Behind bars
Northwest Leonard Peltier Support Network - Olympia WA

* Recent health report
* Justice for Leonard Peltier! April 21, 1999 The text of Petition
* April 8, 1999 Send Peltier to Mayo Clinic
* July 1, 1998 NWLPSN Statement on Denial of Justice & Torture of Peltier

Just a reminder that Leonard Peltier needs aid for his medical conditions. International Office of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Following is a recent report on his condition from the site.

Leonard Peltier is currently suffering from complications of a previous maxilla-facial surgery which he underwent at the Springfield Medical facility in 1996. Because of this, he is in excruciating pain everyday as the pain in his jaw never subsides.

As a child Leonard stepped on a nail and got tetanus. This caused him to get lockjaw and he has had problems with his jaw ever since. He also broke his jaw once and it never healed correctly. This is why he was transferred to Springfield for surgery in 1996. Dr. Collins, one of the prison doctors had recommended that Leonard be treated at the Mayo clinic in Rochester where there is a medical facility that regularly treats federal prisoners and is better equipped and employs more qualified specialists. The prison ignored this advice. During this surgery Leonard almost died. He was in a coma for fourteen hours after the surgery and his jaw is now in much worse condition than before he was treated.

Leonard cannot bite or chew his food because his jaw is frozen. He cannot completely close or open his mouth. He must eat by forcing food through a gap in his front teeth and then mashing it against his front teeth with his tongue. The prison will not blend his food. He suffers from excruciating headaches and jaw pain because of this condition.

This is not the only maltreatment he received at Springfield. After the operation he was told that he required radiation treatment to his jaw. He was told that if he did not receive it he would die. After a lot of pressure he agreed despite the fact that he was already weak and in severe pain from the surgery. During this time he was kept in �the hole� which is a cell that is six by eight feet long. It was infested with cockroaches and ants, he was only allowed a one inch pencil to write with, he had to write on the cement floor, and he was only allowed one phone call a month. He was not put in isolation because his behavior had warranted any type of disciplinary action.

After one month it became apparent to Leonard that the surgery was a complete failure. He refused to go back to Springfield because of its inhumane conditions and medical maltreatment. It has been two years and he is still waiting for treatment from the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Keller, a specialist at the Mayo Clinic has agreed to do the surgery but the prison will not transfer him there. Leonard will not sign any transfer papers unless they specifically state that he is going to the Mayo Clinic for treatment for fear of being transferred back to Springfield. Legal remedies are currently being taken in order to get Leonard the care he needs.

Meanwhile please help us pressure the BOP, Leavenworth prison, and Congress to allow him to be immediately transferred to the Mayo Clinic. Leonard has endured the Marion Control Unit, an attempted assassination, harassment, and physical brutality for twenty-three years despite the fact that the government says they do not know who is responsible for the deaths of the agents. It is important now more than ever that Leonard is released.

NOTE: On March 16 Leonard met with medical staff of Leavenworth and Springfield. They told him that there was nothing Springfield could do to help him, and the doctor who originally did his surgeries said he is not willing to do any more. This is a step forward because they have now officially admitted that Springfield cannot help him, a 180 degree change in what they have been saying for the last three years.


Please consider clicking on this webpage and adding your name to this petition.
Please email this link to your friends and co-workers.

Justice for Leonard Peltier!
April 21, 1999


Leonard Peltier has been incarcerated now for twenty-three years of two life sentences despite the fact that the government has conceded on numerous occasions that they do not know who is responsible for the deaths of the FBI agents murdered on June 26, 1975, or what part Leonard Peltier may have had in them. In this incident, a Native American was also shot and killed, and there was no investigation into his death.

Leonard had been previously identified as an AIM (American Indian Movement)leader by the FBI and targeted by their notorious COINTELPRO program.

The U.S. government today admits that they have no idea who killed the agents. In December 1995, US prosecutor Lynn Crooks admitted that no evidence exists against Peltier, and that if Peltier were retried, the government could not reconvict.

As a child Leonard stepped on a nail and got tetanus. This caused him to get lockjaw and he has had problems with his jaw ever since. He also broke his jaw once and it never healed correctly. This is why he was transferred to Springfield for surgery in 1996, where he received botched surgery that almost killed him.

Dr. Keller, a specialist at the Mayo Clinic has agreed to do the surgery but the prison will not transfer him there. Leonard will not sign any transfer papers unless they specifically state that he is going to the Mayo Clinic for treatment for fear of being transferred back to Springfield. We, the undersigned, demand that Leonard Peltier be transfered to the Mayo Clinic immediately, and that his unjustly obtained convictions be overturned!

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044


Send Peltier to Mayo Clinic
Thu, 08 Apr 1999
From: Dale and Elizabeth




The Pressure is on the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to send Leonard Peltier to the Mayo Clinic. They have denied him medical attention for two years now, in defiance of the United States constitution. The campaign to pressure the BOP into sending Leonard to the Mayo Clinic has moved them to consult with their own doctors at Springfield Medical Prison Facility. Their own doctors have admitted that they cannot treat Leonard and have advised that he be sent to the Mayo Clinic. Yet the BOP is still sitting on their hands. So now is the time to intensify the pressure on them.

For this reason, we are urging everyone to join in a campaign of four days of faxing, phoning, e-mailing and snail mailing to pressure the BOP. This campaign will begin on APRIL 19th. Every day of the campaign, please send a fax to the BOP, along with an email, a phone call, and a postal letter. We want to bring their offices to a stand-still. And please send copies of your faxes and emails to so we can monitor the campaign. The contact information for the BOP can be found at the end of this alert.


The United States prides itself on being the champion of civil rights and humanitarian causes, and yet ethnic cleansing continues in the US without interruption. Aside from the millions of blacks and Hispanics who are now held captive, the US prison system is the largest growing Indian reservation. Native people are being locked up as part of an effort to take away from them what little they have left. The events on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, and the continuing imprisonment of Leonard Peltier are a case in point.

In the 1970's, the US Geological Survey discovered uranium on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Knowing that traditional Lakota Indians on the reservation would resist their attempts to take this land, the US supported a corrupt tribal government and armed death squads which operated on the reservation to terrorize traditionals into submission. Between 1973 and 1976 over 60 traditional Lakota were murdered; there has never been an inquiry into their deaths.

In 1975, out of desperation, the traditional Lakota people asked the American Indian Movement (AIM) to come to their aid. AIM established a camp at the Jumping Bull compound and began building community. On June 26, the FBI closed off the reservation and launched a pre-emptive assault on the AIM encampment. To justify the assault, they first sent two agents into the compound, allegedly in pursuit of a man who had stolen a pair of cowboy boots. In the fire fight which followed, two FBI agents and one Indian were killed. The rest of the AIM members managed to escape. At the same time that these events were happening, the US government illegally seized 133,000 acres of Lakota land.

Subsequently, two AIM leaders were arrested and placed on trial. They were found not guilty by reason of self-defense. Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada and extradited on the power of false affidavits. His trial was a travesty. The judge was prejudiced against Indians and would not allow any evidence of self-defense. The government presented fabricated ballistics reports and perjured testimony attributing the crimes directly to Leonard. He was sentenced to two life terms.

Over the years, Leonard's defense team has disproven every piece of evidence and all of the testimony against him. One of the chief prosecutors in his case even admitted that Leonard did not commit the crime of which he was convicted, but 'somebody has to pay for it.' The truth is that Leonard remains in prison in an effort to cover up the seizure of Lakota lands and the billions in profits taken from this land by multinational corporations and the US government.

While in prison, Leonard has thwarted two assassination attempts and fought in numerous struggles not only for himself but for the rights of others. Most recently, he almost died as a result of a botched maxilla-facial surgery at Springfield Medical Prison Facility. Leonard remained in a coma for eighteen hours following the surgery, and he has been in constant, excruciating pain ever since. For two years now, ever since that surgery, he had not been able to move his jaw. He feeds himself by jamming what food he can through a small gap between his teeth, and then crushing it up with his tongue until he can swallow it. Dr. Keller of the Mayo Clinic has offered to treat Leonard for free, yet to date the BOP has denied him this treatment. Now that their own doctors have admitted that they can do nothing for Leonard and recommended that he be sent to the Mayo Clinic, the BOP can offer no more excuses for not doing so.

Now is the time to put on the pressure. Please write, fax, email, and call the BOP. And please send copies of your messages to We are also asking you to please contact the officials listed below, along with your congressperson, and urge them to look into this matter.

On April 19th, in conjunction with the campaign to send Leonard to the Mayo Clinic, we are asking people to join us in four days of fasting and prayer for Leonard. Whatever your beliefs or religion, please keep Leonard in your thoughts during this time. If you plan on joining us during this period, please notify us at Be sure to include your name and location.


Ms. Kathleen Hawk, Director, Bureau Of Prisons at:
e-mail: or, or write to her at:
320 First St.NW,
Washington, DC 20534,
Phone: (202) 307-3198
Fax: (202) 514-6878.


Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Eric Holder,
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C., 20530,
Phone: (202) 514-2000,
Fax: (202) 514-0467

Warden Booker, Leavenworth Federal Prison,
Box 1000
Leavenworth, KS 66048

Senate Judiciary Committee,
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC 20510-6275
Phone: (202) 224-5225
Fax: (202) 224-9102

House Of Representatives Judiciary Committee
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3951
Fax: (202) 225-7682

President Bill Clinton
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20500

Write the Congressperson from your district
HOUSE WEB PAGE for addresses and contact numbers
The Honorable (full name )
United States House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515

Write the Senators from your state
SENATE WEB PAGE for addresses and contact numbers
The Honorable (full name )
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510


The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
P.O. Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044 USA.
Phone number: (785) 842-5774.
fax: (785) 842-5796
e-mail: (ask to be put on the LPDC e-mail list)
Web page:


The campaign for medical treatment has an email list and web page. If you wish to join the list, send a blank message to with the word subscribe in the subject line.

A more general email list has been established for issues related to Leonard. To subscribe, send a message to In the body of the message put the following as the only line of the message (no subject is necessary for the message):

subscribe LeonardPeltier

The web site can be found at:


P.O. Box 5464, Tacoma, WA 98415-0464 USA


Throughout the history of the justice system of the United States there have been times when, because of social/political/economic reasons justice has been denied. The case of Leonard Peltier is becoming one of the worst examples of justice being overruled by special interest groups No matter what the final outcome maybe, the case of Leonard Peltier will live infamy, as a case where the Constitutional rights, justice and common decency were completely abandoned.

On June 26, 1975, at the Jumping Bull's compound on the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation, two unmarked cars following a red pick-up truck came into the compound in which an encampment of the American Indian Movement (AIM) was located. A firefight took place between in which one native warrior, Joseph Stuntz, and two FBI agents died. The AIM encampment had been set up upon the request of Oglala traditional Elders because Pine Ridge was under a state of terror brought about by a death squad call the GOON Squad. In just over two years 60 murders had taken place, homes had been shot up and many people assaulted. Those two unmarked cars came into the encampment in the same manner as many drive-by shootings had taken place. In no way did these FBI agents follow even the most fundamental police procedures. The AIM members believing that they were under another murderous attack defended themselves.

There were reasons behind the actions by the FBI on Pine Ridge. First, uranium was found in the Sheep Mountain area of Pine Ridge. It was well known that the Oglala Lakota People would not approve the U.S. government taking even more of their land. Thus, a diversion had to be created. At the same time as the shoot out happen, in Washington D.C. the illegal signing away of that land was taking place. Second, the FBI had a program to suppress AIM because they feared that AIM was awakening Native People to stand up for their rights.

There were two trials that came about as a result of the shoot-out. The first trial two AIM members were found not guilty for the reason of self-defense. Leonard was not a part of that trial because he was being extradited from Canada based upon false statements that the U.S. Government had submitted to Canada. Because the first AIM members had been not convicted, the government set out to rig Leonard's trial. First they moved to trial to a judge that would side with the government's case, then witnesses were forced under intimation to testify falsely against Leonard, evidence was falsely fabricated, and an atmosphere in the courtroom was created to prejudice the jury against Leonard. Because of those blatant acts of unjustice Leonard was found guilty.

Through the years Leonard's defense team has disproved the government's case against Leonard to the point that the U.S. Prosecutor how admits that there is no evidence connecting Leonard to the deaths of the FBI agents, and that if Leonard were tried today no jury would convict him. The government now only claims that because Leonard was there that day he is guilty of aiding and abetting, but since the first two AIM members were found not guilty for the reason of self-defense, then that means Leonard has been in prison all these years for aiding and abetting an act of self-defense. The courts have refused to grant Leonard a new and fair and the Parole Commission has refused to grant him parole. The reason seems to be that the government believes that someone must pay. But the blame for what happened on that day in 1975, is not with AIM or Leonard, but with the FBI who knowingly sent those two agents into a situation that caused their deaths.


Torture is the act of allowing or causing excruciating pain for the purpose of punishment. Leonard has a medical problem with his jaw. Because of the malicious medical treatment at the Springfield Federal Medical Center, which came close to killing him, the condition of his jaw is much worse. He also needs dental work that cannot be done until his jaw is taken carry of. His dental condition could be potentially fatal if not taken care of. The prison will not allow any outside doctor to examine Leonard, which is a right that other prisoners have, but Leonard is denied. The Mayo Clinic, which has done medical work on federal prisoners before has agreed to treat Leonard. Leonard is in excruciating continuous pain. He cannot even chew his food. Still the federal prison refuses to allow Leonard to get the treatment he needs. This is nothing short of blatant outright torture! Has not Leonard suffered enough for a crime that the FBI is responsible for?

We ask that all members of the NWLPSN, all supporters of Leonard and all those who believe in justice and opposes the use of torture to please, right now, e-mail messages asking that Leonard be allowed to be treated by the Mayo Clinic.

Send messages to: Kathleen Hawk, Director, Bureau of Prisons, "attention indicator" via: And to U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell at: In your message, please not only bring up Leonard's medical condition, but also, that the prison's refusal of medical treatment should be a part of the Congressional hearings on Pine Ridge and the case of Leonard Peltier. Also please ask him when these hearings will take place.

The torture of Leonard will continue until there is enough of a public out cry that demands that it end. Please take the time to send the needed e-mails and please pass along this information to other people, organizations, e-mail lists and web sites. Thank you for your time.

In Solidarity
Arthur J. Miller
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