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Urgent: Fight to Keep Leonard Peltier Behind Bars
Joseph and John Trimbach -- American Indian Movement Myth Busters Joseph and John Trimbach -- American Indian Movement Myth Busters
Peachtree City, GA
Friday, January 16, 2009

Urgent: Fight to Keep Leonard Peltier Behind Bars

"Leonard 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"

This statement by the late Coretta Scott King, along with other misguided views, are being used to pressure President-elect Barack Obama into granting convicted killer Leonard Peltier a presidential pardon, possibly within the next few weeks. Some have viewed Peltier?s recent transfer from Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary to Canaan FP as a possible prelude to early release. Canaan, 20 miles east of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is a newer facility which houses several Native American inmates who are nearing the end of their sentence. Canaan also has a minimum security satellite camp.

Particularly disturbing is the recent congressional testimony of Eric Holder, expected to be confirmed as the next Attorney General. Holder defended the commutation of the FALN terrorists, saying this group did not carry out violent acts, a statement disputed by former FBI officials.

Peltier was convicted of aiding and abetting the murders of FBI Agents Ron Williams and Jack Coler on June 26, 1975. Both men, 28 years-old, were shot to death at point-blank range. According to sworn testimony, Peltier bragged about shooting Ron Williams in the face. Peltier was quoted as saying, ?The m-----f---er was begging for his life but I shot him anyway.? Since his conviction in 1977, Peltier has refused to take responsibility for his crimes. He remains utterly defiant and completely unrepentant.

The time for action is now. Contact the White House and let them know your views. Write to our new president [www.whitehouse.gov/president/] and tell him not to release this convicted ?cop killer.? Contact your congressman and ask them to tell the president-elect how damaging such a pardon would be to law enforcement efforts and quite possibly, homeland security. Contact Senator John Thune of South Dakota and Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, both of whom are on record as opposing Peltier?s freedom.

In a recent newsletter to his followers, Peltier compared himself to Crazy Horse, Tecumseh, and Sitting Bull. He ended his tirade by writing, ?Don?t let evil triumph.? Let?s make sure Peltier?s evil does not triumph. President-elect Obama needs to know what an abomination of justice a free Peltier would mean to not only law enforcement, but to innocent Native Americans who opposed Peltier?s freedom and who may suffer the consequences from vengeful Peltier supporters.

Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, plus seven years for his armed escape in 1979, which resulted in the needless death of another Native American inmate. Peltier must serve the rest of his term. Keep this ruthless, unrepentant killer behind bars.

Here is a recent letter from former SAC Minneapolis, Joe Trimbach, to Congressman John Conyers, the recipient of a new major petition campaign to gain Peltier?s freedom:

January 6, 2009

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.

Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary

U.S. House of Representatives

2138 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Conyers,

Please reference my letter of August 7, 2008, in which I described the fraudulent defense of Leonard Peltier, convicted in the 1975 execution-style murders of FBI Agents Ron Williams and Jack Coler. As you recall, I was the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) in Minneapolis from 1973 to 1975 during the period when leaders of the American Indian Movement (AIM) terrorized the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. My book, American Indian Mafia, exposes many of the myths and falsehoods perpetuated by the AIM leadership in an effort to blame their criminal activity on the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. One of their favorite myths, the alleged use of COINTELPRO against AIM, is one of several debunked in Mafia.

I am compelled to write to you again concerning renewed efforts to gain Peltier?s freedom. President-elect Obama is under enormous pressure to grant Peltier a presidential pardon. He needs to be briefed that Peltier?s claimed innocence and the denials of his involvement in those double homicides constitute one of the biggest myths from that period of violence. I was there that day, responding to the frantic calls from Ron Williams as he and his partner, Jack Coler, came under fire. By the time I arrived from Minneapolis, some four hours later, the shooting was still going on. In fact, as my SWAT team chased Peltier into the hills, he and his accomplices shot at us. I still remember a plume of dirt flying up just a few feet from my position.

My book exposes the fantasies that have arisen out of Peltier?s makeover: from a cold-blooded, unrepentant killer, to a wronged man, a Native American ?prisoner of conscience.? Congressman Conyers, Leonard Peltier has no conscience when it comes to owning up to his crimes. In noting his conviction of aiding and abetting the murders, Peltier?s 1993 Parole Board concluded, ??the Commission is persuaded that the greater probability is that you yourself fired the fatal shots?? To this day, Peltier remains defiant, manipulative, and completely remorseless. Freeing this ruthless killer would be a terrible travesty of justice.

There was a time when Peltier might have earned his freedom if he had shown genuine contrition and had taken responsibility for his crimes. Instead, he has spent his years in prison hiding behind a manufactured persona of victimhood while conning millions of people out of their time and money in support of his evil defense. Peltier has made a mockery of Indians who have suffered genuine oppression and injustice.

Congressman Conyers, I hope you will view the Peltier video at my web site, www.americanindianmafia.com. It shows him constantly changing his story when confronted with the facts. Enclosed are more reasons why Peltier must not be granted a pardon. I hope you will not be one of those fooled by Peltier?s lies. Thousands of FBI Agents and law enforcement officers are counting on you to stand up against all efforts to free this guilty ?cop killer.?


Joe Trimbach

Reasons Why Leonard Peltier Should Never Receive a Presidential Pardon

1. Peltier was fairly tried and fairly convicted. This is the conclusion of every federal judge who?s reviewed the case. Since his conviction in 1977, the evidence against Peltier has been repeatedly confirmed, expanded, and corroborated. Peltier is no more a political prisoner than is Charles Manson. [For the facts of the case, see: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/585.html(Note FN 15: ?The two witnesses testified outside the presence of the jury that after their testimony at trial, they had been threatened by Peltier himself that if they did not return to court and testify that their earlier testimony had been induced by F.B.I. threats, their lives would be in danger.?.)]

2. Facts of the case prove that Peltier opened fire on the Agents from a distance of over 200 yards. Armed with only their side arms, both young men were soon wounded. After the initial shooting ended, Peltier, along with two other men, walked down to the wounded Agents and finished them off, shooting them both in the face at point-blank range.

3. A few months after the murders, Peltier bragged about killing Ron Williams, as recalled by Ka-Mook Banks in a separate murder trial in 2004. Under oath, Banks recalled Peltier?s exact words: ?The motherfu?er was begging for his life but I shot him anyway.? [See: http://www.jfamr.org/doc/kmtest1.html]. To this day, Peltier remains completely unrepentant and utterly without remorse.

4. Peltier has parlayed his Native American ancestry into a successful defense fund, bilking millions of people out of their time and money. He has fooled Amnesty International, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and the Dali Lama. Peltier is supported by Hollywood heavyweights Robert Redford, David Geffen, and Oliver Stone, all of whom have fallen prey to his propaganda machine. President-elect Obama needs to be briefed on the facts of the case in order to withstand the pressure from his political supporters.

5. Freeing an unrepentant murderer is contrary to all principles of parole and rehabilitation. It would undermine law enforcement efforts, subvert the rule of law, and compound the anguish of the victims? families. A presidential pardon would be particularly devastating to FBI Agents who risk their lives every day in pursuit of criminals. A pardon would also be detrimental to American interests by giving ammunition to our enemies. They will point to our system of justice as one that convicts innocent Native Americans, thus confirming their argument that Peltier was wrongfully convicted and that our court system is unfair. Worldwide media will parrot these conclusions as if they are fact-based.

6. A Peltier pardon would undermine efforts to investigate crimes on Indian reservations. Many Indians would view his freedom as a sign that the FBI and the Justice Department had always tried to mislead Indian Country about the facts of the case. Many Indians would be more reluctant to cooperate with current investigations.

7. Peltier escaped from prison in July 1979 during which a young Indian was shot and killed. Peltier claimed he was targeted by the FBI for assassination. The truth is that he had planned his escape for several years, and counted on help from outside contacts. Peltier must be held responsible for the needless death he caused and for threatening a man from whom he stole a truck during his escape. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Peltier threatened witnesses who testified against him during his trial

8. If Peltier is freed, it will be much more difficult to indict him on other murders where he may have been involved. In one of these cases, Peltier interrogated a young woman, Anna Mae Aquash, by putting a loaded gun in her mouth. [See: http://www.americanindianmafia.com/audio/GunInHerMouthReMix.wmv]. Aquash was murdered three months later by the American Indian Movement leadership. (The alleged triggerman in that case finally goes on trial in February 2009 in federal court, Rapid City.)

9. Contrary to his claims, Peltier has always put himself above the welfare of Native Americans. One of his recent newsletters opened with the words, ?May Death Be Upon You, FBI.? These are not the thoughts of an innocent man, but rather the wish of someone wanting to stir up violence. Peltier would like nothing better than to agitate for criminal acts against Indians who oppose his freedom and who count on the FBI to apprehend evildoers on the reservation. Peltier has nothing but contempt for our system of justice. He has done nothing to earn his freedom. He is guilty and should stay in prison until he dies a natural death.
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