[Ppnews] Peltier's secret FBI docs may reveal operative
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 10 11:55:33 EST 2012
Suit involves slaying of FBI agents in 1975
Indian activist seeks documents
By Phil Fairbanks
News Staff Reporter
Updated: February 10, 2012, 6:51 AM
When Leonard Peltier was arrested in connection
with the killing of two FBI agents in South
Dakota in 1975, the American Indian activist wasnt alone.
Canadian police also picked up Frank Blackhorse,
but he was never charged in the shootings and, 37
years later, remains a free man.
Decades later, Peltiers lawyers are trying to
find out why as part of a new suit in Buffalo federal court.
Theyre both arrested, and yet Blackhorse is
never brought back to the United States, said
Michael Kuzma, a Buffalo lawyer and a member of Peltiers legal defense team.
Kuzma thinks that Blackhorse his real name was
Frank Delucawas an FBI operative posing as an
Indian activist and that secret FBI documents may confirm that role.
Peltier, 67, an American Indian Movement leader
in the 1970s, has maintained his innocence in the
murder, and supporters have tried to get his 1977
conviction overturned ever since, claiming he was targeted for his activism.
As part of that effort, they are asking a federal
judge in Buffalo to release 927 pages of FBI
documents, once kept in Buffalo, from the nearly
four-decade- old case. Their Freedom of
Information request dates back to 2004 and is the
latest in a series of court actions designed to
pry loose secret government documents.
Kuzma said the FBI initially agreed to release
the documents but later backtracked and decided
they might violate Blackhorses privacy and
therefore are exempt from federal disclosure law.
Even now, the killing of FBI Special Agents Jack
R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams evokes great
passion among federal agents across the country.
About 500 active and retired agents held a march
outside the White House 11 years ago, asking
departing President Bill Clinton not to grant clemency to Peltier.
In 2009, Peltier came up for possible parole, and
again, the FBI urged that he be kept in prison.
The inevitable haziness brought on by the
passage of time does not diminish the brutality
of the crimes or the lifelong torment to the
surviving families, Thomas J. Harrington, an
assistant director at the FBI, said in a statement to the parole commission.
Peltier, who is serving his two terms of life in
prison at the federal penitentiary in Coleman,
Fla., was the focus of several nationwide
protests last weekend, including one in Buffalo
attended by dozens of supporters.
<mailto:pfairbanks at buffnews.com>pfairbanks at buffnews.com
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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