did not identify her for the good reason that he had never seen a picture of her. The newspapers of western Dakota, in the manner of the provincial press everywhere, printed Zigrossis claims without corroboration and returned to alfalfa futures and the openings of used-car dealership.
A few less tractable observers, all from beyond Dakota, nosed further.

Freelancer Kevin McKiernan, whose reporting on Pine Ridge remains a gift to history, found a nurse by the name of Inez Hodges who had been on duty the night Aquash was brought to the hospital. Hodges had seen the Jane Doe in the morgue and instantly noticed an odd and obvious mark on the womans eye socket: the lodged bullet, although she did not diagnose it as such. She also saw a swath of blood on the white plastic sheet beneath the womans head. Its plain source was a raised crater at the base of the skull. Hodges showed her findings to a co-worker, whose name the FBI knows but to this day will not release. (To do so, says the FBI, would violate the witnesss privacy.)

Kevin McKiernan also found Dr. Stephen Shanker, who had pronounced Aquash dead on arrival. Shanker was just out of medical school, and his experience in matters postmortem was elementary. Nonetheless, in the first moments of his exam, he noticed that the hair on the back of Aquashs head was matted with blood. He put his hand there and got a palmful of it, apparently freshly thawed. A moments probing brought him to the bullet hole. His analysis was unequivocalshe hadnt died of natural causes; it looked like a police matterand he assumed the autopsy the next day would analyze the wound more extensively. Both Shanker and Hodges said they were stunned by the exposure ruling and that after the bullet was finally found they expected authorities to interview them about what they had seen. The authorities did notat least not until a public outcry was raised months later.

McKiernan and other reporters also spoke with Dr. W. O. Brown, the resident pathologist at West Nebraska General Hospital in Scottsbluff and the contract coroner for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Two or three dozen times a year, Dr. Brown flew his private plane to Pine Ridge to look over corpses (or, perhaps, to overlook them). Of his work on Aquash, he was unrepentant. A little bullet isnt hard to overlook, he said. It certainly isnt the first time a bullet was overlooked. And, Why all the interest in this case? It seems awfully routine, you know. So they found an Indian bodyso a body was found. And, I suppose the Indians will never let that woman die. AIMs trying to stir up all the trouble they can. Its a matter of record that Indians use every little incident that they can to create a situation over. They distort facts and use it to their advantage to further their cause. But Ive tried to remain neutral. I dont think Im prejudiced.

The day after Dr. Peterson found the bullet, Dr. Brown was sure of this much: he had missed it only because the hospitals X-ray machine had been broken. But he soon reversed course: the machine had been in fine fettle and he had merely chosen not to use it because X-rays were too time-consuming, too awkward, and at times unsuccessful. And anyway, since its fairly common for Indians like these to die of an overdose, why bother X-raying them? (His tests showed that Aquashs blood was free of drugs or alcohol.) When other excuses failed him, he said he had cut short his exam because the body was stinky and decomposedconditions one might have thought were routine in his work. But from his verdict he did not swerve. It was the frost that had taken Anna Mae Aquash, not the bullet. The bullet, he said, may have pierced the brain casing, but not the brain proper. If it had entered the casing, it might have started a chain of events that incapacitated Aquash and left her at the mercy of the cold, but the shot did not kill her.

Over the years, the claims of lawmen would shift: we werent at the autopsy became we were standing outside the door, which became we were inside the autopsy room but only before and after the autopsy, which became we may have been inside during the autopsy itself.
As at the autopsy, so at the crime scene. Zigrossi said only one FBI agent (eventually named as Donald Dealing) had gone to Roger Amiottes ranch, but witnesses counted four agents, including Price and Wood.

When we asked Price whether he was at the crime scene, WKLDOCs Ken Tilsen said, his first thing was, I wasnt assigned to her.
Okay. Were you there?
I wasnt working that day.
That wasnt the question. Were you there?
I dont remember.

* * *
The agents who sent Aquashs hands to Washington were working in a long tradition. In four of the New Worlds five centuries, frontier capitals had paid bounties for Native body parts in proof that their owners had been exterminated. As a macabre byproduct, scalps and hands, ears and genitals became trophies in the saloons and on the saddle horns of the Americas. Even in 1976, when Aquash was dismembered, the museums of civilized North America displayed the skeletons and mummified heads of tribal eldersgrandparents and great-grandparents of those still living.

The FBI agents who had Aquashs hands severed could not have known they were continuing a ritual that would make a martyr of Aquash, that songs would be sung about her and ceremonies held in her honor and newborns named for her decades after their deed. Agents did, however, know to be bashful about their handiwork. Early press releases said Aquashs fingerprints had been sent to Washington but neglected to say her fingers had gone with them. When the particulars were outed, the FBI described amputation as a standard practice for identification in many jurisdictions, but it could point to no such jurisdiction in North America. Over the years the FBI refused to say whether its agents had considered other, less gruesome, means of identification, only that it was impossible to obtain fingerprints on Pine Ridge.

The claim did not sit right with Garry Peterson. All fingers, he wrote in his autopsy report, show distinct fingerprint ridges although the finger pads appear somewhat wrinkled. Dr. Peterson said afterward that anyone trained in taking printsthat is, any FBI agent or BIA officershould have been able to print the digits. Had better results been wanted, the agents could have asked Dr. Brown to inject fluid beneath the dehydrated fingertips. If all else had failed, Brown could have severed only the fingertips (as the FBI lab eventually did), putting each tip in the corresponding finger of a latex glove and sending those to Washington. There was no justification for taking the entire hands.

One question, Ken Tilsen later said, that the FBI could never answer about cutting off her hands was, why not wait? Tilsen in latter years was a man of bare pate and bad angina but still, as he had been in the 1970s, an adherent of the querulous detail, which he piled one atop the next with compounding weight. He carried himself accordingly, chest forward, like a stevedore or beauty queen, but the aggressive effect was tempered by a wrinkled, deliberate voice conveying lawyerly gravitas. Even if the FBI thought they had to cut off her hands, basic decency requires that you wait more than a day to see if other people might recognize her, particularly since Pine Ridge was and is a small place where everybody knows everybody. They didnt even pause before taking that drastic step. When I asked experts about the motivation for this, what they told me was that the primary result of removing her hands and sending them to the labrather than taking the fingerprints at the hospitalwas to increase the length of time it took to identify her. And indeed, once during Aquashs life, the FBI had identified her in a mere twenty-four hours from prints lifted off her in the field. Shipping the hands added several extra days to the process of identifying her.

Tilsen continued, Now, why would they want to delay the identification? I have always suspected it was because the FBI was afraid of what they would find if they dug into this case. They knew this was Anna Mae Aquash, and they were afraid that some of their peoplenot necessarily FBI agents, I have never believed even David Price was capable of pulling the trigger, but their allies, their friendswere involved, and they didnt want to find out. They wanted the trail to go cold. Any of the agents who saw Anna Mae should have been able to identify her. They had her photograph and they had a description of her. She was a fugitiveand not just any fugitive. They believed she had information about the killing of two FBI agents on Pine Ridge in 1975, to the investigation of which the FBI had devoted every imaginable resource, and they believed she had been traveling with some of the alleged killers. Moreover, before she disappeared, she was scheduled to appear in court. But the day before her trial, she jumps bond and walks out of the same hotel where the FBI was staying. David Price was, I think, staying in that very hotel. She literally walked out from under their noses. After that, they had to be hunting all over for her. A few months later, a woman shows up dead on the same reservation where Anna Mae lived. The body is in the middle of nowhere. It is inconceivable that this woman just wandered off on a drunk and died of exposure, miles from the nearest bar or for that matter any human habitation. The agents look her over. Shes an Indian of attractive build. Shes about the right age, about the right height, right weight.

Shes wearing the very distinctive jewelry she always wore. Only a few of the FBIs important fugitives are women, fewer still are Indian women, and fewer still are Indian women from Pine Ridge. Yet the FBI wants us to believe that not one of those agents at the scene or the hospital thinks, Hmmm, I wonder if this is our fugitive? For any of these agents, that is virtually impossible to believe. For David Price it is absolutely impossible.
It was absolutely impossible because Price knew Aquash. Less than a year before she turned up dead, he had questioned her about a murder.

Several months after that, he had arrested her in a raid, by some accounts recognizing her on sight. He had almost certainly lied about being at Amiottes, and he had lied about or obscured his proximity to the first autopsy, at which he had photographed her face. At the time he took those pictures, he had been in possession of pictures of the living Aquash. And although he would later swear he was not looking for her, internal FBI documents would eventually prove that just days before her body was found, he was helping to coordinate the hunt for her. And then there is the story that Aquash told her peers, which was that in the last months of her life Agent Price had given Aquash a choice: cooperate with the FBI, or he would see her dead before the year was out. She had told him to go fuck himself.

* * *
To believe the FBIs claim that its agents did not recognize Aquash was to believe its claim that she was thoroughly decayed. That she was decayed was not in question. How badly decayed was.

Her face was pure black with exposure and dehydration, David Price once said, and she had no eyes! You try to identify a girl youve only seen twice in your life and the second time only because she identified herself! The FBIs press officers have said the same thing through the decades, if with less spirit. Prices claim is supported by a BIA policeman who knew Aquash slightly and said he did not recognize her when he saw her in the morgue.

But other witnesses have said differently. Dr. Peterson, while cautioning that it is harder to identify a rotted corpse than most people think, said Aquashs condition wasnt bad, even after burial and exhumation. The workers at the hospital who saw Aquash before the first autopsy were more adamant: Jane Doe could have been identified by anyone who knew her. Journalist Kevin McKiernan said that pictures from the second autopsy showed facial features that appeared identifiable but also that someone who did not know Aquash well might have needed leadingsay, with lineup photosto identify her. Ken Tilsen said no one who knew Aquash failed to recognize her from the second-autopsy pictures. And Candy Hamilton said Aquash was totally recognizable in the pictures.

The FBI could make the question moot by releasing its photos from the two autopsies. It will not. To do so, say Aquashs dismemberers, would violate norms of decency. The FBI does, however, say that its agents showed the pictures to people on the reservation and that this is proof that agents were trying to identify Jane Doe. But the FBI will not say to whom it showed the pictures, and the only person known to have seen them is one Myrtle Poor Bear. In Poor Bears story, Agents Price and Wood showed her the pictures as a threat. They said Aquash had been blackened by fire, not frostbite, and that if Poor Bear did not agree to lie under oath that she had seen AIMs Leonard Peltier kill the two FBI agents in 1975, Poor Bear would end up like Aquash. Poor Bear perjured herself.

Price and Wood said Poor Bears claim of having been threatened was a lie. The irony of their saying so about a witness who said they made her commit perjury was apparently lost on them. Whatever the truth of Poor Bears story, the FBI has never explained why its agents were showing pictures of someone whose face was rotten beyond recognizing. If Aquash was, as the FBI claimed, beyond identifying, what good did it do to show the pictures? Surely the mere fact of showing them (if true) proves she was at least potentially identifiable.

The other thing they say about their great efforts to identify her, Candy Hamilton said, is they put out a flyer about this unidentified woman. But no one ever saw it. After we found out it was Annie Mae, I dug around on the bulletin board at Sioux Nation and finally found one sign buried under a whole bunch of other stuff. Thats the only one I ever saw or heard of. It had the wrong age, wrong sizefive-six or something. And she was teeny. I mean, Im five-four, and I felt like I towered over her.

The flyer does not survive, but the BIA memo on which it was based does. It says Dr. Brown measured the body at five feet two inches and 110 pounds. How Aquash grew to five feet six or so in the flyer is a mystery. (When Brown released his autopsy report two weeks later, Aquash mutated again: five feet four and 105.) Hamilton said the flyer mentioned none of Aquashs identifying traitsher gallbladder scar, her partial dental plate, her childbearing, her jewelrythough all were noted in Browns autopsy. The jewelry, her friends have said, would have given her away in an instant. Three decades later Roger Amiotte still remembered her big butterfly bracelet with great big wings of silver and a body of turquoisestuck out about yay, wider than my wrist. It was unique. The FBI thought the bracelet unusual enough to show a local jeweler (who knew neither its owner nor its maker), but the agents did not show it to the public.

After several days in the hospital morgue, Aquashs corpse was sent to a mortuary just over the state line in Nebraska. But the mortuary, according to BIA police chief Sayers, told us they couldnt keep it in the state it was, so Sayers ordered the body buried. Yet mortician Tom Chamberlain told another story: the body, he agreed, was beyond embalming, but it was not bad off, certainly not beyond keeping. He had coated it with disinfectant and put it in his unheated garage, where he was certain it could have stayed a week or more in the cold weatheronly, Sayers had called him a day or so after the bodys arrival and insisted it be buried. Chamberlain said he had asked just how Sayers intended to do that when the corpse had not been identified and had neither a death certificate nor a burial permit attached to it. Sayers did not have an immediate answer.
Darnedest thing I ever saw, Chamberlain said. Been doing this for over fifty years and havent run into a case like this yet.

A friend of Aquashs who had other funereal business visited Chamberlains at this time and overheard Chamberlain on the phone saying he wouldnt bury an unidentified body without approval from the state licensing office. The friend, Gladys Bissonette, offered to look at the Jane Doe, but Chamberlain told her he had been ordered to let only authorized people see the body. Another friend of Aquashs, Lou Beane, said she visited Chamberlains and heard him say he had a corpse out back with a bullet in its head. The undertaker denied Bissonettes claims; he was not asked about Beanes before his own undertaking.

In the end, Chief Sayers prevailed on a priest at Holy Rosary Mission to bury the woman. No burial certificate ever surfaced, and neither church nor funeral parlor kept their usual records for processing a body. The priest at Holy Rosary later explained that he had buried the woman without the required paperwork because last rites were a sacrament he had to give all comers.

Toward the burial the FBI took an attitude similar to its attitude toward the first autopsy: it knew nothing of the BIAs work. Only after the deed was done, Agent Wood swore in court, did the FBI learn Aquash had been buried. But again there is evidence to the contrary. Inmates from the Pine Ridge jail who buried Aquash on March 2 also exhumed her on March 11.

They said the same men in suits attended both affairs. Candy Hamilton said the only suits at the March 11 exhumation were on FBI agents. Ergo the FBI seems to have attended the March 2 burial. Then, too, a report from Agent Wood said that on March 2, BIA officer Merrick told him the body was being buried at Holy Rosary Cemetery on March 2, 1976. Was being buried, meaning at that moment being buried or soon to be buried, was rather different from what Wood told the court: Aquash had been buried by the time he learned about it.

* * *
The first time a director of the FBI spoke publicly about the Aquash case was in May 1976, three months after the body had been found and, more important, days after page-one exposs ran in the Washington Star and Minneapolis Tribune. Clarence Kelleys FBI ordered an investigation whose objectivity may be measured by the fact that Agent Wood was one of the investigators. Between the FBIs investigation and the press reports, Kelly knew that witnesses had seen four FBI agents at the crime scene, that hospital staff had seen the bullet wound, and that mortician Tom Chamberlain had said Aquash did not need to be buried immediately. But when Kelley spoke to the public, he said that only one agent had been at the scene, that no one there or at the hospital had seen any sign of violence, and that Chamberlain had declared the body needed to be buried. Kelley also knew the entrance wound had been obvious, but he implied it was not by calling it small. He knew the lodged bullet had been visible to the naked eye, but he implied the opposite by saying it had settled behind Aquashs eye socket. He knew Dr. Peterson had diagnosed the bullet wound in a few seconds, but he implied the opposite by saying Peterson made his diagnosis only after X rays were taken. The FBI has reiterated Kelleys falsehoods, with only the smallest of changes, ever since. When the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights asked the Justice Department to investigate, the department at first ignored the query, then said, via letter by Assistant Attorney General Richard Thornburgh (later attorney general under Reagan and the elder Bush), that Justice had already made an investigation and it was thorough, but that the results could not be shared. From time to time, members of Congress were asked by constituents about FBI wrongdoing in the case, and the legislators would ask the FBI for explanations. The standard reply from the FBI read, We believe the allegations . . . lack the specificity necessary for an investigation. Accordingly, no action on our part is warranted.
Congress accepted the answer and moved on. But Indian Country has never moved on.

This article is excerpted The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568583648/counterpunchmaga)

Steve Hendricks is the author of The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568583648/counterpunchmaga) and the soon-to-be-published [I]A Kidnapping in Milan: the CIA on Trial. He can be reached through his SteveHendricks.org (http://www.stevehendricks.org/).

Ed Jewett
04-23-2010, 06:37 PM
Thank you, my friend, for this important post; it almost deserves its own thread. I haven't yet finished reading it all, it is that disturbing. It seems to be yet another brutal tale of the continued traumatization, fetisih-ization, abuse, social and physical degradation of the Native American peoples. It just underlines that thing I must do which is to find a functional DVD player so I can fast-forward to a certain moment in a certain film and memorize the Lakotan phraseology used by the captive u?gmnitu T?a?ka Ob'wa?hi ...

my mind comes up with something that sounds like wah-peech-nee-ay-a-lo --

so that I can use it again and again in this world.

Keith Millea
04-23-2010, 07:33 PM
After I posted it here,I thought it might be better to give it it's own thread also.It ties in with the Leonard Peltier story though.This murder is also depicted in the film "Thunderheart" with Val Kilmer.

Keith Millea
04-23-2010, 10:22 PM
OK,I think Anna Mae Aquash should have her own thread. :shakehands:

Ed Jewett
04-24-2010, 12:40 AM
I surely appreciate the tie-in, and the issue of thread, forum and server space management belongs with management, but what struck me was what appeared to be a cover-up after a cover-up. We have the concept of boosting or jump-starting the propaganda, bouncing or trampolining the propaganda, etc. But to beat the non-public investigators to the punch by digging up the handless body buried in a nameless grave and submitting it to an autopsy (which is, as we know, essentially destructive of evidence no matter what the findings and process) was a little much. Sometimes the cover-up becomes a crime in and of itself, and sometimes it is so outrageous... well, here it has already generated articles and books. At the rate we are going, we are going to have to do some fund-raising for a Deep Politics library and archival system that would be worthy of a major building, campus and site.

Anyway, whatever you do, thanks for doing it. :beer:

Ed Jewett
12-09-2010, 10:03 PM
Dan Battaglia and Preston Randolph, Truthout:

"The Eighth Amendment in the US Constitution prohibits, among other things, cruel and unusual punishment of prisoners. This prohibition is the grounds for a lawsuit filed by federal inmate #89637-132, Leonard Peltier, who is considered by many worldwide to be a political prisoner. In 1977, Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the deaths of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and remains incarcerated to this day, despite the fact that all evidence in his conviction has been debunked and proven fabricated."

Read the Article (http://org2.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=kcbSX4p%2BHKAf%2Fj6m1y8PCBGnUApKwNzv)

Charles Drago
12-09-2010, 11:31 PM
From fifteen months ago, I reiterate:

Leonard Peltier will die in prison because the war being waged by the United States of America against the tribal peoples of this continent is a spiritual war -- ancient, Manichean, pitiless.

To release my brother Leonard is to admit to the lie.

The lie upon which this abomination has been erected.

Until we confront this reality, all the parole hearings from here to eternity will not free his body.

His great soul, however, soars as an eagle soars.

Hoka Hey!

Ed Jewett
08-03-2011, 05:28 PM
14 July 2011
Updated: 18 Jul 2011 at 6:28 a.m. (Central)

On June 27, the 66-year-old Leonard Peltier was thrown in "The Hole" at USP-Lewisburg where he purportedly will stay for the next six months. According to what is currently known, Leonard's cell was searched that day. A guard allegedly was shocked by a wire(s) in the cell, placed there a long while ago by one of Leonard's former cellmates. The guard claimed "assault" (apparently he didn't know better than to touch an electrical wire). Leonard wasn't present during the search, having already been removed to "The Hole".

Click on the below images to read the official Incident Report. Please note that the prison failed to detect the money sent to Leonard by a supporter and now blames Leonard for being in possession of the 20£ note. Also please note the placement of the wires in the cell as described by the guard. Leonard does not sleep on the top bunk and while the guard indicates that Leonard currently does not have a cellmate, it is also true that Leonard has had a cellmate in that particular cell from time to time.

Download (PDF)

Attention Supporters: For information on what you can and cannot send to Leonard Peltier, click here.
The BOP's disciplinary procedures do not allow for legal representation for an accused prisoner. A prisoner is tried, convicted, and sentenced without due process. Prison authorities claim that thorough, professional investigations are conducted in such instances, but the cards are stacked against a prisoner when a guard is involved because the statement of a guard is always given more weight.

Further, the culture inside is one of collective or group punishment. Every prisoner, that is, is deemed responsible for the actions of another prisoner.

Leonard is no stranger to "The Hole." In the 1980s, at USP-Marion, Leonard and others protested their ill treatment by prison authorities, including infringement of Native prisoners' religious rights. This led to the infamous lock down of the prison that persists to this day. Sadly, Marion has become a model within the federal prison system despite these conditions being widely considered inhumane: life in a six by eight foot cell for 23 to 24 hours a day and no human contact allowed. Leonard served 18 months in "The Hole" at Marion and was often severely beaten. The isolation alone was torture. Leonard wrote his name on the cell floor during those dark days so that when the cell door was opened and a shaft of light filled the cell, he could read what he had written and remember who he was.

Leonard was imprisoned at USP-Leavenworth when a riot occurred there on July 5, 1992. A race-related incident, Leonard and other Indigenous prisoners were trapped in the auditorium where the riot occurred. At Leonard's direction, the Indigenous prisoners gathered together away from the melee and didn't participate in the resulting violence. He was thrown in "The Hole," then too--falsely accused of having participated in and perhaps instigating the riot.

Friends and supporters, in the spirit of the promise of justice for all, we must liberate Leonard Peltier. Call the BOP to protest the prison’s actions against Peltier. Please send e-mails, write letters and call BOP every single day. Solitary confinement is torture. Tell the BOP that the world is watching and we’re horrified by its inhumane treatment of prisoners, in general, and Leonard Peltier, in particular.

Make reference to Leonard Peltier #89637-132 and contact:

Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

(202) 307-3250 (Director)
(202) 307-3198 (Switchboard)
(202) 514-6620
320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
If calling from outside the United States, dial first the International Area Code + 1 (US country code).

Communicate the same message to the director for the BOP's Northeast Region, Joe Norwood. Again, reference Leonard Peltier #89637-132, a prisoner at USP-Lewisburg.

Northeast Regional Office
Federal Bureau of Prisons
2nd & Chesnut Streets, 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-521-7301
The White House

Demand that Leonard Peltier be freed. The injustice to which this man has been subjected for over 35 years must end! Flood the White House with letters, e-mails, faxes, and telephone calls:

President Barack H. Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

Phone Numbers - If calling from outside the United States, dial first the International Area Code + 1 (US country code)

Comment Line: (202) 456-1111
Switchboard: (202) 456-1414 (Ask to be connected with the Comment Line)
Fax: (202) 456-2461
E-Mail: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
To send a telegram:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Members of Congress

In the coming weeks, contact your Members of Congress. Urge them to investigate the BOP's current actions, as well as the entire Peltier case and the events that took place on the Pine Ridge reservation in the 1970s. A congressional investigation is long overdue. Demand that Congress take action on Leonard's behalf.

Don't take "no" for an answer. Don't let your Members of Congress fall back on the position that Leonard isn't his/her constituent. Members of Congress take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the rights of ALL. That includes Leonard Peltier.

We encourage you to contact your legislators at both their local offices and their offices in Washington, DC. Contact information for local offices can be located on members' web sites, accessible through the below House and Senate portals.

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Senate

Thank you for all you do on Mr. Peltier's behalf.


***** **** ****
01 Aug 2011 A federal judge on Monday rejected arguments that the CIA should be held in contempt for destroying videotapes allegedly showing the torture of detainees during interrogations. The ruling by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York came in a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union that the intelligence agency be held in contempt. Although he ruled against the ACLU motion, the judge applauded the efforts of the ACLU's legal team for prompting the disclosure of thousands of documents related to detainee treatment.




Ed Jewett
08-03-2011, 06:32 PM
...a certain moment in a certain film and memorize the Lakotan phraseology used by the captive ...

my mind comes up with something that sounds like wah-peech-nee-ay-a-lo --

so that I can use it again and again in this world.


Peter Lemkin
01-19-2017, 03:58 AM
Peltier is Innocent and was convicted on false evidence by the racist and unjust FBI and Federal Prosecutors. He is now 72 and in very poor health - not expected to live through four years of Trumpf - who would never even consider releasing him and would consider bringing torture into prisons in the USA. I'm deeply saddened. Our sad Nation was founded on the genocide of the Native Americans and we have never acknowledged the crime - and that the hate and shame of that continues. I have sent so many emails to Obama asking for Peltier to be pardoned. The Pope did two days ago, as did one of his Federal Prosecutors and even one of the senior FBI agents at the incident [FBI armed attack on peaceful Native Americans in their land/homes]. Sad. Sick. Unjust. Typical of the USA, sadly.

Breaking: Leonard Peltier Denied Clemency by Obama

WEB EXCLUSIVE (https://www.democracynow.org/categories/web_exclusive)JANUARY 18, 2017ALL WEB EXCLUSIVE ⟶ (https://www.democracynow.org/categories/web_exclusive)


The Office of the Pardon Attorney has announced President Obama has denied clemency to imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier is a former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. He has long maintained his innocence. (https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/18/breaking_leonard_peltier_denied_clemency_by)

Amnesty International condemned the decision.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”
Peltier’s attorney Martin Garbus appeared on Democracy Now! (https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/18/activists_call_on_obama_to_pardon) today.
"I think it’s fair to say that if he doesn’t get commuted by President Obama, he’ll die in jail. He’s a very sick man," Garbus said. "So, Obama’s not granting him clemency is like a sentence of death. Trump ain’t going to do it. And he’s very sick, and he’s not going to live past that time. I don’t want to be negative, but that’s the reality. He’s very sick, and he’s been in prison over 40 years, hard years, six years of solitary."
Garbus was notified of Obama’s decision earlier today. In an email, the Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote: "The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017... Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision."
See our full coverage on Leonard Peltier (https://www.democracynow.org/topics/leonard_peltier)

Magda Hassan
01-19-2017, 04:57 AM
Very sad news but not surprising unfortunately. Bill Clinton never considered it either. Obviously Bush and Trump wont go there. I am stunned that he commuted Manning's sentence.