By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
I featured three articles in November, 2015 (HERE, HERE, and HERE) depicting a controversy caused by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ promotion of artwork made by Leonard Peltier, who was convicted for the June, 1975 murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. The display furthered the controversy in that it marked the 40thanniversary year of the agents’ murder. After considerable outcry on both sides of the issue, the dispay was taken down two weeks prior to its scheduled conclusion date.
Now, a lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court by Leonard Peltier and his son Chauncey against the state naming L&I Director Joel Sacks, Governor Jay Inslee, the L&I spokesman, retired FBI Special Agents, and two hundred John Does as defendants, claiming that the Peltiers were denied their First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated by the state’s removal of the artwork.
The lawsuit indicates strongly how controversies such as these can be avoided and that allowing state employees to promote controversial issues often leads to disaster.
I first reported the unsettling situation where a government agency promoted the art of this convicted cop killer, which was only certain to generate controversy in the Law Enforcement Community along with the families of those who have lost their loved ones.
The State of Washington sponsored a convicted murderer’s artwork and provided free advertisements toward its purchase. I view this as highly unethical and a strong conflict of interest. The State of Washington should not be in the business of helping convicted cop killers profit while in prison. It is an insult to the families of agents Coler and Williams and those who have served in the profession.
The great irony of this affair is that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is the agency charged with paying benefits to police officers injured on the job and to also administers the Washington State Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund.
The article drew the attention of KING5 news which held an interview with Retired FBI agent Matt Lauer. Click on the below image to watch.
The lawsuit alleges civil rights violations of US Constitution Amendments 1, 5, and 14, the Equal Protection Clause of Article I of the Washington State Constitution, Defamation, and Tortious Interference with Contract.
Here are some highlights of the complaint:
Plaintiff LEONARD PELTIER is an American Indian Activist convicted under highly questionable circumstances of the disputed deaths of two FBI agents in 1974. The government case involved lying to Candia authorities and providing false witness testimony to persuade Canada to extradite this Plaintiff, witness coercion, falsifying, misrepresenting, and deliberately concealing material evidence, deliberately selecting a favorable venue, falsely representing to the trial judge that his own safety was in jeopardy and other acts deliberately calculated to ensure conviction. Plaintiff Leonard Peltier has been a Federal Prisoner, as a result for 40 years. His case has been the subject of great dispute and controversy. He is also an extremely accomplished artist.
Defendant JOEL SACKS, is and was at the time of the incidents that are the basis for this Complaint, the DIRECTOR of the WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES. By information and belief, DEFENDANT JOEL SACKS is a resident of THURSTON COUNTY, WA in the WESTERN DISTRICT of WASHINGTON, whose office is in LACEY, WA in THURSTON COUNTY. By information and belief, Defendant SACKS personally, along with Defendants INSLEE and CHURCH made the decision to remove certain paintings by PLAINTIFF LEONARD PELTIER from the public exhibition hereinafter described solely due to the identity and controversy surrounding the artist causing the harm to Plaintiffs detailed herein.
Defendant JAY INSLEE is and was at the time of these incidents, THE overnor of the STATE of WASHINGTON. DFENDANT [sic] INSLEE is, and must be, a resident of THURSTON COUNTY in the WESTERN DISTRICT of WASHINGTON. By information and belief, Defendant INSLEE personally, along with Defendants SACKS and CHURCH made the decision to remove certain paintings by PLAINTIFF LEONARD PELTIER from the public exhibition hereinafter described solely due to the identity and controversy surrounding the artist causing the harm to Plaintiffs detailed herein.
Defendant EDWARD P. WOODS is, and was at the time of these incidents 17 a retired FBI AGENT, whose sole focus, and obsession, since his retirement, first under paid contract with the FBI, and since, by belief unpaid, has been to discredit, isolate, and harass, defame, and otherwise attack PLAINTIFF LEONARD PELTIER, and attempt to prevent PLAINTIFF from ever been released from prison..[sic] As part of that vendetta, DEFENDANT WOODS contacted Defendants INSLEE and SACKS and organized others to do so all demanding that PLAINTIFF LEONARD PELTIER’S paintings be removed from the public exhibition in question and, to do so made knowingly false statements to those officials to induce them to remove LEONARD PELTIER”S [sic] artwork and expression from the exhibition, resulting in that harm. By INFORMATION and BELIEF DEFENDANT EDWARD P. WOODS is a resident of Cincinnati, OH, in the SOUTHERN DISTRICT of OHIO.
DEFENDANT LARRY LANGBERG is a retired FFBI agent, the former President of the FBI Agents Association and the Current Director of the Society of former special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While an active agent, Defendant LANGBERG made disparaging comments about the “over-promotion” of agents of color and was investigating [sic] for improperly lobbying a member of Congress for pay increases. DEFENDANT LANGBERG, in order to induce Defendants SACKS and INSLEE to order Plaintiff Leonard Peltier’s paintings removed from the exhibition, wrote a letter to Defendant SACKS that was full of knowingly false statements and slurs. By INFORMATION and BELIEF, DEFENDANT LARRY LANGBERG is a resident of DUNFRIES, VA in the EASTERN DISTRICT of VIRGINIA.
The complaint continues to rehash old allegations about the Trial of Leonard Peltier that I believe have no relevance to the claim, but rather continues the forty year long narrative that he is a victim of state persecution.
PLAINTIFF LEONARD PELTIER is AN [sic] American Indian Movement Activist who is now one of the longest held political prisoners in the world. PLAINTIFF’ LEONARD PELTIER was convicted of supposedly murdering two FBI agents in a trial broadly conceded to have been full of irregularities. The government case involved lying to Candia [sic] authorities and providing false witness testimony to persuade Canada to extradite this Plaintiff, witness coercion, falsifying, misrepresenting, and deliberately concealing material evidence, deliberately selecting a favorable venue, falsely representing to the trial judge that his own safety was in jeopardy and other acts deliberately calculated to ensure conviction. In addition, the FBI was later forced to admit that the gun did not match the results of the ballistics tests on the bullets that killed the FBI agents, and the case deteriorated to the point that the FBI and US Attorney’s argument was that LEONARD PELTIER was there and involved, and therefore deserved to be convicted.
For this LEONARD PELTIER has been locked up in Federal Prisons for the past 40 years. His conviction is highly suspected [sic] and his cause has been taken up by millions of people around the world, including members of National Parliaments leaders in the legal, political, academic, entertainment, media, and sports world, and a sizeable percentage of American Indians.
LEONARD PELTIER is now in extremely poor health and there is a serious question as to how much longer he will live. Each Time PLAINTIFF LEONARD PELTIER petitions for release or has a parole review date, a gaggle of retired FBI agents including Defendants WOODS and LANGBERG sends a barrage of correspondence insisting that PELTIER not be released full of falsehood, slurs, and innuendo.
I had wondered for some time what the collective noun for FBI Agents was, but it seems “gaggle” is to be used as is the case for geese. Perhaps we could can now say Flock of U.S. Marshals or Swarm of ATF Agents.
The complaint then continued with the alleged violations:
This is a particularly crucial time for PELTIER to have visibility as his petition for clemency has been submitted to President Obama to review and act on before he leaves office, and, as mentioned, is in very poor health and faces death in prison if he is not released. In preparation for a planned art display to Celebrate Native American Heritage month (November, 2015) in the lobby of its Headquarters building in Tumwater, employees of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries solicited loans of art by Native Americans to be up for the entire month. An employee of L& I, the agency that deals with labor and workplace issues for the State offered to, and was given approval to arrange for the loan of four paintings by LEONARD PELTIER.
With his father’s and the family’s approval, CHAUNCEY PELTIER selected four appropriate paintings and arranged for them to be conveyed from his Portland, OR gallery to Tumwater.
The paintings themselves were not of a particularly controversial nature, but were a major part of LEONARD PELTIER’S public expression on American Indian and related themes, and a crucial part of his petitioning the government for redress of grievances.
I find it rather curious that this was a crucial part of petitioning the government for a redress of grievances. Since employees, according to this complaint and information I have obtained on my own accord, have assisted Leonard Peltier to further his petition of grievances by acting as his agent to do so and state employees allegedly solicited the Peltiers for this cause.
By means unknown to Plaintiffs, Defendants WOODS and LANGBERG became aware of the inclusion of LEONARD PELTIER’s work in the exhibit, and wrote the previously referred to vicious and libelous letters demanding the removal of the art work.
Despite the fact that, by their own admission, State Officials received no more than four negative comments about including the paintings and hundreds, if not thousands in support of their inclusion, Defendants SACKS, INSLEE, and CHURCH made the decision, without any public process, to remove LEONARD PELTIER’s paintings, by their own admission, solely because PELTIER himself was controversial and because he had painted them.
On November 15, 2015, SACKS and CHURCH directed an employee (identity unknown) to simply remove the four paintings and replace them with other Native American art Sacks found unobjectionable. Despite many pleas for the restoration of the paintings, and explanations as to the illegality of the removal, SACKS, INSLEE, and CHURCH refused to put the paintings back up, sending form e-mails and letters explaining that LEONARD PELTIER was too controversial and that having his art up, and the controversy around “detracted from the message of the exhibit” which was unspecified. None of the decision-makers was themselves Native American[.]
The paintings were returned to CHAUNCEY PELTIER who was able to find a far less visible and smaller private venue at a local food co-op, as a way to mitigate damages, but there mostly reached an audience that knew who LEONARD PELTIER was and what he had to say.
STATEMENT OF DAMAGES
As a direct and proximate result of the intentional and/or negligent acts of DEFENDANTS, PLAINTIFFS sustained deprivation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights, right to be free of race discrimination, right to be not be subjected to a hostile, discriminatory environment, right to be free of government censorship based on the personal political controversy surrounding them, and right to be free of censorship by the government to reward the “Heckler’s veto.”.
As a further direct and proximate result of the intentional and negligent acts of the DEFENDANTS, PLAINTIFFS were deprived of legitimate public expression for no justified reason at a critical time for LEONARD PELTIER’s public visibility and attempts to petition the g9overnment for redress of grievances and to use his art to influence public policy.. [sic]
As a further direct and proximate result of the intentional and/or negligent acts of DEFENDANTS, PLAINTIFFS had to retain legal counsel to protect and vindicate their rights in court at an amount to be established at trial and for which they are entitled to be reimbursed.
As a further direct and proximate result of the intentional and negligent acts of the DEFENDANTS, PLAINTIFFS is [sic] entitled to compensation for costs associated with seeking redress for these specific harms.
PLAINTIFS [sic] are entitled to compensation for the Constitutional and personal harms DEFENDANTS inflicted on them.
CAUSES of ACTION
Violation of Constitutional Rights
PLAINTIFFS re-allege and incorporate herein by reference the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 4.5 of this complaint.
By deliberately removing and censoring Plaintiff LEONARD PELTIER’S paintings due solely to the identity of the artist and controversy surround ding [sic] him and his case, Defendants engaged in First Amendment violative conduct to the harm of Plaintiffs. See Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010),[.]
By allowing the objecting voices of Woods, Langberg, and potentially two others to induce them to remove the paintings in question from the exhibit, Defendants allowed a heckler’s veto to determine whose speech would be allowed in direct violation of Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights as defined by Terminello v. City of Chicago 337 U.S. 1(1949).
By removing Plaintiff’ LEONARD PELTIER’s art from an important public exhibition without any hearing or public process, or due consideration, Defendants deprived Plaintiffs of an important property right, contracted opportunity, and opportunity to display his art to potential purchasers and politically motivated viewers in violation of Plaintiffs’ Substantive and procedural Due Process rights under the 14th Amendment.
This censorship and removal caused considerable pain, emotional distress, potential economic loss, deprivation of an already established public forum, and other harm to PLAINTIFFS in an amount to be proved in trial.
VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS BY DECISION-MAKERS
PLAINTIFFS reallege and incorporate herein by reference the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 5.6 of this complaint.
Defendants Sacks is the highest decision-maker at his agency, the Department of Labor and Industries.
Defendant Inslee, as Governor is the highest decision-maker in the State.
In acting to remove and censor Plaintiffs’ artwork based on who he is and the controversy surrounding his case, these Defendants acted to set policy as the only ones who can do so for their agency and the State respectively.
The decision was made not because of any clear and present danger, nor because the art itself was likely to result in any harm, but solely because a few people of alleged influence were offended.
The conduct of DEFENDANTS was willful, malicious, 1 oppressive, and/or reckless, and was of such a nature that punitive damages should be imposed in an amount commensurate with the wrongful acts alleged herein.
VIOLATIONS OF WASHINGTON CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE I §§ 3,4, AND 5
PLAINTIFFS reallege and incorporates herein by reference the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 5.12 of this complaint.
Defendants in planning and ordering Plaintiffs’ paintings removed as described above for the reasons described above violated Plaintiffs’ rights to Free Expression, to Peaceably Petition the Government for Redress, and the Right to Due 15 Process (Sections 5, 4, and 3 respectively)
As a direct and proximate result of the violation of their rights by DEFENDANTS, PLAINTIFFS suffered general and special damages as alleged in this complaint.
The conduct of DEFENDANTS was willful, malicious, oppressive, and/or reckless, and was of such a nature that punitive damages should be imposed in an amount commensurate with the wrongful acts alleged herein.
PLAINTIFFS reallege and incorporate herein by reference the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 5.16 of this complaint.
In demanding that Washington L & I and the State itself remove the paintings by Plaintiff LEONARD PELTIER, these Defendants used and relied on kno0wingly [sic] untrue statements, libelous characterizations of LEONARD PELITIER, staggering hyperbole, and recitations of “facts” that they reasonably knew or should have known were untrue for the sole purpose of silencing LEONARD PELTIER and
causing emotional harm to Plaintiffs.
They, in e-mails and letters published these defamatory statements to Defendants CHURCH, SACKS, and INSLEE, and those statements resulted in the harm suffered by Plaintiffs, as admitted by all Defendants.
These statements and actions were part of a longstanding pattern of statements and actions by WOODS and LANGBERG and the manifestation of their single-minded obsession with ensuring that LEONARD PELTIER dies in 0prison [sic] and is silenced at every opportunity and are taken out of, pure malice and hatred.
INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
PLAINTIFFS reallege and incorporate herein by reference the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 5.20 of this complaint.
In carrying out the pattern of Constitutionally prohibited and wrongful conducts alleged throughout this complaint, DEFENDANTS, and each of them sought to cause emotional distress and trauma to PLAINTIFFS, and PLAINTIFFS did suffer such emotional distress with accompanying physical symptoms.
As a direct and proximate result of the violation of their Constitutional rights by DEFENDANTS, PLAINTIFFS suffered general and special damages as alleged in this complaint.
The acts and omissions of DEFENDANTS were extreme and outrageous, and would be so seen and would shock the conscience of a reasonable person.
The conduct of DEFENDANTS was willful, malicious, oppressive, extreme and outrageous and/or reckless, and was of such a nature that punitive damages should be imposed in an amount commensurate with the wrongful acts alleged herein.
Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate herein by reference the allegations set 6 forth in Paragraphs 1 through 5.25 of this complaint.
Defendants, and each of them, owed Plaintiffs a duty to use due care and Act in accordance with law and the State and Federal Constitutions.
In committing the aforementioned acts and/or omissions, Defendants, all of whom were in a position to know better, and each of them, negligently breached said duty, directly and proximately resulting in the injuries and damages to the Plaintiffs as alleged herein.
The complaint demands a jury trial and seeks damages for pain and suffering, economic losses, punitive damages, attorney fees, and a policy “not to make decisions to exclude or remove artwork due to controversy surrounding the artist, and such other education and injunctive relieve as the court may deem appropriate.”
Whether this case will survive past a summary judgment is something I will not address but I have my doubts. Again, I find it rather curious the plaintiff several times refers to an agreement with state actors to financially promote the art, as evidenced by the claim for lost revenue, and to support the cause of obtaining a pardon from President Obama. I do not believe this is a legitimate state interest and the collusion of state agents with the Peltiers to accomplish these goals is at the very least a conflict of interest.
There is one very likely tangential outcome of this lawsuit. I suspect other government agencies will view the lawsuit and surrounding controversy as being something to avoid and that not hosting Mister Peltier’s artwork will probably prevail in their decision making. A pyrrhic victory might be the end result, provided the state does not want to make the matter go away quickly by offering a settlement acceptable to the plaintiffs.
The attorney for the Peltiers is listed in the complaint as Lawrence Hildes of Bellingham. I don’t know what caliber of lawyer he is but filing a complaint in federal court that contains a litany of spelling and grammar errors is not something I would prefer to see from my attorney.
By Darren Smith
Source: Peltier v. Sacks, et al via Pacer
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
51 thoughts on “Washington State Governor Sued For Removal Of Leonard Peltier Art Display”
Since when can a federal prisoner earn money on the outside while behind bars? Two parts of this poorly worded complaint refer to Leonard Peltier’s alleged loss of income! A bit of research on the attorney found he has been suspended to practice in California, has been sued for failure to provide matrimonial or child support and is just generally someone I would never hire unless I wanted to be the star of America’s Most Wanted or America’s Dumbest Criminals!
Bettering the system is shutting down speech?
That’s hardly what you both proclaim in words.
Why can I only post under certain headlines?
What, do I get my own safe space?
So much for the opposition to that idea, we’re not even in physical space.
The only flags that I know of that will catch in the filter of Word Press are having more than 2 links, or profanity.
The site is not manually filtered, but automatically so. Sometimes a post may get caught hanging somehow. If so, then post a request for the administrator to fish it out. But if it has either of the two filter tags above, then it will not be able to be posted.
Thank you Karen.
None of my posts on any of JT’s propaganda pieces are posting. I guess he needs a safe space.
At least D. Smith has the backbone to stand-by his alleged admiration for free speech and allow me to post (albeit with an inaccurate, and dismissive response)
How do I post a request for the administrator (other than relaying the message in a comment)?
Lets look succinctly at the situation at hand ChipKellyShouldGoogleLeibniz:
You relentlessly lob vicious insults at me at nearly every opportunity and then when the software throws your comments out due to profanity or because they mimic spam (probably due to the flood of comments you place at one time) you expect me snap up and retrieve the comments for you.
For the record I have assisted our host for close to four years on a voluntary basis, writing 390 articles and 6,930 comments while retrieving hundreds of comments and other maintenance. I am under no obligation to do so and I perform these duties because I choose to and I am glad to be part of our host’s contribution to bettering the system we live under.
As such I have no mandate to service your comments and frankly I’ve no desire to do so. So when you demand that I retrieve whatever errant comments you make I’ll make it simple for you: IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.
We appreciate everything you do for us, Darren. 🙂
It literally will not allow me to post on ANY POST AUTHORED BY JONATHAN TURLEY.
They haven’t been laced with profanity nor could all of them be picked up as spam.
Are you for safe spaces Mr. Smith?
Otherwise, it’s not about “errant comments” my account makes, it’s a categorical shut-out (a safe space for Mr. Jonathan Turley).
Just because it’s the truth doesn’t mean it’s an insult Mr. Smith.
Ha! Go on wit yo bad self Darren…
Mess with Darren and it’s Hammer Time…..
Hahahahaha Darren Smith with hammer time.
hahahahaha He’ll only do it with the sponsorship of the state or JT apparently.
That poor guy must live one scared life.
Also, Darren Smith’s “hammertime” is stomping my account’s speech. That’s a value around here? Suppressing speech?
Obviously, yes…… res ipsa loquitur
Thank you for the Peltier article.
It would be a distressing precedent if the art of convicted inmates may not be removed for fear of legal consequences.
The obvious solution is to never display inmate’s art on public property, again.
If a private gallery or extremist organization wants to display a murderer’s swirls of paint, then by all means. But don’t foist it on the taxpayers.
I mean we have statutes and portraits of numerous mass murderers all throughout this country, Karen.
This “civil liberties” blog will not let me post on the first post on this very site.
Ever so dedicated to the “orientation of free speech.” hahahaha
And JT doesn’t even discuss such issues, yet is paid to be a “public interest law” professor.
Greenwald is propped up by a billionaire and still does more for the public interest. Interesting.
JT’s not really a Trump apologist. Trump is uniquely American, it’s really what JT propagates on the daily. It really is lethal.
Peltier is the precise definition of a political prisoner.
So much for this admiration for freedom.
Hahaha hacks all around.
So Darren Smith is fine with having political prisoners.
Jay Inslee is Criminally Corrupt. Having been and still currently in Violation of the Separation of Powers. Currently listed as the Chief Executive Official of the Executive Branch. Also at the Same time listed as a member in good standing with the Wa. State Bar Assoc. directly affiliated with the Judicial Branch. Inslee refused to investigate documented verifiable hard proof on Official Record proving that the Pierce County Superior Court Covered Up and Aided & Abetted the Unlicensed Practice of Law, Embezzlement and Fraud. Committed Federal Mail Fraud , then committed Criminal Conversion, home and property theft via Criminal Fraud, Intentional Malicious Improper Venue Assignment with Felony Intent, Violation of Right to Jury, Theft of money pre- paid for that specific Jury, violation of both State and Federal Law that requires a jury be provided for all Contested Real Estate Proceedings. Producing nothing but Null & Void Court Order. Then the Act of Treason for knowingly Strong Arm Gangland Style heavily Armed Enforcing Void Court Order so as to force innocent citizen from own home and property. Armed Robbery of over $100,000.00 of Prized Possessions from innocent citizen/Victim. Organized Crime RICO. I asked the Wa. State Legislator about Inslee being in violation of Separation of Powers and representing the Direct link of the RICO Corruption between the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch protecting the Criminal RICO , Criminal Conversion and Organized Crime that Flagrantly Confidently Openly Operates within the Judicial Branch. The Legislature immediately referred me to their Judicial Branch house attorney Andrew Logerwel. Mr.Logerwel promptly put forth his best effort to cover for Inslee and defraud me by telling me that really in truth the Wa. State Bar Assoc. was really an Executive Branch Bar Assoc.!! So Jay Inslee was in the Clear!! I replied to Logerwel that I found this to be extremely interesting for two reasons. 1. that the WSBA had already publically Officially printed & Stated their direct affiliation to the Judicial Branch, created by the Judicial Branch to be a leg of the Supreme Court responsible for the licensing, testing and disciplining all Wa. State Attorneys. 2. Being that every judge in the State is a member of the Wa. State Bar, so Logerwel by defrauding me and covering for Corrupt Inslee just placed in writing and signed his name to this fraudulent document I have in my possession that basically places every judge in the entire State of Washington in Violation of the Separation of Powers! having the direct results of that be would make all of their Orders and Rulings Null & Void in thousands of Cases and placing all of the State’s Judges in line for severe punishment, possibly Criminal charges! So I ask which one is it Logerwel? Inslee or every judge in the entire State of Washington?? No REPLY! Should I be surprised?? I have just finished my Complaint to the Legislative Ethics Board for Logerwel. I will keep you posted with as to just how the Ethics Board decides to Defraud me, refuse to uphold the Law, My Right to Honest legal services, and somehow reward Logerwel for being the idiot that his signature on this document proves that he unquestionably is. The sad truth of the matter is for all of us is, that criminal RICO Corruption within our government has become so commonplace and so out of control , that it does not matter that they are just run of the mill crooks and idiots, or that the average 6th grader could do a better job at defrauding us than most of these bumbling wanna be Criminal morons. They just refuse to be accountable, lawful , violate our rights and some corrupt judge Rules that it is all perfectly fine..
Ain’t manic episodes entertaining?
NEVER murderl an FBI agent if you expect to ever see the light of day again!
There are a large number of people who believe that Peltier is innocent and is a political prisoner. Does anyone know the facts of the case and the reason(s) for people believing in his innocence?
“Editors Note: Many of our readers will remember the 20+ or so years of support NFIC gave to Leonard Peltier and other AIM myths before our investigative work with the late Richard LaCourse and other Native journalists turned up numerous changing alibis, evidence of additional murders, and convincing recorded interviews about Peltier interrogating Annie Mae Pictou Aquash by putting a gun in her mouth and bragging about shooting FBI agent Ron Williams. In recent years Peltier has also chosen to utilize his lobbying efforts in support of attempts to keep John Boy Patton Graham from going to trail in the alleged execution of Annie Mae, writing to Denise and Debbie Pictou Maloney to tell them that he would not lift a finger to assist in finding justice for their mother if it meant another brother would go to jail.
Part of the result of those revealations led to our endorsement for reading purposes and fact checking reality of the other side of the story — that one written by former FBI agent Joe Trimbach and his son John.”
Thank you Karen, after reading both articles you sent. I’m inclined to believe in his guilt in the absence of any additional information. I am also able to see troubling actions by the FBI and prosecutiors including changing witness affidavits, the existence of which are dismissed because they were only used to extradite him from Canada and not used at trial.The conspiracy theories may be at least partially fueled by real misconduct. I’d be curious to read the background information excluded from the Peltier trial which was allowed at the trials of the two other defendants that were acquitted. It may not change the question of whether Peltier was guilty of murder. But might provide perspective. Thanks again!
Thanks, Enigma. You made some great points.
On another note some of the reservations are still struggling, with a wide range of prosperity among the gaming and non gaming tribes, with some intense politics. I hope things improve.
“There are a large number of people who believe” they will have 40 virgins in Heaven if they kill infidels. Peltier is a thug murderer of FBI agents. PERIOD. One of the few praises I have for Obama is, although he pardoned thousands of prisoners, he saw fit to let this scumbag rot in prison. enigma, the basis for the belief is simple. Peltier was an Indian activist and a darling of the left. The evidence was overwhelming. Only Johnny Cochran might have gotten him off.
Well said, Nick.
As did that other “progressive” President Bill (“Cigars”) Clinton, who also pardoned many scumbags on his last HALF-DAY in office!.!
As I mentioned to Karen S, after reading the information she provided, some of which I felt had some bias of its own. I feel Peltier is guilty of the murders of the 2 FBI agents. I also believe that the murders didn’t happen in a vacuum (not justifying them) and you would do well to want to understand the climate surrounding them. The evidence did appear to be overwhelming but at least some of is questionable like the changing eyewitness account which it’s pointed out wasn’t used at trial and therefore doesn’t count. If that evidence was tainted, what else might have been?
It’s Indian reservations. The ‘climate’ surrounding them is chronic unemployment, educational failure, and alcoholism.
Susan you reveal yourself with each and every post. A shame your comments are so welcome here. What conclusions shall I draw?
Perhaps the state employees that allegedly were helping Leonard had come to believe in his innocence. Leonard was railroaded, FBI agents lied, are still lying, witness intimidated by the FBI and he was unjustly convicted of a crime he did not commit. And before anyone starts I know the FBI lies and lies frequently. I’ve been on both sides of that coin. I had FBI instructors who seemed pretty straight while going through NM Law Enforcement Academy and I had a 40 hr. FBI taught course in Interviews and Interrogations taught by 2 FBI agents that I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw with my weakest arm. They taught that it was ok for police to lie, but not the suspect and that is true.
I seriously doubt any of you know the situation up in Indian country during and after the second battle of Wounded Knee and most probably wouldn’t give a damn. I do, I was there.
Free Leonard Peltier!
Perhaps the state employees who were helping him need to be s***canned at the end of next week.
I think someone has hacked issac’s account. This does not bode well.
This affair provides endless material to amuse the legal intellectual. Unfortunately it does more than amuse. At the bottom of all this is a question that needs to be revisited. When someone commits a crime they cost society and certain individuals directly. Treasure rarely if ever is returned. Lives are lost or damaged forever. Why on earth do criminals have these rights? Peltier should be protected in prison as regards the basic rights to live unafraid and free from threat and/or harm. However, no criminal should be able to wield the right to make money, illustrate art or other performance, or profit in any way because of their notoriety. Peltier should have lost all these rights the moment he was convicted. If Peltier makes any money it should never, under any circumstances go to himself or be directed by himself; it belongs to the state. A prisoner deserves a bed, food, and to be allowed to improve themselves, not to have any rights outside of prison, directly or indirectly.
Wait, who are you and what have you done with issac?
Seriously, I think this might be the first time I’ve agreed with one of your posts!
“[N]o criminal should be able to wield the right to make money, illustrate art or other performance, or profit in any way because of their notoriety. . . .”
Do you not think rehabilitation efforts might include public displays of art or other performance? I don’t know that Peltier’s receipts from sales go to him as opposed to the state or feds as restitution. Do you?
No, because ‘rehabilitation efforts’ have one effect: jobs for social workers and affiliated personnel.
The anonymity of the internet allows for hatred, intolerance and small-minded revenge to seep. There but for the grace of god and all that; do not ask for whom the bell tolls; those who live in glass houses…Take your pick, they all apply. No one thinks it could ever happen to them, then it does. The machine requires bodies; you think your demographic gives you a free pass? When they come for you, you will absolutely squeal for a shot a rehabilitation.
No, I’ll hope the place has a passable library and I can serve out my sentence without being forcibly cornholed. I certainly do not need the ministrations of social workers.
My ‘demographic’ doesn’t give me a ‘free pass’. It’s just that people in my ‘demographic’ seldom have among their shortcomings an inclination to commit felonies. Noodling around with some datasets, I see there are about 600,000 persons in my demographic in the State of New York. Making some reasonable interpolations from New York State data on their prison population, I surmise that about 250 people in my demographic are admitted to New York State prisons each year, which translates into a lifetime probability of 1.12% for someone my age. I suspect mine’s a trifle lawyer inasmuch as my contact with the penal system to date has been nil.
Look deeper into the abyss. 23% of the voting-age American public have a criminal record. The machine must be fed. You may not even know why they come when they do.
The proper sentence for the Peltier guy would have been to scalp him and let him bleed to death. Then 40 years later we would not be hearing from him. An inmate should have no standing to sue over rights to post art work. All that aside, he has lived too long and needs to croak.
Leonard Peltier is innocent. Leonard Peltier is a political prisoner and dissident. In this neo-fascist country if you are Native American and a political activist, it is almost as good as death sentence. Anyone who has done their independent research and homework recognizes that Peltier was an existential threat to the status quo for his activism and was framed by the FBI. That’s what they do! Plenty of people have been framed by our tyrannical government that represses and oppresses freedom of speech. With Orwellian puppets like Bush and Obama things have gotten far worse than in the 1970’s with the passage of Orwellian legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act and the NDAA. Basically anyone who has NOT been brainwashed by the U.S. government “could” be deemed an existential threat to national security and hauled off to GITMO without due process or a lawyer or a court warrant. If you are an American citizen, you can now be assassinated anywhere in the world without due process by our fearless president even if you are a teenager.
It is well known that Leonard Peltier was framed. Native American rights are not tolerated in Amerika. Just look at #NODAPL. Sacred sites and drinking water for future generations of the Lakota Sioux is threatened thanks to the greed of men like Donald Trump who has a million dollar stake in the completion of the pipeline. Conflict of interest? You bet, your ass it’s a conflict of interest!. But that doesn’t stop the power brokers in this country. If you are a typical Native American, you get treated like scum as do many vulnerable minorities and people of color and poor folks. Obama could have done the right thing by releasing Peltier who is dying in prison with poor health. Countless distinguished persons and organizations have called for the clemency of Peltier, but in a police state like Amerika, such pleas usually fall on deaf ears such as the execution of Karla Faye Tucker, a reformed convict in the Texas penal colony. Mr. Executioner, GW Bush, as he was known for his love of murdering inmates, turned down any clemency for Ms. Tucker and I am told by several sources that Bush ridiculed and mocked Ms. Tucker before having her murdered and then giggled about it. He must have had a million giggles after he slaughtered 1,000,000 Iraq civilians during his invasion and occupation of Iraq. Welcome to Amerika where practically no one gets a fair trial anymore with all the coerced plea bargains designed to railroad American citizens into a corporate for-profit prison industrial complex. Leonard Peltier is just another unfortunate victim of the Amerikan gulag where political dissent and now whistle-blowing is punished with life sentences or execution by the Deep State operatives. Amerika, home of the brave and land of free? Hardly! Those that have been brainwashed by all the CIA and government propaganda still think they are free. One can hardly escape from the prison state until s/he recognizes that s/he is in prison in the first place. Sadly, many unfortunate Americans still believe all the lies and propaganda and have the notion or delusion that they’re free.
You’re only free in Amerika to do as you’re told to do by the Man. Disobey and resist the Man through political activism and civil disobedience and discover how free you truly are! Better yet, blow the whistle on American war crimes like Chelsea Manning did and find out how free you are.
Leonard Peltier was railroaded. Any thinking person with a half a brain understands this and WHY it happened! It happens all the time to shut up political dissidents. They’re a public nuisance to the Orwellian police state.
Free Leonard Peltier!!!
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I didn’t see anything in the portion of the complaint which Darren provided that indicates whether other inmates have been allowed to display artwork publicly. If so, then I think he’s at least entitled to a hearing and equal protection with regard to the removal of his artwork. Did he receive a hearing to voice his objections?
A convict contends his constitutional rights were violated because agency officials decline to display his art work?
There was at one time a provision in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that provided for lawyers and plaintiffs to be sanctioned for filing frivolous lawsuits. We need to see more such sanctions. Can we start with this crew?
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