[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

http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/buffalo/article727489.ece

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 wasn’t 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, Peltier’s lawyers are trying to 
find out why as part of a new suit in Buffalo federal court.

“They’re both arrested, and yet Blackhorse is 
never brought back to the United States,” said 
Michael Kuzma, a Buffalo lawyer and a member of Peltier’s 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 Blackhorse’s 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




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