[Ppnews] Statement from Leonard Peltier: A Heroes Welcome

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Jan 31 16:29:53 EST 2009


From: contact at whoisleonardpeltier.info

I want to thank each and everyone of you for your efforts in my 
urgent time of need, you cannot imagine how much my spirit has been 
lifted from the cards and letters, the phone calls and how everyone 
kept up the pressure. My gratitude is really more than I can express.

My return to Lewisburg was met like a hero's welcome, and many people 
came to assure me of my safety there. It is so ironic that the 
prisoners in a federal maximum-security prison can guarantee my 
safety, but the Bureau of Prisons will not. I did not say, "cannot", 
but "will not" do so. You have to remember the BOP is a little 
brother to the FBI and they came from an illegitimate mother called 
the JUST-US (Justice) Department.

Do I sound a little angry? Well, I am angry that many of my friends 
have died in assuring my survival while I've been in prison. All the 
men who were involved in my escape at Lompoc, all died mysteriously 
soon after: Dallas Thundershield at Lompoc, Bobby Garcia at Terre 
Haute, and Rocky Duenas, whose body was never recovered. And Standing 
Deer, he gave away his life when he revealed the assassination plot 
against me. He lived under the shadow of death for years, waiting to 
be killed for defying the government, until he was eventually paroled 
to Texas. He was murdered soon after the same person who contracted 
him to have me assassinated warned him about his involvement with my 
campaign. Surviving this attack brought back memories of those 
losses, and it is with tears of more gratitude in my eyes and in my 
heart that no one died this time. I don't ever want to lose another 
brother in protecting me; a human life is precious and important.

I know in other countries, prisoners who have been held by their 
government have been placed in house arrest after they have attained 
international support as I have. If the BOP cannot guarantee my 
safety to the extent the prisoners here can, then I demand to be 
returned to my nation, Turtle Mountain, where I can be assured of my safety!

Turtle Mountain has issued a resolution to transfer me into their 
custody, and they have asked to meet with Obama on a nation-to-nation 
basis. This has to happen and it will when a lot of energy is placed 
behind it. In the past 18 days your efforts brought me out of the 
hole and to where there is a measure of safety.

The FBI has said that I will never leave prison alive, and we should 
not accept that as an idle threat. There have been a few times that 
my life was targeted by the FBI in the 33 years since my capture, and 
each of those who have helped me to survive are now dead. The 
transfer and attack at Canaan is just a warning to me of what is to 
come. The warden's know of the psychological make-up of their inmate 
population in their prison, and they clearly knew that placing 
someone who is well known, as I am, with connections to many famous 
people and at my age, I would be subject to predatory attacks. This 
was deliberate by the BOP, and as far as the motivation for the 
attack, it could have been ordered by any prison official at the 
request of the FBI, or someone trying to curry favor from the feds. 
It could have also been a tactic to beat me into submission for 
purposes of extortion or something as stupid as trying to make a reputation.

We know they are afraid and Trimbach's smear letter support that. 
They see pressure, in the form of your letters and calls, growing and 
they know that my committee has been tirelessly developing plans to 
set up a wave of activity. The FBI is now afraid that they will fail 
to keep me falsely imprisoned. We are becoming stronger and we must 
keep building our network to succeed.

I am proud of the brother & sisters, the Elders and my family who 
make up the committee; they have all personally sacrificed more than 
many people may ever know. It is humbling when I hear about the 
difficulties they have had due to being associated with me, but they 
do not quit. They are putting in many hours of their lives that they 
could be spending with their own families, but I hear they are on the 
phones talking to people, writing letters, and networking through the 
computers. They have been criticized by a few people and have 
attempted to create divisions within the committee through spreading 
accusations about them. So let me say this, I know the people I have 
invited to serve on my committee, and I've known most of them for 
years. A couple of them are my Sun Dance brothers and I have 
entrusted my life in their abilities and their commitment to bring 
about my freedom.

The decision I have made to place them in their positions of 
responsibility is mine, not the critics. I ask all my supporters to 
ignore those who would have you waste your time listening to or 
reading petty gossip based upon jealousy or personal dislike. These 
are activities that the FBI uses to destroy a movement, and they are 
not the Indian way of doing things. So we need to be aware that those 
who are bad-mouthing my committee, and talking behind their backs to 
smear them, may be infiltrators sent by the feds to tear down the 
committee. Watch out for those people and make some distance from them.

I am also asking all of my supporters and allies to follow the 
directions of the committee when the plans and strategies are 
presented at the Feb. 6th event in Boulder, CO. It had begun as an 
educational event and now it will be a very important event because 
of everything that has happened recently. We had wanted to release it 
when Obama was sworn in, but my transfer placed it on hold. I am a 
believer that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. It all 
happens for a reason, and it feels as if things are coming together 
the way they should. It is significant that an intense campaign will 
be begin after 33 years in captivity and with a newly elected 
President who could be receptive to my clemency appeal in office.

We will be making our message stronger in what we do and in how we 
will do it. I cannot stress how important it will be to increase our 
numbers after this event because the committee members, 
spokespersons, and their families will be making more personal 
sacrifices to help increase awareness. They'll need your support in 
organizing other events and networking in your area.

Again, I want to thank everyone who wrote, called and emailed. My 
hand in appreciation is extended to those who have held rallies and 
protests on my behalf to call attention to the attack on me. I also 
extend my gratitude to Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman for her 
recent letter to President Obama urging him to free other political 
prisoners and myself.

In all these years, there have been so many people who have prayed 
for my safety and freedom from all faiths. There is power in those 
prayers and that is what I know will bring about my freedom. I can 
feel something different this time, and many others have expressed 
the same thought to me. So when you pray, don't pray only for me, but 
the warriors of AIM who have died for our people, the victims of the 
"Reign of Terror" on Pine Ridge, and other victims who has suffered 
as we have. Pray for their families as well. They must not be 
forgotten and they must have justice!

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Dallas Thundershield, Bobby Garcia, 
Rocky Duenas, Standing Deer, and in The Spirit of Total Resistance,

Leonard Peltier





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