[Marxism] Leonard Peltier - I am Obama's political prisoner now
dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 13 08:24:49 MDT 2009
> /*The Denial of My Parole */
> I Am Barack Obama's Political Prisoner Now
> By LEONARD PELTIER
> The United States Department of Justice has once again made a mockery of
> its lofty and pretentious title.
> After releasing an original and continuing disciple of death cult leader
> Charles Manson who attempted to shoot President Gerald Ford, an admitted
> Croatian terrorist, and another attempted assassin of President Ford
> under the mandatory 30-year parole law, the U.S. Parole Commission
> deemed that my release would “promote disrespect for the law.”
> If only the federal government would have respected its own laws, not to
> mention the treaties that are, under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme
> law of the land, I would never have been convicted nor forced to spend
> more than half my life in captivity. Not to mention the fact that every
> law in this country was created without the consent of Native peoples
> and is applied unequally at our expense. If nothing else, my experience
> should raise serious questions about the FBI's supposed jurisdiction in
> Indian Country.
> The parole commission's phrase was lifted from soon-to-be former U.S.
> Attorney Drew Wrigley, who apparently hopes to ride with the FBI cavalry
> into the office of North Dakota governor. In this Wrigley is following
> in the footsteps of William Janklow, who built his political career on
> his reputation as an Indian fighter, moving on up from tribal attorney
> (and alleged rapist of a Native minor) to state attorney general, South
> Dakota governor, and U.S. Congressman. Some might recall that Janklow
> claimed responsibility for dissuading President Clinton from pardoning
> me before he was convicted of manslaughter. Janklow's historical
> predecessor, George Armstrong Custer, similarly hoped that a glorious
> massacre of the Sioux would propel him to the White House, and we all
> know what happened to him.
> Unlike the barbarians that bay for my blood in the corridors of power,
> however, Native people are true humanitarians who pray for our enemies.
> Yet we must be realistic enough to organize for our own freedom and
> equality as nations. We constitute 5% of the population of North Dakota
> and 10% of South Dakota and we could utilize that influence to promote
> our own power on the reservations, where our focus should be. If we
> organized as a voting bloc, we could defeat the entire premise of the
> competition between the Dakotas as to which is the most racist. In the
> 1970s we were forced to take up arms to affirm our right to survival and
> self-defense, but today the war is one of ideas. We must now stand up to
> armed oppression and colonization with our bodies and our minds.
> International law is on our side.
> Given the complexion of the three recent federal parolees, it might seem
> that my greatest crime was being Indian. But the truth is that my
> gravest offense is my innocence. In Iran, political prisoners are
> occasionally released if they confess to the ridiculous charges on which
> they are dragged into court, in order to discredit and intimidate them
> and other like-minded citizens. The FBI and its mouthpieces have
> suggested the same, as did the parole commission in 1993, when it ruled
> that my refusal to confess was grounds for denial of parole.
> To claim innocence is to suggest that the government is wrong, if not
> guilty itself. The American judicial system is set up so that the
> defendant is not punished for the crime itself, but for refusing to
> accept whatever plea arrangement is offered and for daring to compel the
> judicial system to grant the accused the right to right to rebut the
> charges leveled by the state in an actual trial. Such insolence is
> punished invariably with prosecution requests for the steepest possible
> sentence, if not an upward departure from sentencing guidelines that are
> being gradually discarded, along with the possibility of parole.
> As much as non-Natives might hate Indians, we are all in the same boat.
> To attempt to emulate this system in tribal government is pitiful, to
> say the least.
> It was only this year, in the Troy Davis, case, that the U.S. Supreme
> Court recognized innocence as a legitimate legal defense. Like the
> witnesses that were coerced into testifying against me, those that
> testified against Davis renounced their statements, yet Davis was very
> nearly put to death. I might have been executed myself by now, had not
> the government of Canada required a waiver of the death penalty as a
> condition of extradition.
> The old order is aptly represented by Supreme Court Justice Antonin
> Scalia, who stated in his dissenting opinion in the Davis case, “This
> Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a
> convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able
> to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent. Quite to the
> contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while
> expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged 'actual
> innocence' is constitutionally cognizable.”
> The esteemed Senator from North Dakota, Byron Dorgan, who is now the
> chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, used much the same
> reasoning in writing that “our legal system has found Leonard Peltier
> guilty of the crime for which he was charged. I have reviewed the
> material from the trial, and I believe the verdict was fair and just.”
> It is a bizarre and incomprehensible statement to Natives, as well it
> should be, that innocence and guilt is a mere legal status, not
> necessarily rooted in material fact. It is a truism that all political
> prisoners were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged.
> The truth is the government wants me to falsely confess in order to
> validate a rather sloppy frame-up operation, one whose exposure would
> open the door to an investigation of the United States' role in training
> and equipping goon squads to suppress a grassroots movement on Pine
> Ridge against a puppet dictatorship.
> In America, there can by definition be no political prisoners, only
> those duly judged guilty in a court of law. It is deemed too
> controversial to even publicly contemplate that the federal government
> might fabricate and suppress evidence to defeat those deemed political
> enemies. But it is a demonstrable fact at every stage of my case.
> I am Barack Obama's political prisoner now, and I hope and pray that he
> will adhere to the ideals that impelled him to run for president. But as
> Obama himself would acknowledge, if we are expecting him to solve our
> problems, we missed the point of his campaign. Only by organizing in our
> own communities and pressuring our supposed leaders can we bring about
> the changes that we all so desperately need. Please support the Leonard
> Peltier Defense Offense Committee <http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info>
> in our effort to hold the United States government to its own words.
> I thank you all who have stood by me all these years, but to name anyone
> would be to exclude many more. We must never lose hope in our struggle
> for freedom.
> In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
> Leonard Peltier
> Leonard Peltier #89637-132
> US Penitentiary
> PO Box 1000
> Lewisburg, PA 17837
> For more information on Leonard Peltier visit the Leonard Peltier
> Defense-Offense Committee website <http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info>.
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