Sunday, February 7, 2010

Former FBI agent falsely claims Peltier Confesses to "Incident at Oglala"


The above headline was the sensationalistic title of a posting made by a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ed Woods. Director of the No Parole Peltier Association (with an apparent membership of one), Woods used the title on that organization’s blog on February 6.

What is clear to even the most casual of observers is that Woods used this title with Google indexing in mind, as well as Internet users’ short attention spans. His hope was that the posting would be widely circulated and that all folks would do is read (and believe) the title.

This likely was also a veiled attack on actor Robert Redford who was recently interviewed on Democracy Now! about the Peltier case and the documentary film, "Incident at Oglala," (produced and narrated by Redford). You can view the interview here.

Scandalous. Shame on you, Mr. Woods.

First? It’s generally accepted that if people write in all caps on the Internet, it means they’re shouting. How rude!

We could ignore Woods’ lack of manners, but we won’t ignore the lies in his critique of Leonard Peltier’s February 6 statement.

We challenge you to read Leonard’s statement (here) and find any instance where Leonard confessed to killing the agents.

Native American activist Leonard Peltier was wrongfully convicted in 1977 on the basis of fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony. The United States Courts of Appeal have repeatedly acknowledged investigatory and prosecutorial misconduct in his case. The ballistics evidence withheld by prosecutors and the FBI alone should have mandated Peltier’s release from prison—at minimum, a new trial.

Currently imprisoned at the U.S. penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Leonard maintains his innocence, as he has for 34 years, but Mr. Woods uses this quote from Leonard’s February 6th statement as his alleged proof of a confession:
“I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do.”
Let’s be clear. Leonard merely affirmed that he would—then and now—stand up for the survival of his People and fight for Indigenous Rights regardless of the consequences (known or unknown).

That is warrior way. Mr. Woods clearly knows little of Indigenous culture, despite his claim to the contrary.

It’s also American way. Our liberties are always worth defending, we’re told.
“It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.” (Samuel Adams)
Mr. Woods has always made outrageous claims, but his current approach is downright insidious.

Former agents’ new stratagem is to save Leonard’s soul—bring him to God, so to speak. Woods and others literally evangelized at Leonard’s July 2009 parole hearing. Woods did the same in this latest blog posting. These are men, remember, who were once sworn to defend the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps they never read the First Amendment. They clearly have no respect for the spiritual beliefs of others—well, at least Indians.

We notice that Mr. Woods refers to us as “our Indians” [emphasis added] in those newsletters of his, too, usually while bragging about “taking care of” our People on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Such comments remind us of those of former agent Norman Zigrossi who, in documentaries that have been made about Leonard’s case, has stated outright that the Indigenous Peoples of North America are “conquered people”.

Make no mistake about it. These sentiments are at the very root of everything that occurred on the Pine Ridge reservation in the 70s. Clearly not a great deal has changed since then. It’s the white man’s way or no way?

Whether merely thought or spoken, these are oppressor’s words. Mr. Woods would have us accept them.

Our freedom is a blessing from Creator, not of men... We must therefore respectfully decline.

We’ll do things Indian way, thank you very much.

We will never give in. We will never yield to force. We will never yield to apparently overwhelming might.

We will never be “conquered people”.

And we will survive.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee


LP-DOC - PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
(701) 235-2206 (Phone); (701) 235-5045 (Fax)

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