Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sign Petition to Free Leonard Peltier is sponsoring a petition asking incoming president Barack Obama to pardon long-time political prisoner, Native American activist Leonard Peltier. (H/T Winter Rabbit)

Another petition is online asking for clemency for Mr. Peltier, who recently was transferred to yet another prison facility, farther away from his ancestral homeland.

From the second petition linked above:
Mr. Peltier was convicted for the June 26, 1975 murders of 2 FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There were 4 defendants originally charged before the Grand Jury. Two of the defendants were tried before the court and found Not Guilty by reason of self-defense.

Charges were dropped on the 3rd defendant. Mr. Peltier was tried after a change of venue to North Dakota. In this trial Mr. Peltier wasn't able to put up a self-defense argument. Any evidence that could have proven Mr. Palters' innocence was not allowed in his trial or if it was allowed it was not allowed in front of the jury. Witness testimony wildly diverged between Grand Jury testimony and trial testimony; further, several of the witnesses recanted their testimony after the trial, claiming perjured testimony because of threats from the FBI. Despite testimony, prosecuting attorneys have stated on several occasions that they don't know who shot the agents that day....

A few FBI officials and/or agents have launched campaigns to publicly proclaim the guilt of Mr. Peltier. Thus propitiating the original cover up through dissemination of misinformation in editorials, web sites and full page newspaper ads in what is seen as an effort to discredit the common sense and creditability of many national leaders and their organizations. These leaders have studied the case in-depth for over twenty-three years since the reign of terror on the Pine Ridge reservation and areas supposedly under the protection of this county.

Mr. President and elected officials of all people, we ask that you no longer ignore the voices of the 10's of millions of signatures and letters of the last twenty three years, and the results of the most recent polls in favor of his immediate release.
And from a recent letter from Mr. Peltier to his supporters:
They have at times called me a thug and a cold blooded murderer, but I know historically they called Geronimo a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Crazy Horse a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Captain Jack of the Modocs a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Black Hawk of the Sauk a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Tecumseh a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Sitting Bull a cold blooded murderer and savage - and the list goes on and on.

The one thing all these men have in common is they were all imprisoned or killed by this government; they were all patriots in their own land, trying to stop the illegal immoral taking of their people's land and resources. They didn't call the men who murdered our people at Wounded Knee thugs and savages, they didn't call the snipers who shot Frank Clearwater at Wounded Knee in 73 a murderer, they didn't call the ones who shot Buddy Lamont a cold blooded murderer, they didn't call the ones who shot Joe Stuntz a cold blooded murderer, they didn't call the sniper who shot that young woman and baby in 1992 at Ruby Ridge Idaho in a cold blooded murder, they didn't call the ones who burned the men, women and children to death at Waco, Texas in 1993 in cold blooded murderers. I assume cold blooded means you have no sense of right or wrong or something of that nature when you take a life. And if that is so, then this country is full of cold blooded murderers and thugs because by proxy they have killed thousands of innocent men women and children in Iraq and most recently in Afghanistan, I've seen them on TV. I've seen the pictures of children's bodies piled on top of each other. And right now the US funds Israel's war machine as they kill hundreds of innocent men, women and children....

If I sound angry or hurt or disappointed or a multitude of other emotions you would probably be correct. I remember once upon a time, in my naïve belief that sooner or later I would be free and justice would be served. In my case after 33 years of illegal imprisonment justice will never be served, it will be up to the Creator to bring about a reaction that may in some future time balance the scales. But for me and the others like me, whether they are among other prisoners in the US prison system or dead in the streets of Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza Strip or South America or some reservation road or some ghetto street, justice is not being served at this time.

If there is anything further I could say that would affect you in some way it would be to encourage you to take a few minutes out of your life and quietly sit and reflect and maybe just maybe you can hear the mothers crying for their lost children and the men crying for their lost wives and daughters and the grandfathers crying for their lost sons and I could say more but perhaps you may have grown tired of my commentary. Thank you for your time, thank you for reading this, and don't let evil triumph. Say something.

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