Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
Monday, January 9, 2017
January 09, 2017
Contact: Peter Clark, Co-Director, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, (505) 217-3612 or contact@whoisleonardpeltier.
Former FBI agent asks Obama to free Native American activist Leonard Peltier
In a letter dated January 3, former agent and charter member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association (FBIAA) John C. "Jack" Ryan wrote to President Obama to request a grant of clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Leonard Peltier should receive clemency, Ryan said, "…in the interest of the system of justice for which my two fellow agents died, and in the interest of reconciliation and compassion."
In 1977, Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the shooting deaths of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.
"… the circumstances surrounding the case in combination with the passage of 4 decades of time served support [Peltier's] request to live his final years at home… When Agents Coler and Williams lost their lives it was a devastating loss to us agents. Emotion ruled the decision-making process and likely clouded the judgment of the massive team of whom were driven to hold someone responsible for our loss," Ryan wrote. "If the government could do it all over again, it would respond differently. Through today's lens, Leonard Peltier was not treated fairly and did not get a fair trial."
In 2000, Congressman Don Edwards (also a former agent) stated: "The FBI continues to deny its improper conduct on Pine Ridge during the 1970s and in the trial of Leonard Peltier. The FBI used Mr. Peltier as a scapegoat and they continue to do so today. At every step of the way, FBI agents and leadership have opposed any admission of wrongdoing by the government, and they have sought to misrepresent and politicize the meaning of clemency for Leonard Peltier. The killing of FBI agents at Pine Ridge was reprehensible, but the government now admits that it cannot prove that Mr. Peltier killed the agents."
Edwards' words ring true today. Last week, the FBIAA succeeded in pressuring American University to remove a statue of Peltier that was exhibited there, and when former U.S. Attorney James Reynolds' letter to the President to request that he grant clemency to Peltier was publicized, some sought to discredit Reynolds stating that he falsely claimed involvement with the Peltier case.
"The FBI's perpetual demonization of Leonard Peltier is an effort to poison public opinion and avoid self-reflection. Mr. Peltier's clemency petition is not a referendum on federal law enforcement; it presents a moral imperative which President Obama can address," said Peltier attorney Cynthia Dunne, herself a former federal prosecutor. "By reckoning with the past and moving forward in the best interests of justice, reconciliation and compassion, we can become a stronger nation. It is time to free Leonard Peltier."
Currently imprisoned in a maximum-security facility in Coleman, Florida, Peltier is far away from his reservation in North Dakota. Maintaining strong family ties has been difficult. He has never even met some of his grandchildren or great-grandchildren. In December, Peltier's younger son passed away while in Washington, DC, advocating for his father's release. Prison authorities refused to allow Peltier to attend his son's funeral.
At 72 years, Peltier suffers from serious medical problems that impair his ability to walk, see, and conduct normal life activities. He suffers from severe diabetes, hypertension and a heart condition, and has been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Recently, he was told he needs prostate surgery.
Imprisoned for 41 years, Peltier has long been eligible for release, but federal authorities have yielded to the objections of the FBI in denying Peltier's applications for parole—most recently in 2009 when he was told he will not receive another full parole hearing until 2024 when, if he survives, he will have reached nearly the age of 80 years. Peltier says he's eligible for mandatory release, but the government has failed to apply its 30 -year rule (after 30 years served, all sentences are to be aggregated and the prisoner released) or consider the good-time credit he has earned (20 years, to date).
Peltier's release from prison now depends on a grant of clemency by President Obama who leaves office on January 20.
Download Attachments: goo.gl/i5i8ks
January 3, 2017 Letter of former FBI agent John C. Ryan
December 14, 2000 Statement by former U.S. Congressman Don Edwards
December 21, 2016 Letter of former U.S. Attorney James Reynolds
What YOU can do: Call President Obama for Leonard Peltier: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414; email President Obama: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
contact/submit-questions-and- comments; post a comment on Obama's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ potus/ or message him at https://www.facebook.com/ whitehouse (or https://m.me/whitehouse); send a tweet to President Obama: @POTUS or @WhiteHouse; and/or write a letter: President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500.
International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Headquarters: 202 Harvard Drive SE, #5, Albuquerque, NM 87106
Mailing Address: PO Box 24, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault, wearing Peltier
shirt, with Crow Nation Chairman Darrin Old Coyote at Standing
Rock Water Protectors Camp in 2016.
Letter and Photos by Jean Roach, Lakota
Dear Water Protectors, Relatives and FriendsLet me introduce myself, my name is Jean Roach, of the Mnicoujou Lakota from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. I am a board member of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (ILPDOC). I am also a survivor of the "1975 Oglala Firefight." I have introduced myself to many representatives who have been to Standing Rock in support of our fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
There many Leonard Peltier Supporters staying at Standing Rock camp called Oceti Sakowin. We support Leonard Peltier as a "Political Prisoner" and his bid for Executive Clemency, Justice and Freedom. We are asking all Water Protectors and allies who supported the FIGHT against Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to send tribal resolutions, or letters of support to President Obama. We have several resolutions and support letters from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewas, Spirit Lake Tribe, Yankton Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux and numerous others, but it is urgent that we gather as many as possible!Many Water Protectors have witnessed the destruction of our sacred sites by (DAPL). Twenty-six ancestral grave sites and numerous religious alters have been desecrated by their bulldozers. There are many effigies sites along the Missouri River, but one area is dedicated to the WARRIORS!! It is this area that is referred to as "No Warriors Left Behind." This sacred site is where we remember and honor Leonard Peltier. He has been imprisoned for more than forty years as a "Political Prisoner" for his beliefs as a warrior to protect Unci Maka (Mother Earth) from destruction. For generations, the Oteci Sakowin Nations (Seven Councils of Fires) and their allies have been and still are under attack by colonizers which include both private corporations and government policies. In the past, tribal Nations have fought Railway systems, Mining companies, the United States federal government, and their representatives over land, and natural resources, which were promised through Treaties. Today, we are fighting the same colonial battle, but now it is against a billion-dollar corporation (DAPL), vigilantes, and US officials who continue to break these treaties to steal land. In Leonard Peltier's case there are several violations of the treaties that include, jurisdiction and illegal land transfers used for uranium mining. As a "Political Prisoner" Leonard has withstood inhuman treatment inside the prison and has been denied basic medical care. For these reasons Amnesty International has labeled him a Political Prisoner. The genocide of Nations has created criminal acts which include targeting people, or persons and imprisoned them based on political views, and or revenge. In the continued genocide against Indigenous Nations, Water Protectors have been jailed as "Political Prisoners" along with media representatives in their fight against the pipeline. This also includes several human civil, and treaty violations against them! The FIGHT is bigger than the DAPL pipeline because it is associated to generations of genocidal attacks for land and resources. Understanding genocide and political prisoners like Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Leonard Peltier and their fight for JUSTICE includes 1800s fight against gold mining and the 1970s fight against Uranium mining both in the Black Hills area that are in violation of both the 1851 and the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties. During the late 1800s, they were targeted for their participation at the Greasy Grass Battle (Battle of Little Big Horn) which included eliminating the 7th Calvery. Many Warriors suffered in US Prisons were they were severely beaten and or killed. There are similarities at the Protector's Camps and the Oglala Camp and how they were targeted by aggressors who used stereotypes and misinformation to justify unlawful practices. DAPL has hired numerous agitators who come into the camps to cause trouble and spread rumors. One example is during the 1970s the FBI operated a program called "cointelpro" which served the same purpose of disruption and misinformation.
During 1800s after the Wounded Knee Massacre, the mainstream media called it the "BATTLE" of Wounded Knee and forgot to mention that the people were UNARMED, women, children, and elders that were massacred. After the Oglala Shoot Out the media called people who lived there "30 Well Armed Gorillas" which turned out to be about 10 teenagers and 5-7 adults. Today's mainstream media barely covers the Water Protectors events and promote misleading stories of "missing cattle near the camp" this story was untrue and late recanted. The mainstream media served as an arm of genocide to confuse the general public on the TRUE issues. The Genocidal WAR against Indigenous Nations has never stopped!! This is happening today and some people cannot understand it because colonization has blinded them and become mentally brainwashed! Definite understanding of the vital importance of freeing Leonard Peltier by Executive Clemency will HELP promote a sense of Justice and start to neutralize an uneven justice system. The United Nations has supported Peltier's freedom by recommending that Obama examine his case.
Today, Leonard Peltier has suffered for more than 40 years in prison and has been incarcerated based on his beliefs as a member of the American Indian Movement. His participation at Wounded Knee 73, Oglala 75 and for other actions that demanded equal treatment for Indigenous Nations. Leonard is a 71-year-old elder who suffers from diabetes and has an aortic aneurysm and in need of specialized medical treatment. We can help Leonard come home to his family and meet his grandchildren and other family members he has not ever met.
Please write, email, or send message on Facebook, or write a letter of support for Leonard Peltier's Executive Clemency to President Obama. Time is running out. There are 11 days before Obama leaves office. Please send Letters of support to President Obama, and send a copy of your support letter to LPDOC at contact@whoisleonardpeltier.
Mitayuye OyasinJean Roach
Videos by Honor the Earth: Water Protectors shut down Wells Fargo Bank in Albuquerque, in protest of investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline, now threatening the Missouri River, and the water source of millions, with an underground crude oil pipeline.
Jan. 9, 2016
#BankShutdown in Albuquerque #Divest #NoDAPL #ShutDownUSBank
President Obama Approved Kelcy Warren's Texas Border Pipelines
Thank you to Steve Horn, Desmog Blog, for exposing the fact that President Obama issued permits for Kelcy Warren's Texas pipelines, Warren is owner of Dakota Access Pipeline. "In May, the federal government quietly approved permits for two Texas pipelines — the Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail Pipelines — also owned by Energy Transfer Partners. This action and related moves will ensure that U.S. fracked gas will be flooding the energy grid in Mexico." https://www.desmogblog.com/2016/09/20/dakota-access-obama-mexico-fracked-gas-energy-transfer-partners