Scheme underway involving Peltier pardon

This was originally posted by Brenda Norrell at

Scheme underway involving Peltier pardon

Contact: Kari Ann Cowan, Office Corodinator
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488
Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701-235-2206
January 27th, 2009, Fargo ND

Native Americans and supporters outraged at FBI and George W. Bush

By Kari Ann Cowan

FARGO, N.D. — The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) recently influenced the federal prison system to transfer elder Native American, Leonard Peltier, to a facility for young gang members where upon his arrival he was immediately attacked and severely beaten. He was thrown into solitary confinement and denied proper medical care and food. The FBI has put out a letter encouraging others to indulge in whatever activities they can to block a possible pardon by President Obama for Leonard Peltier.

The latest ploy of that faction of government has been to enlist the help of George W. Bush by getting him to sign a clemency denial that could possibly stave off Peltier’s release. This action is an extreme outrage to all the people who believe in freedom and justice for ALL. It is an outrage to all the people who are aware of the true facts of Leonard Peltier’s innocence. The George W. Bush Administration and its followers obviously are trying to set a stage for anything that could possibly expand into some kind of incident that would mar President Obama, President Obama’s Administration and the Democratic Party.

This incident, attacking a 64 year old Native American is unjustified and immoral. People consider Leonard Peltier an extension of themselves and his plight if allowed to continue jeopardizes the freedom of all men. If his case is allowed to stand as it has for 33 years, then no one is guaranteed a fair trial. Some might have a dream – we have a reality. We sincerely ask President Obama to intercede in hopes that this nightmare for American Indian people will end.

For more information contact David Hill, National Coordinator of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, (218) 790-6035.

From International Peltier Forum

President George W. Bush, on January 19th – his last full day in office – formally struck down the petitions for clemency of some high-profile politicians and businessmen, including convicted lawmakers Randall “Duke” Cunningham, Edwin Edwards and Mario Biaggi and “junk bond” financier Michael Milken, the Justice Department said today.

Bush also denied one of the longest-standing petitions for clemency: for Leonard Peltier. Leonard’s application had been under consideration since 1993.

Last year, we asked Sir Bob Geldof (musician, organizer of LifeAid and Life 8, and one of the signatories of the IPF “VIP” petition) if he would be willing to speak with President Bush about Leonard’s case. Bob Geldof traveled to the G8 Summit in Tokyo (July 2008) and was able to briefly speak with Bush and handed a letter to the president’s Counsel. In the letter Sir Geldof pleaded to grant Leonard executive clemency.

On December 12th, 2008, Michael Kuzma, attorney for Leonard Peltier, received a letter from Fred F. Fielding, another Counsel to the President, in which he wrote:
“I am writing to thank you for your recent letter requesting an update on Mr. Leonard Peltier’s petition for a commutation of his sentence. His petition is under review, and please be assured that Mr. Bob Geldof’s views on this matter will be seriously considered.” [emphasis added by IPF]
“Serious consideration” ?! Yeah, right… (I’m trying to remain polite.)
Not that I personally ever believed that Bush would consider granting clemency. But instead of rejecting / denying the petition, Bush could have done the same thing Clinton did: nothing. Because such a denial is a serious setback for those intent on clemency. After a denial a petitioner must wait two years to re-apply for a pardon and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence. (the latter in Leonard’s case)
But…. ha!…
Petitioners can also circumvent the Justice Department and appeal directly to the White House whenever they want. See more below…

The Justice Department declined to comment on any details of the cases. The White House had no comment, before the inauguration on who might be granted clemency, or why.

The pardon power was created to allow the President to redress injustices that the judicial system is unable to remedy or for other reasons, such as Jimmy Carter’s pardon of Vietnam-era draft resisters in an effort to restore domestic tranquility.

The Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney traditionally issues a formal recommendation based on a thorough investigation of the applicant and the case. But over the past two decades, more and more applicants have gone directly to the White House, citing a huge backlog of cases at the Justice Department.

In the end, the President alone has the ultimate power to grant or deny pardons or keep them alive.

Some of those denied by Bush had been considered likely candidates for some kind of clemency, in part due to the length of the prison terms, their contributions to society and their extensive lobbying campaigns. We, supporters of Leonard Peltier have waged a decades-long campaign to free him. He is a political prisoner; he never received a fair trial; there is sufficient evidence of his innocence.
The President and only the President has the power to grant clemency. It is a power given to the President by the U.S. Constitution with no conditions attached.
Call President Obama to express your outrage and concern, and ask him to pardon Leonard now at 202-456-1111 (White House comment line: don’t push any buttons, and a real person will answer your call)

E-mail President Obama to express your outrage and concern, and ask him to pardon Leonard now at or email or use or online petition form at (this petition form is sent directly to the White House!)

Write to President Obama to express your outrage and concern, and ask him to grant executive clemency to / a commutation of sentence for Leonard Peltier now.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20500
Don’t do it once. Do it every single day !!!
Els Herten
coordinator KOLA / IPF
articles about Bush’s pardon / clemency denials:,0,5478821.story



Wild-horse cull unjustified, aboriginal leader says

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An aboriginal leader says his people won’t enter into agreements with the B.C. government for a continued cull of wild horses in the Chilcotin because the controversial program is not currently justified.

Joe Alphonse, director of government services with the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG), said in an interview that based on current conditions, he did not share the province’s belief that wild horses are having an undue impact on cattle grazing in the region.

“We’re not about to entertain any contracts for anything to do with wild horses this year,” Alphonse said, arguing the greater issue is wolves killing young horses and game animals in the Chilcotin.

Alaska poised for battle over bison

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JUNEAU — Proponents of natural gas development in the Nenana Basin say a state proposal to release wood bison in the Interior could seriously complicate, and potentially stall, their plans.

One of the projects that may be at risk is a natural gas bullet line Enstar plans to build between Southcentral Alaska and the North Slope, company spokesman Curtis Thayer said.

Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 2 on Monday calling for Gov. Sarah Palin to halt the wood bison release, scheduled for March 2010, until the state has a chance to secure U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assurances that land use won’t be hampered.

Navajo lawmakers table rights-of-way measure

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) – The Navajo Nation Council has decided to put off a vote on right-of-way easements for a proposed coal-fired power plant on the reservation.

Council spokesman Joshua Lavar Butler says tribal lawmakers voted 66-6 Tuesday to table the measure until the summer session to allow communities in the area of the proposed Desert Rock Energy Facility to comment.

The right-of-way measure is just one of a handful of things the tribe has to sign off on before construction can begin on the $3 billion, 1,500-megawatt plant south of Farmington, N.M.

High court petitioned to protect sacredness, environmental integrity of San Francisco Peaks

WASHINGTON – The Navajo Nation and other interested parties have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of a precedent setting case to protect sacred sites and religious practices.

The Peaks, a sacred mountain in northern Arizona, is revered by at least 13 American Indian tribes who consider the site “a home of spiritual beings; a place where significant mythological events occurred; a place where spirits of the dead went to be changed into bringers of rain; a personification of gods and goddesses; and a source of life,” according to the petition.

Judge dismisses nuclear developer’s lawsuit against Snake River Alliance

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A nuclear power developer’s lawsuit against the Snake River Alliance was dismissed by an Ada County judge.

Fourth District Court Judge G.D. Carey dismissed the lawsuit brought by Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc against the Snake River Alliance, a group opposing the company plan to build a nuclear power reactor in rural Elmore County. The company sued in August claiming it was defamed by Alliance Executive Director Andrea Shipley when she described it and its chief officer as “scammers.”

“AEHI sued for defamation, and asked the Court to muzzle my clients and punish them with a substantial monetary judgment,” said David Knotts, an attorney for the Alliance. “By acquiescing to the Motion to Dismiss, AEHI really is admitting that its defamation lawsuit was meritless from the beginning.

Researchers Find Weapons-Grade Plutonium in a Dump: Is There Cause for Concern?

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Next to the rusted remnants of a safe, an unassuming 60-year-old glass bottle with barely legible words scrawled in red crayon was the central focus of a group of researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The writing on the glass bottle was only partially legible, but for Jon Schwantes of the PNNL, there could be no mistaking the contents: This bottle contained weapons-grade plutonium.

During the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state in 2004 (a cleanup that’s been going on since 1987) workers stumbled upon a beaten-up, rusted safe buried in the ground. Schwantes analyzed gamma rays coming from the jar, detecting plutonium-239, the isotope most used for weapons. Later, spectral analysis showed that the jar contained about a half-gram of 99.96 percent pure plutonium-239. Schwantes checked the rate of plutonium decay into uranium and dated the plutonium back to the beginning days of the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Using Hanford’s records, Schwantes hypothesized that the sample was created in December 1944, making it the second-oldest known sample in the world. His discovery is a surprising piece of history, but his study published this month raises another question: Should we be worried about the surprise find of plutonium in the garbage?

Not particularly. First, the dump was actually inside the secure Hanford facility, says Cameron Hardy of the Department of Energy. “It wasn’t like it was in some municipal dump,” he says. For more than 40 years, Hanford created most of the plutonium for America’s nuclear arms, and along with it created not just nuclear waste but also all kinds of contaminated equipment. In the 1940s, Hardy said, scientists didn’t know how to safely dispose of radioactive material, so at Hanford they buried waste in 800 trenches, each about 100 x 60 ft. The DOE has been cleaning up those sites since 1987. “We’ve pulled out whole trucks, whole rail cars,” he says. And this wasn’t the first time crews has unearthed small samples of plutonium