Leonard Peltier Behind bars
Telephone Calls to the Congress

2005 UPDATES 2004 - 2002
Page contents:

* Leonard Peltier Moved to Indiana, and Put In "The Hole", July 2, 2005
* Press Statement by Peltier Attorney Barry Bachrach on the Trial and Verdict of the Arlo Looking Cloud Case, Feb. 7, 2004
*Defense Committee Update: 10th Circuit Appeal of the Denial of Leonard's 1999 HabeasCorpus Petition, Sept. 6, 2003
* Standing Deer, Jan. 22, 2003
*September 10 Update
* Inmate Peltier remains active in philanthropy, creative outlets,Aug. 10, 2002
*Peltier defense scouring evidence , July 21, 2002
* Leonard denied parole on July 9, 2002
*Update, June

Leonard Peltier Moved to Indiana, and Put In "The Hole"

by Paula Ostrovsky-LPDC Media PR
Email: paulaostrovsky (nospam) hotmail.com
July 2, 2005




Without notice to his family and attorney, Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier was moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, Thursday June 30th, 2005. He has been placed in solitary confinement indefinitely. Peltier has been in prison for twenty nine years, he is sixty years old, and his health is frail. His Defense Committee, family, and friends are extremely concerned about his well being, his health, and safety and the status of the privileges (religious rights, painting privileges, visits, phone calls, etc.) he earned after decades of good behavior in Leavenworth and other prisons.

LPDC, Executive Director, Russ Redner confirms this and adds that Leonard Peltier is still a targeted individual for this U.S. government. "Leonard Peltier is the only prisoner in U.S. history that the FBI personally took time and money to campaign against and purposely derailed the judicial process through a series of unauthorized and, by now, known tactics: withholding documents, intimidating witnesses, inciting tactics among other actions not covered under any job duties legally sanctioned?this is strictly black bag/SOG operations like in the illegal war on other indigenous peoples in the middle east", he emphasizes. With respect to the concern over Peltier's well being he adds: "Leonard Peltier is not just an ordinary prisoner when he rates this kind of treatment. This is the domestic version of rendition as a means to break and derail political dissent. The US Prison system is the system that reservations were also a pattern for and it has been used to kill those prisoners of conscience throughout time. It is also responsible for perpetrating crimes of all manners and descriptions. The US Prison system is the most inhumane system using the latest technology to mask its brutal treatment of prisoners?maximum security and super-max prisons are merely death camps in disguise so the American People will not think of themselves as cruel and inhumane. We pray that our brother is strong enough to tolerate this evil and that The Creator protects him now more than ever."

The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has closed its Lawrence, Kansas, office and is in the process of moving to Terre Haute, Indiana, to continue to struggle for the freedom of the beloved indigenous warrior and for justice for his people. They appeal to all supporters, friends, allies, and people of conscience to support Leonard Peltier in whatever way possible at this most critical time.



USP Terre Haute
U.S. Penitentiary
4700 Bureau Road South
Terre Haute, IN 47802

Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street NW
Washington, DC 20534
info (at) bop.gov
See also:

Form for sending a letter to your senators demanding an investigation into the era of the "Reign of Terror", the release of the 6,000 documents still held from the LPDC, and the release of Leonard Peltier. http://nativenewsonline.org/peltiersupport.htm

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, PO Box 583, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-5774, www.freepeltier.org, email: LPDC lpdc@idir.net. To get on the mailing list, send a blank message to lpdc-on@mail-list.com.
Leonard Peltier Yahoogroup http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Leonard_Peltier
* Free Leonard Peltier page * Leonard Peltier Updates * Early 2001
* Clemency bid for Leonard Peltier * Fall 2000 * Jan.-early Fall * Peltier, FBI, parole 2000
*1999 * Mar. 1998 * Past Health Reports * Leonard Peltier on mining


Press Statement by Peltier Attorney Barry Bachrach

On the Trial and Verdict of the Arlo Looking Cloud Case


February 7, 2004

Ladies and Gentleman of the Press,

A major occurrence in Rapid City last week. A trial, if that�s what you want to call it. Many of you covered the murder trial of Arlo Looking Cloud. A 10-minute defense? Pretty sensational stuff.

You didn�t find what you were witnessing at all strange? I did. I mean, who was on trial?

The majority of the testimony presented had nothing whatsoever to do with Arlo Looking Cloud, but prominent members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and my client, Leonard Peltier, in particular. Leonard Peltier or the AIM leadership, I would remind you, are not on trial for the 1975 murder of Annie Mae Aquash. They have not been charged with the crime, either, simply because there is no evidence against them. Only rumor, conjecture, and innuendo.

And that�s all you were treated to in that courtroom this week. There was not one iota of proof presented to support many witnesses� �beliefs�. And for every witness presented, there are any number of other individuals who could be called to appear and who would tell very different stories � that Annie Mae wasn�t afraid of AIM, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); she had stated this to various individuals on numerous occasions; and she had actually put such fears in writing. In 1975, she said she�d been told by investigators that she would be dead within the year if she didn�t cooperate with FBI agents in framing AIM leaders and Leonard Peltier.

How credible are the witnesses in this case? Paid informants, for example, must immediately be called into question, as must others who have long been accused of fabricating evidence in the Peltier case and/or of playing some part in the murder of Ms. Aquash.

Ask yourself, too, what didn�t come out at this trial.

During the 1970s, the AIM leadership was targeted by the FBI much like, as we have seen this week, they are targeted now. The Bureau�s documented intent was to �expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize� the AIM organization. The FBI had decided that Native Americans who were committed to uniting all Native Peoples in an effort to uplift their communities and promote cultural pride and sovereignty were �enemies of the State�. Fact, not fiction.

Virtually every known AIM leader in the United States was incarcerated in either state or federal prisons since (or even before) the organization's formal emergence in 1968, some repeatedly. After the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee (SD), for example, the FBI caused 542 separate charges to be filed against those it identified as �key AIM leaders�. This resulted in only 15 convictions, all on such petty or contrived offenses as �interfering with a federal officer in the performance of his duty�. Organization members often languished in jail for months as the cumulative bail required to free them outstripped resource capabilities of AIM and supporting groups. Fact, not fiction.

After Wounded Knee, AIM activities were forbidden on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation by the then Tribal Chairman Dick Wilson. Traditionalists were not allowed to meet or attend traditional ceremonies. Wilson hired vigilantes who called themselves Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs) to enforce his rules. Fact, not fiction.

The three years following Wounded Knee are often referred to as the Pine Ridge �Reign of Terror� because anyone associated with AIM was targeted for violence. Their homes were burned and their cars were run off the road. They were struck by cars, shot in drive-by shootings, and beaten. Between 1973 and 1976, over 60 traditionalists were murdered. Pine Ridge had the highest murder rate in the United States, people! Fact, not fiction.

And now we�re supposed to believe, I take it, that the lives of these 60 or more human beings are somehow less significant than that of Anna Mae Aquash? Yes, we want justice for Anna Mae, but what about the many others? Don�t they deserve justice, too?

In almost every case of violence, witness accounts indicated GOON responsibility, but nothing was done to stop these bloody events. On the contrary the FBI, the agency responsible for investigating such violence, supplied the GOONs with weaponry and intelligence on AIM. The FBI, in fact, looked the other way as the GOONs committed crime after crime against members as well as supporters of AIM. Fact, not fiction.

Yet, there was no mention of these facts during last week�s trial. That means only part of the story was told. A very small part.

The public didn�t hear about the shoddy investigation the FBI conducted into the death of Anna Mae Aquash, either. It took them 28 years to bring someone � anyone � to trial? The FBI is better than that. Everybody knows it.

Why did the FBI not find the bullet hole in the back of Anna Mae�s head, or the blood on the back of her jacket? These things were immediately discovered by means of an independent autopsy. Fact, not fiction.

Why did the FBI rule the cause of death instead as �exposure�? Fact, not fiction.

Why did the FBI find it necessary to sever Anna Mae�s hands, when the agents on the scene � in particular, David Price, who testified this week � should have been able to identify the body of a woman with whom they were well acquainted? Anna Mae�s body lay frozen in a gully when found. Winter in South Dakota. The body was too decomposed, they say. �Unidentifiable.� Fact, not fiction.

And why then was a photo of Anna Mae�s severed hands later used to frighten another Indian woman into signing several false affidavits against Leonard Peltier? Why was Myrtle Poor Bear told that the same would happen to her if she failed to cooperate with the FBI and the federal prosecutors? Fact, not fiction.

On the basis of these fabricated affidavits, a Canadian court was convinced to extradite Peltier to the U.S. for trial. Bob Newbrook, a retired police officer who arrested Peltier in Alberta in 1976 recently stated, "Canada should have learned from the Peltier case that it cannot trust U.S. evidence presented against American Indian activists." Newbrook said he has thoroughly investigated the Peltier and Aquash cases and has come to regret his role. "I'm haunted by the fact that I now think we seized an innocent man, with no valid Canadian arrest warrant, based on false evidence from the U.S.," he said.

Warren Allmand, a former Canadian justice minister, and the judge who later extradited Peltier said they would never have agreed to his extradition had they known affidavits and evidence presented by the U.S. were false.

Despite its carefully contrived image as the nation's premier crime fighting agency, the FBI then as now (and you have only to look at the U.S. Patriot Act to know this is true) functioned primarily as America's political police. This role includes not only the collection of intelligence on the activities of political dissidents and groups, but often counterintelligence operations to thwart those activities. At its most extreme dimension, political dissidents have been eliminated outright or sent to prison for the rest of their lives. These activities are well documented. Fact, not fiction.

Many activists were �neutralized� by intimidation, harassment, discrediting, and a whole assortment of tactics, including �snitch jacketing� where the FBI made the target look like a police informant or a federal agent. This served the dual purposes of isolating and alienating important leaders, as well as increasing the general level of fear and factionalism in the group. Just like the fear described in that courtroom last week. Yet, you heard agents of the FBI, deny there ever was such a thing as snitch jacketing, didn�t you? This and other tactics used by the FBI also are well-documented. Fact, not fiction.

The trial was well-orchestrated � not to convict the man on trial, but to convict AIM activists and prosecute Leonard Peltier all over again (another violation of his constitutional rights, I would argue) in the court of public opinion.

The style and content of the articles being published last week (machine-gun-toting Indians?) focused on Peltier, specifically, who is due for a full parole hearing in 2008. These articles were reminiscent of articles published at the request of particular FBI agents during the campaign in 2001 to convince President Clinton to grant Mr. Peltier�s petition for Executive Clemency. This is why Leonard Peltier has filed a civil suit against the FBI, naming former director Louis Freeh, current director Robert S. Mueller, and a dozen or so active and retired agents of the Bureau. Allegations contained in the suit include providing to the media as fact �numerous....knowingly false and unsupported accusations [&ldots;] against the Plaintiff designed solely to deny him the right to due process both before the [U.S.] Parole Commission and in petitions for Executive Clemency�.

Nothing has changed, it seems. The only difference now is that the FBI and federal prosecutors are using a court of law to advance these false and unsupported accusations � when they know and have admitted twice before the appellate bench that they can�t prove Peltier�s guilt. They believe they�re not culpable now because they are only indirectly providing false information to the press.

In our system of justice, trials are open and public. This is, in part, to guard against official misconduct and to ensure that only justice is done. In our mature society, this means that the print and electronic media are the witnesses to due process � the public�s eyes and ears, so to speak. This means that you have the responsibility to tell the truth, the whole truth. This means you must remain independent observers and guard against manipulation by the FBI and government prosecutors who fight only to win, not for the sake of justice. Might does not make right, ladies and gentlemen. And the end does not justify the means.

Barry Bachrach
Attorney at Law

Unsolved Questions on the execution of Anna Mae Aquash


from: "LPDC" lpdc@freepeltier.org

Defense Committee Update:
10th Circuit Appeal of the Denial of Leonard's 1999 HabeasCorpus Petition

From the LPDC
Lawrence, KS
September 6, 2003

Oral arguments will be heard before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, on September 19, 2003, on Leonard Peltier's 1999 Habeas Corpus petition. For the first time, Peltier's attorneys will have the opportunity to argue in a Circuit other than the 8th Circuit where Peltier was convicted and all subsequent appeals have been denied.


After Leonard's trial, based on documents obtained from the FBI under Freedom of Information Act requests, the legal team discovered that the government had withheld exculpatory evidence, including critical ballistics data. Specifically, the legal team discovered a memorandum by a ballistics expert dated October 2, 1975, that unequivocally ruled out the Wichita AR-15 (which was purportedly used by Leonard Peltier on June 26, 1975) as the alleged murder weapon. The improperly withheld evidence suppressed by the FBI struck at the heart of the government's case and the later Parole Commission findings which were upheld by the U.S. District Court in Kansas.

In 1995, Leonard appeared for an interim parole hearing before the same hearing examiner who had presided over his initial parole proceeding in 1993. The examiner was moved by the government's statements, especially those by Assistant United States Attorney Lynn Crooks who had acknowledged that "the government does not know, insofar as having the evidence to sustain a conviction in court, that Leonard Peltier fired the fatal bullets into the agents." The examiner ruled in Leonard's favor. Dissatisfied, the U.S. Parole Commission appointed a second examiner who ruled against Leonard. The Commission then accepted the second officer's recommendation and reaffirmed that it would not reconsider Leonard for parole until December 2008. From then, the Parole Commission has steadfastly adhered to this position.

The Appeal

The Peltier legal team believes that the Commission has failed to adequately consider the impact of the critical exculpatory evidence that was improperly withheld by the government at trial and which completely undermines the facts relied upon by the Commission. On appeal, Leonard's legal team will strongly contend that the Commission erred because its finding that Leonard had been involved in an "ambush" of the two FBI agents on June 26, 1975, and had executed them at point blank range after they had been incapacitated: (1) is not supported by Leonard's convictions or the Eighth Circuit decisions addressing post-conviction petitions; (2) is not supported by the evidence before the Commission; and (3) is undermined by the material exculpatory evidence the government improperly withheld at Leonard's trial.

In short, the legal team will argue that the U.S. Parole Commission's denial of parole to Leonard Peltier constitutes a violation of law, as well as being inconsistent with its own congressionally mandated guidelines. The denial of parole in this case, they say, is an abuse of power and discretion, and violates Leonard Peltier's constitutional rights. The Peltier attorneys will request that the appellate court issue an order that Peltier be given fair consideration for parole directly, under appropriate factors, which consideration should lead to his immediate parole.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, Kansas 66044-0583
785-842-5774; 785-842-5796 (Fax)


from: "LPDC" lpdc@freepeltier.org

Standing Deer    January 22, 2003

Dear Friends:

Late this afternoon the LPDC was informed of the death of Robert Standing Deer Wilson. As many of you know, Standing Deer was a close friend and brother to Leonard Peltier for the past 25 years. He had long been a vocal supporter for Leonard, and in the past year assisted in organizing Houston events and radio programs dedicated to Leonard's freedom. More recently, Standing Deer joined the LPDC's Board of Directors and was an active member. The LPDC is saddened and greatly regrets his passing. More information will be forthcoming as details are released.

The Web Site of Standing Deer: Freedom Now! http://www.geocities.com/standingdeer1/index.htm

In Solidarity,


from: "LPDC" lpdc@freepeltier.org

LPDC UPDATE: 12/04/02

Greetings friends and supporters,

Sorry that it has been such a long time since the last update, but many exciting actions are taking place. The legal team is feverishly working on several fronts to ultimately right the injustice Leonard has suffered for all these years. Below is an update indicating what the legal team is doing at this time. Your continued support is essential to our success.


The United States government has engaged in a long history of withholding crucial documents concerning key aspects of Leonard's case. At Leonard's 1976 trial, the FBI produced approximately 3,500 documents and indicated that these were all the documents that existed. History proves this to be absolutely false. After Leonard was convicted, Peltier's legal team acquired, through Freedom of Information Act requests, 12,000 documents that the FBI had previously withheld. These documents unequivocally demonstrated that the FBI withheld crucial exculpatory evidence which was not presented at trial and that the FBI presented perjurious testimony to wrongfully and unfairly obtain Leonard's conviction. The FBI, under the guise of "national security interests," purportedly withheld 6,000 documents, stating that that was the extent of the documents in the Peltier file. Since that time, the legal defense team has discovered that the government is still withholding approximately 100,000 documents concerning Leonard's case.

SUMMER, 2002:

Thirty thousand more pages of FBI documents were produced through the letter writing efforts of grassroots supporters and the office of Congressman Barney Frank. This demonstrates the impact you, as supporters, can have in helping our legal team acquire the evidence Leonard needs to continue to prove his innocence and government misconduct. The legal team spent a weekend combing these documents and finding further evidence of FBI misconduct. Much more work must be done with respect to these documents. Volunteers are in the process of scanning the documents so that the legal team can more readily recover the key documents. This takes money and time but through the strong help of volunteers and our supporters this important task is progressing.


The government still is admittedly withholding approximately 100 thousand more pages of documents, which are being aggressively pursued by the legal team. After attempting for over a year to amicably acquire these documents which are being withheld by various government agencies concerning Leonard's case, Peltier Attorneys Michael Kuzma and Barry Bachrach filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) complaint in the United States District Court for Massachusetts against the Executive Office of United States Attorneys on November 1, 2002 to require them to produce documents being withheld. Michael Kuzma, Barry Bachrach, Bruce Ellison and Carl Nadler have also filed FOIA complaints against the FBI and CIA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., respectively. In addition, Barry Bachrach and Michael Kuzma have issued FOIA requests to 35 FBI field offices, which had not previously been served with FOIA requests. The legal team suggests a letter writing campaign to write letters to the editors of local newspapers to help support efforts in acquiring these documents. The legal team will provide a sample letter within the next few weeks. The legal team is firmly convinced that this effort will yield documents which the government previously withheld on a wrongful basis and which will compel Leonard's relief.


Bernard Kleinman continues to pursue the Civil Rights action. The government is acting particularly egregiously in attempting to avoid service of process. In spite of the adoption of rules of federal civil procedure, which seek to make it easy for parties to be served without the incurring of unnecessary expenses, the government refused to follow its own rules and has attempted to make it difficult for Leonard's legal team to achieve service of process. Despite the roadblocks set up by the government, service of process is underway. We hope to have all parties served within the next two weeks so that the government will be forced to address the allegations, which involve outrageous and extreme behavior by current and former FBI agents.


Peltier attorneys Carl Nadler and Barry Bachrach are pursuing an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit of the recent denial of Leonard's 1999 Habeas Corpus. The Court took nearly three years to finally address the issues raised by Leonard. The legal team feels that the issues on appeal are strong and the appeal will be pressed vigorously.


Carl Nadler and Barry Bachrach are presently representing Leonard in a habeas petition pending in Washington, D.C., which challenges the parole commission's failure to provide Leonard with a parole date despite the laws enacted as part of the sentencing reform act by Congress in 1984.


We are still awaiting decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals with respect to the appeal of Leonard's Motion to seek a reduction of sentence. This appeal was argued on Oct. 8th, 2002, by Eric Seitz and Bruce Ellison, both of whom believe the argument went well and that the court was receptive to their arguments.

Finally the legal team has many other avenues it is pursuing to seek Leonard's long overdue freedom. Because of the importance to keep these tactics confidential, the information presented in this update is all that can be revealed now. However, it is the legal team's firm opinion that there are still many avenues of relief, which should ultimately open the prison doors for Leonard. More than ever the legal team and Leonard need your support to keep these avenues alive. The legal team will keep you informed as to how you all can help. In particular, we will inform you as soon as we know who is the new Congressional Government Reform Committee Chair. Your help is so important to Leonard's ultimate freedom from the unjust imprisonment he has faced all these years.


LPDC UPDATE: 9/10/02

Dear Supporters of Freedom for Leonard Peltier,

We would like to thank you for your continued and invaluable assistance. We were finally able to obtain the high speed scanner we have been working toward, which we are now using to scan and archive the 30,000 pages of FBI documents obtained in June by US Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), who acted in response to letter campaign supporters like you. After scanning, the documents will go to Leonard's lawyers to begin the search for new evidence. Just one piece of new evidence could lead to Leonard's release.

There are even more documents held in FBI field offices around the country. Peltier Attorneys Michael Kuzma and Barry Bachrach have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with these field offices. The FBI's lead FOIA agent says the documents may number close to 100,000 pages, and their release may take years. FBI field offices have said that the scope of the inquiries outstrips their capacity to process the documents, referring the requests to FBI headquarters. A FOIA lawsuit challenging this stalling tactic and demanding that the FBI follow the law is being prepared.


In addition to the letter to Rep. Dan Burton, which many of you may have already sent, we are asking for your assistance in releasing the documents held at FBI field offices. We have identified the House and Senate committees that oversee FOIA requests. In the House, write to Rep. Stephen Horn (R-CA), chair of the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations. In the Senate, write to Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information.

We encourage support of Rep. Dan Burton's bill, HR 5213, to rename the FBI Headquarters Building, stripping the building of the name of J. Edgar Hoover. The bill was introduced on July 25, 2002, by Rep. Burton (R-IN), and enjoys bipartisan support with cosponsors Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Christopher Shays (R-CT), William Delahunt (D-MA), John Lewis (D-GA), and John Tierney (D-MA). For more information on HR 5213 please see http://reform.house.gov/boston.htm .

NOTE: While we would like everyone to send all four letters, a recommendation, if you are short on time, is for residents of California to start by sending the Feinstein and Horn letters, and for residents of all other states to start by sending the Burton and HR 5213 letters. Then as you have time, we ask that you do send the remaining letters.

  1. Write your Rep. requesting that they cosponsor and support Rep. Dan Burton's bill H.R.5213 to remove J. Edgar Hoover's name from the FBI building in DC. SEND A COPY OF YOUR LETTER TO DAN BURTON. (See the end of this message for addresses to Burton, etc.)
  2. Write Rep. Dan Burton, chair of the House Committee on Government Reform, requesting inclusion of Leonard's case in that committee's current investigations of FBI misconduct. SEND A COPY OF YOUR LETTER TO YOUR REP.
  3. Write Sen. Diane Feinstein and Rep. Stephen Horn, chairs of committees who oversee the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requesting they investigate FBI obstruction of Leonard's FOIA requests.

    To find out who your representative is go to



Inmate Peltier remains active in philanthropy, creative outlets

By Matt Moline Special to The Capital-Journal

LAWRENCE -- Few Americans could identify an inmate in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons system by his government name: No. 89637-132.

But two young boys in Central America can. Prisoner 89637-132 is the youths' foster parent.

So can Indian students attending New York University's law school. Inmate 89637-132 raises money to support a scholarship fund.


And clients of women's shelters in America's impoverished Indian reservations count on the toy and clothing drives organized from a Kansas prison cell by No. 89637-132 -- better known as Leonard Peltier.

Peltier is the American Indian Movement leader who is serving two life prison sentences at U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for the 1975 shooting deaths of two FBI agents at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Imprisoned for more than 25 years, Peltier continues his jailhouse philanthropy through the efforts of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, the Lawrence-based international group whose supporters said that an innocent man is behind bars at Leavenworth.

Over the years, thousands of contributors have responded to Peltier's calls to aid public service agencies on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota, including Head Start programs, medical clinics and women's shelters, reports LPDC events coordinator Denis Moynihan.

"He puts out the calls and we provide the implementation, and that's mostly through direct mail and through other ancillary networks," Moynihan said. "In any event, the word seems to get out, and people want to support his efforts."

The 58-year-old Peltier also has become an accomplished self-taught artist, whose oil paintings reflect the artist's commitment to Indian culture, Moynihan said.


Although recent purchasers have been private collectors, including motion picture director Oliver Stone and actor Peter Coyote, Peltier frequently donates his artwork to charitable organizations, such as the Canadian group in British Columbia that is planning an auction of a painting next month.

In the artist's 1999 autobiography, Peltier writes about the human need to maintain a creative impulse, especially in a hostile, dehumanizing environment such as a prison.

Peltier, who traces his ancestry to the Dakota Sioux and Chippewa tribes, was born in 1944 on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota.

"Through my painting I can be with my people, in touch with my culture, tradition and spirit," he writes. "I can watch little children in regalia, dancing and smiling, see my elders in prayer, behold the intense glow of a warrior's eye."


Peltier defense scouring evidence

Advocates hope FBI documents contain proof of Indian's innocence

By Mindie Paget, General Assignment Reporter
SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2002

It's a busy weekend for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee.

The Lawrence-based team is combing 30,000 pages of recently released FBI documents relating to the imprisoned American Indian's case.

They're hoping to uncover in the piles of papers even the tiniest shred of evidence that will help set Peltier free.

"Hopefully, we'll find something that will give us the ability to get a new trial for a man they (the U.S. government) know they cannot go to trial against," attorney Bruce Ellison told about 50 people at a Saturday night forum to bring the community up to speed on the committee's efforts.

Peltier is serving two life sentences in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for the 1975 execution-style murders of two FBI agents during a siege at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Advocates for Peltier's release claim the U.S. government falsified evidence leading to Peltier's arrest and coerced false testimony or hid exonerating evidence to obtain his conviction.

Scott Berry, a spokesman for the FBI in Washington, D.C., has recently disputed the assertion that the government had participated in any wrongdoing.

"Obviously, we're not hiding anything if we released all of this," he said.

Michael Kuzma, a Buffalo, N.Y., attorney who has directed Freedom of Information Act efforts on Peltier's behalf, said Saturday that 60,000 to 100,000 more documents on the Peltier case exist at FBI field offices across the country. Attempts to retrieve those files have been stalled by claims that the records requests are too large and would take too much time and money to fulfill, Kuzma said.

The committee currently is waiting on summaries of those files from which it hopes to narrow its request. Kuzma said he had been told to expect the summaries by the end of June but was now hoping to get them by the end of this month.

"In the coming weeks, we will continue to battle with letter-writing and probably end up in court over this," Kuzma said. "Why should (the documents) continue to be locked in filing cabinets after three decades? It's outlandish."

Ellison, a founding member of the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense committee, said measures taken by the U.S. government after Sept. 11 in the name of national security � tapping phones, reading e-mails, etc. � were the same kinds of invasive maneuvers it claimed were necessary back in the 1970s to suppress the American Indian Movement, with which Peltier was associated.

Ironically, however, "The FBI actually sponsored terrorism in the United States to suppress the movement," Ellison said, referring to allegations that the FBI supported the so-called GOON squads that terrorized Lakotas sympathetic to AIM and created the air of tension that culminated in the gunfight at Pine Ridge.

"To me, Leonard Peltier's case is really all about us as a country," Ellison said.

Jennifer Harbury, a human rights attorney, also spoke at the forum. "This is our government," she said, "and this is how it's going to treat all of us if we give it the green light."



Leonard denied parole on July 9, 2002


Leonard had for his interim parole hearing on the morning of Tuesday, July 9th, 2002. In attendance were his attorneys, Carl Nadler and former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, his daughter Marquetta Shields, former Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) teacher Paul Berg, and a paralegal.

The examiner began by informing those gathered that a group opposing parole for Leonard had been given an earlier hearing that day. Ramsey Clark challenged the propriety of that, and was quickly instructed by the civil servant that he, Ramsey Clark, was only being allowed in the hearing as a representative of Mr. Peltier, not as his attorney. The group was informed that they would have been welcome to sit in on that phase of the hearing. That would have been difficult, though, as the government never told Leonard1s legal team that the earlier hearing was scheduled, and, in fact, told the team not to arrive before 9:30 AM (presumably after the opponents had left).

The Parole Commission examiner then began to interrogate Leonard regarding the specific events of the day of the shootout, June 26, 1975, in essence attempting to get Leonard to confess. Leonard maintained his position throughout, that he was on the Pine Ridge Reservation with AIM to support the traditionalists and defend the elders, women and children, and that he was innocent.

Attorney Carl Nadler spoke, reiterating the long history of Leonard1s model conduct, his human rights record, the fact that the Parole Commission was in violation of its own guidelines, especially relating the its failure to recognize the prosecution1s admission that it does not know who shot the agents. He pointed out the close to 10,000 letters in support of parole collected from around the world, which were carried into the hearing room, in addition to being sent earlier to the Parole Commission in Maryland.

Leonard1s daughter, Marquetta, spoke eloquently of the loss her family has felt living without a father, and how her prayers have daily gone out to the families of Agents Coler and Williams. She described the history of violence on Pine Ridge, and how her father was there to defend the people of the Oglala Nation.

Paul Berg, the former BIA teacher, described his personal experiences witnessing out-of-control FBI agents on Pine Ridge, around the Wounded Knee occupation and afterwards, and especially relating to the murders of traditionalists Sandra Wounded Foot, his student, and Hobart Horse, his friend. Both were violently murdered, and the perpetrators were given light sentences of several years, demonstrating the double standard of justice that exists with respect to indigenous people.

Ramsey Clark spoke further of Leonard1s character and the lack of justice in his case, as well as the necessity to seek healing and reconciliation with indigenous people, given the US government1s role in ongoing genocide. He told the examiner that Leonard was the single-most well-known indigenous person globally, and that his release would do much to restore faith in US justice and the US governement.

The examiner was also provided a medical update provided by Doctor Monica Peek, who volunteers with the human rights group Physicians for Human Rights (http://www.phrusa.org) The report reiterated the findings in 2000, that Leonard1s health continues to decline, and that he receives, overall, suboptimal care for chronic hypertension, hyperlipidemia, complications due to stroke and diabetes, and the painful bone spur in his foot and consequent inability to exercise.

While the examiner mulled over the statements, Leonard enjoyed a few moments of laughter with Ramsey Clark, discussed his case with Carl Nadler, and spoke at length with Paul Berg about their shared time on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Paul and Leonard had never met in person before the hearing.

The examiner summoned Leonard and his attorneys back to the room, where he announced that he would recommend no change in Leonard1s status, indicating that an interim hearing would be scheduled for 2004 with the full hearing set for 2008. Leonard will appeal the examiner1s decision. Leonard has had a habeas corpus suit filed with the District Court in Kansas since 1999, specifically challenging the US Parole Commission1s failure to follow its own guidelines. Leonard1s attorney1s will pursue a hearing on this case very soon, as the Court appears reluctant to try it.


from: lpdc@freepeltier.org
June 2002

Dear Supporters of Leonard Peltier:

This update includes an URGENT ACTION - please read below and take action. Thank you for your support. Please distribute this email widely.

1. URGENT ACTION regarding Leonard Peltier's health
2. LPDC announces historic FBI document release!
3. Weds., June 26th 2002 Leonard Peltier events summary
4. Leonard Peltier's interim parole hearing delayed til July 9th.

1. URGENT ACTION - Leonard Peltier has for over a year now been quietly enduring a BONE SPUR in his heel. He has sought treatment for this painful condition, yet none of the remedies offered by the federal US Bureau of Prisons has worked. Bone spurs occur when muscle tension in the foot pulls a bone out of place. The condition is worsened by poor-quality footwear and by stressing the foot. In Leonard's case, after a cortisone shot over a year ago had no effect, he was given low quality foam inserts. A second cortisone shot more recently also had no effect.

Leonard is forced to work at the UNICOR factory, the federal prison labor operation that produces a vast array of goods for sale to US government agencies. In the Leavenworth UNICOR furniture factory, Leonard must stand on his feet all day, which causes severe pain. When he asked for transfer to a position that did not cause him pain, he was told that he would stay where he was for six more years. The prison clinician has recommended a simple surgical procedure to correct the bone spur, but the Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Springfield, Missouri has denied the request, and the Leavenworth warden has denied a request for treatment at a Kansas City hospital that regularly treats Leavenworth inmates. Leonard seeks immediately special gel-foam inserts for his shoe and the necessary surgery to correct the bone spur.

The LPDC asks that you call, fax, email or write:

Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, Director, Bureau Of Prisons,
320 First St. NW, Washington, DC 20534,
202-307-3198, fax; 202-514-6878;
e-mail; khawk@bop.gov .

Also contact Capt. Newton E. Kendig II, Medical Director, Health Services Division, Bureau of Prisons at
202-307-3055 Fax: 202-307-0826 Email: nkendig@bop.gov

Demand immediately at least the level of care recommended by their own clinician in Leavenworth to the painful bone spur that is currently causing suffering to Leonard Peltier, USPL #89637-132. Send a copy of your letter to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations complaint@jcaho.org , Fax: (630) 792-5636

(It should be noted the June 26th is also the United Nations' International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. An excerpt from today's statement from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reads as follows:

"The optional protocol is designed to assist States parties in implementing their obligation under the Convention to prevent torture by providing for the establishment of effective international and national mechanisms for visiting places where persons are or may be deprived of their liberty. Visits to such places by independent multidisciplinary teams of experts have proved to be a very effective way to prevent treatment of detainees that violates international standards."
See http://www.unhchr.ch)

2. The LPDC has received an historic release of declassified FBI documents

Thanks to the persistence of supporters and ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) legal activity on Leonard's behalf, the FBI released eleven boxes of documents from their headquarters in Washington, DC. The documents were first released to the office of US Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), who wrote to the FBI regarding the documents after he received hundreds of letters from constituents on the issue. These documents will be digitized with a state-of-the-art system that the LPDC is in the process of acquiring, which will allow thorough searching, indexing and cross-referencing. These documents will be analyzed by a team of experts including attorneys Bruce Ellison, of the original Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee and Jennifer Harbury, among others.

While these documents represent the extent of what the FBI claims it had in their headquarters, there are still many more documents in the 56 field offices. The Minneapolis field office reports 42,000 pages in Leonard's file, and an FBI agent assigned to FOIA issues in Washington says the volume may near 100,000 pages. The goal is to vigorously pursue full declassification of all the documents, which will likely involve legal challenges to delays in release and to the extent of redactions, or "blacking out" of information. Check our website for updates and sample documents as they become available, http://www.freepeltier.org

3. 27th Anniversary of Incident at Oglala

Wednesday, June 26th, 2002 marks the 27th anniversary of the tragic shootout in Oglala that left FBI agents Coler and Williams and AIM activist Joe Killsright Stuntz dead. On the 25th anniversary, in the summer of 2000, people gathered at the Jumping Bull property to mark the date with ceremony and prayer in pursuit of reconciliation and healing. This year, with the same ends in mind, people will be directing their attention at the FBI, its history of suppressing dissent and violating citizens' Constitutional rights, and recent revelations of investigatory misconduct that has caused the wrongful conviction and incarceration of many.

A large rally is expected in Boston, where Leonard's second-eldest daughter, Marquetta Shields, will read Leonard's statement, joined by LPDC Board Members Glenn Marshall and Kenarahdiyoh, Jean Day, AIM member and survivor of the Pine Ridge Reign of Terror, and others. In New York City, a rally will be held at City Hall, to support City Council member Charles Barron's resolution #344 calling for the release of political prisoners in New York State. Kathleen Cleaver will be speaking on behalf of Leonard there. On the Pine Ridge Reservation, there will be a Prayer ceremony for the people at the gravesites of Joe Stuntz, Anna Mae Aquash, and Wallace Little Jr., followed by a walk to the Jumping Bull property, a press conference, and a concert in the town of Pine Ridge. Bruce Ellison will be speaking in San Francisco on the 26th and in Berkeley on the 27th, while in Houston, Leonard 's grandson Cyrus will speak, joined by Standing Deer, who readers of Peter Matthiessen's "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" will recall is the fellow inmate who was recruited by the authorities to execute Leonard but ultimately blew the whistle on the plan. There are also events planned for Portland, Oregon, San Diego, Carbondale, Illinois, and Denver and in Europe in London, Paris and Brussells. Information on all these events can be found on our homepage, http://www.freepeltier.org

Standing Deer, Cyrus Peltier and others will be on Pacifica Radio's KPFT 90.1FM in Houston on the 26th, from starting just after 11 AM Central Time and running until 1 PM. You can listen live over the web by going to http://www.kpft.org and following instructions.

4. Leonard Peltier's interim parole hearing delayed until July 9th - There is still time to send letters of support!

Leonard was told by authorities at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary that his interim parole hearing, scheduled originally for July 1st, will now be held on July 9th. Thousands of letters of support have been received, and will be delivered together at the hearing, so Leonard will see for himself the mass of support for his release. While there are inherent problems with the parole system that leave many close to Leonard's case skeptical as to the possibility of a favorable outcome, we still need to make a strong showing to let the authorities know that people are still working globally for Leonard's release. The repeated denial of parole is being addressed separately in a Habeas Corpus suit that was filed in 1999 and is currently pending.

A sample parole hearing letter is posted on our website, at http://ww.freepeltier.org . We ask people to use it as is or modify it, or write an original letter, and send it to us at LPDC, PO Box 583, Lawrence, KS 66044, fax to 785-842-5796 or email it to lpdc@freepeltier.org You may also send a copy along to your member of Congress. Thanks for your efforts in this drive for parole support letters. There are some who insist Leonard stay behind bars, and our voices must be loud, clear and overwhelming.

PLEASE take part in the URGENT ACTION to help Leonard get the medical treatment he needs and deserves. If you did not get this email directly from the LPDC, consider signing up directly for our email update list. See http://www.freepeltier.org/e_mail.htm for details.

THANK YOU! In Solidarity, LPDC

Until Freedom Is Won!
The New Peltier Justice Campaign


from: lpdc@freepeltier.org
May 2002

URGENT: Letter Drive for Peltier's Parole

Dear Friends,

Leonard Peltier's next interim parole hearing has been scheduled for July 1st, 2002. Letters of support are urgently needed.

An interim parole hearing is different from a regular parole hearing. Its purpose is to review the Parole Commission's original decision to deny parole to see if any new developments warrant a change. The Commission can do one of three things: affirm the original decision to deny parole and leave the next full hearing date (2008) in place (the most common scenario); accelerate or postpone the next full hearing date; or grant parole (the rarest scenario).

As many of you have experienced, the Parole Commission does not treat these hearings with any seriousness or fairness. During the last hearing, the Parole Examiner wrote his recommendation that Leonard not be granted parole while Leonard's representatives were still making their presentations. However, it is critical that we maintain a strong showing of support for Leonard's release. We DO NOT want to give the Commission or prison officials the false impression that Leonard Peltier's support is dwindling. This showing of support is what keeps Leonard safe. Furthermore, we must take full advantage of any opportunity to seek Leonard's release, even if the chances for victory are slim. Let's gather as many letters as possible and show officials that we have not and will not give up.

A sample letter that you can use if you'd like is below. If you can personalize it that is even better. Please send your letters to the LPDC so that we can track how many were submitted and compile them for presentation to the Parole Commission.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

In Solidarity,

Click here to learn about Leonard's parole status:


United States Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7286

Re: LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132

Dear Commissioners,

I am writing to express my wholehearted support for the parole of Mr. Leonard Peltier who is currently housed at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth. Mr. Peltier has served more than 26 years in prison for the deaths of FBI Agents, Ronald Williams and Jack Coler. I recognize the grave nature of such an offense. My deepest sympathy is extended to the families of these two agents.

After careful consideration of the facts in Mr. Peltier's case, I ask you to grant Mr. Peltier parole. I note that the United States attorneys and the courts have long held that they do not know who killed Mr. Coler or Mr. Williams. In spite of this fact, Mr. Peltier has served more than 26 years in prison for their deaths. Although Mr. Peltier maintains that he did not kill the agents, he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over their deaths. Mr. Peltier has no prior convictions and has advocated for non-violence throughout his prison term. Mr. Peltier does not represent a risk to the pubic. To the contrary, his release would help to heal a wound that has long impeded better relations with Native Americans.

Furthermore, Mr. Peltier has been a model prisoner. He has received excellent evaluations from his work supervisors on a regular basis. He continues to mentor young Native prisoners, encouraging them to lead clean and sober lives. He has used his time productively, disciplining himself to be a talented painter and an expressive writer. Most admirably, he contributes regular support to those in need. He donates his paintings to charities including battered women's shelters, half way houses, alcohol and drug treatment programs, and Native American scholarship funds. He coordinates an annual gift drive for the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which last year garnered more than 1,000 gifts. He is widely recognized in the human rights community for his good deeds and in turn has won several human rights awards, including the 2001 Ontario Federation of Labour Human Rights Award and a current nomination for the Right to Livelihood Award.

Lastly, I note my deep concern with Mr. Peltier's health. He is now 57 years of age and he suffers from partial blindness, diabetes, a heart condition, and high blood pressure. Mr. Peltier deserves to live the remaining years of his life in peace.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,


Until Freedom Is Won!
The New Peltier Justice Campaign



continued . . . Spring 2002




top     * Free Leonard Peltier page * Leonard Peltier Updates * Early 2001
* Clemency bid for Leonard Peltier * Fall 2000 * Jan.-early Fall * Peltier, FBI, parole 2000
*1999 * Mar. 1998 * Past Health Reports * Leonard Peltier on mining

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Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583, Lawrence, KS 66044
785-842-5774, www.freepeltier.org