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View Diary: How Leonard Peltier Could Leave Prison by August 18 (48 comments)

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  •  political prisoner, deserves parole (4+ / 0-)

    The FBI was humiliated for 71 days during the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee.  After the standoff ended, a war of revenge broke out and Leonard Peltier was one of its soldiers.  It was NEVER about law and order - it was politics from the beginning.  That's what makes him a political prisoner.  

    If there was any justice to be had on Pine Ridge, the FBI was not there to work for it, or else they would have investigated the murders and civil rights violations of pro-AIM locals.  They were there to squash dissent, pure and simple.  The head of the FBI during the Wounded Knee siege resigned in disgrace as part of the Watergate scandal.  The motives and conduct of the FBI during these years have been condemned in congress and by judges in many cases.  Lawyers were wiretapped, witnesses intimidated, evidence fabricated and exculpatory material hidden from defense, all in violation of the law and FBI policy.  Politics, not justice was the motive.  

    Many, if not all of AIM's excesses and serious crimes could be traced back to the illegal actions against it, or the paranoia induced by COINTELPRO tactics.  Regrettable things happened - including murders.  But these crimes cannot and should not be viewed apart from the overall picture.  The principles of the US government (who has dubious jurisdiction over the Lakota people in the first place) pays lip service to the ideals of "liberty and justice for all."  

    Peltier was not a leader in AIM, and the FBI never managed to get a good conviction against any of the leaders of AIM.  They also tried two other men for the killing of the agents and the judge ruled that it was a war... not murder.  One gun shot the agents from close range.  The FBI first went to court saying it was two men who were then acquitted, and acquitted because the court declared the situation was too politically charged for them to get a fair trial.   The FBI lost, and once again they were humiliated by AIM.  After that they said it was Peltier who killed the agents.  At least one of the times, they seem to have been lying.  

    Maybe Peltier shot the agents, maybe he didn't.  He's been in prison for 33 years.  He was a soldier in a war, an unjust war fought dirty for the wrong reasons by an administration that accomplished little except to leave a legacy of shame and a horrific body count.  The real question is, what sort of justice can be done in his regard?  keep in mind truth justice and the american way went out the window decades ago in this case.  It's pure politics... and everyone knows it.  

    Parole is the very least they system can do to admit culpability in the mess they helped create.  The FBI sent those men into a hornet's nest of its own making, for dubious purposes, in a war zone of its own making.  If he is denied parole, the signal it sends is that the system reserves the right to wage domestic war to stifle dissent and to use unfair means to do so.  

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