Friends and Relations,
This is a plea for a few moments of your time to ask you to sit down and write a letter for the freedom of Leonard Peltier!
A sample letter and address to the U.S. Parole Commissioners can be found in our web at www.aimwest.info It would be utterly fantastic for us all to WRITE ONE MILLION LETTERS, Yes one mill! Together by July 14th and seek the freedom for this man, Elder, Sun Dancer, Grandfather, Warrior.! We can do it! 33 years behind the iron doors for a crime he did not commit! Thank you for your time.
Thank you again,
From: Jeff Armstrong [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 9:24 AM
Subject: Fwd: Alert--Tell Nancy Pelosi to reaffirm her support for Peltier
Tony, I'll send the letter when I get to the office if the scanner is working.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeff Armstrong
Date: Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 11:05 AM
Subject: Alert--Tell Nancy Pelosi to reaffirm her support for Peltier
(Kari--please fax to Pelosi and post to list)
In 1993 Nancy Pelosi called on Attorney General Reno to conduct an investigation of government misconduct in Peltier's case. Today, she is Speaker of the House, putting her in a position to help see that justice is done in the upcoming parole hearing. Please call or fax Speaker Pelosi and ask her to stand by her words of 16 years ago by writing to the parole commission on Leonard's behalf.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Speaker
House of Represenatatives
Dear Speaker Pelosi, July 1, 2009
As you may recall, you were one of 18 members of the United States Congress who signed an Aug. 4, 1993 letter (attached) to then-Attorney General Janet Reno, calling on her to “order a thorough, independent review of the [Leonard Peltier] case, the allegations of misconduct on the part of the federal government, and the Justice Department's role in the pursuit of this case.” The letter further notes that Mr. Peltier's trial was “tainted,” and that “the federal government has conceded that it does not know and cannot prove who actually fired the fatal shots.”
Unfortunately, Attorney General Reno failed to heed the request, and President Clinton subsequently capitulated to pressure from past and present members of the FBI to refrain from granting Peltier executive clemency. As a result, 16 more years have passed with no new trial, no Justice Department review of federal misconduct, and no investigation by the Congress, of which you are now a leader.
Needless to say, the passage of time has not lessened the injustice of Mr. Peltier's continued incarceration or somehow validated the government's case against him. On the contrary, each year that passes aggravates the emotional wounds inflicted upon Peltier and his family, relatives of the dozens of Pine Ridge Reservation residents whose killings have gone unsolved and in many cases uninvestigated, and millions of indigenous people and their supporters throughout the world. The federal government's refusal to investigate its own role in the violence that permeated Pine Ridge in the 1970s only widens the divide between Native peoples and the people and government of the United States.
You are in a rather unique position to contribute to the healing process, which you can do by writing to the Parole Commission on Peltier's behalf and renewing your call for a federal investigation of the FBI's conduct on Pine Ridge and elsewhere in covert operations against the American Indian Movement and its supporters. We also request that you circulate a letter of support for Mr. Peltier's release among your congressional colleagues for them to sign on to. Peltier's parole hearing will be held July 28; the parole commission says it will accept letters until July 14.
Peltier has now spent 33 years of his life in a federal cell, despite Parole Commission regulations that require mandatory parole after 30 years, in the absence of serious violations of prison rules or a probability of reoffending. By any objective standard, Peltier has been a model prisoner and humanitarian, counseling young prisoners and supporting reservation social programs by donating paintings to charitable organizations, funding scholarships, and facilitating Christmas gift drives for needy children. At 64, Peltier is a great-grandfather who longs to live in peace on his home reservation in close proximity to his family.
As the late Coretta Scott King wrote to President Clinton in 2000, calling for executive clemency, “American Indians have been subjected to a long litany of the most brutal injustices and horrific treatment, and Mr. Peltier's unjust incarceration remains a festering sore that impedes better race relations in America. Surely the time has come to promote healing and a spirit of trust and genuine goodwill toward the Indian peoples of America with an act that serves both compassion and justice.” If King's late, great husband was correct that “justice delayed is justice denied,” then great haste is required to mitigate the accumulated injustices that have been done in this case.
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
P.O. Box 7488
Fargo, ND, 58102