Saturday, August 01, 2009

This one for Al,
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

It raised the obvious question in my mind, "Who is Leonard Peltier?".

From Wikipedia -
Leonard Peltier (born September 12, 1944) is an American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who was convicted and sentenced in 1977 to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for the murder of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who were killed during a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There is considerable debate over Peltier’s guilt and the fairness of his trial. Some supporters and organizations consider him to be a political prisoner. Amnesty International has stated that "Although he has not been adopted as a prisoner of conscience, there is concern about the fairness of the proceedings leading to his conviction and it is believed that political factors may have influenced the way the case was prosecuted."[1] Numerous lawsuits have been filed on his behalf but none have succeeded. Peltier was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg in Pennsylvania until January, 2009, when he was moved to Canaan Federal Penitentiary in Waymart, Pennsylvania. He was sent back to Lewisburg after he was severely beaten by other inmates in Canaan.

I am not going to argue any side on this. I have read the statement made by the lead FBI investigator at Peltier's recent parole hearing (first since 1993). It does not make for pretty reading. I know nothing of the background to the case, the investigation and the Court hearing. I am going to stand aside.

The message is for Al. I certainly agree with the sentiment.

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