Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I wanted to vote for Leonard Peltier for President

[Since this letter was written, Peltier has been transferred to the Canaan Federal Penitentiary where he was beaten by inmates there. Brenda Norrell of Censored News updates the situation, provides relevant addresses for those who wish to protest his treatment, a sample letter with background information, and a letter from his sister. -jlt]

From Leonard Peltier,
Dictated by phone January 12, 2009
Greetings my relatives, friends and/or captors

To my relatives and friends, I want to especially thank you for your generosity in this season of giving they call Christmas. And I want you to know I'm mindful of the reason for the season as they say, for Jesus himself was a political prisoner. He stood up against the warmongers the exploiters of his people and he was imprisoned and hung out to dry, likewise so many other people who have stood up against those who would exploit the lives and resources of people around the world. I don't claim to be of any significance on their level, I am but one man of many who have stood up against exploiters that would use force to inflict their value system upon a weaker people.

I am in the process right now of being transferred; I had hoped to be transferred to a facility on the Turtle Mountain Reservation while I dealt with other legal issues regarding my imprisonment. However my captors have once again triumphed in their continuing efforts to break me. They have sent me even farther away from my traditional homeland. I hear them and others continually talk about justice. One of the bureaucrats in North Dakota when becoming aware of my efforts to be transferred to Turtle Mountain spoke up and said he believed justice is being served in my continued imprisonment. I sincerely hope good people will take note of this person, Senator Byron Dorgan, on the Senate Committee for Indian Affairs. It is quite obvious that he has no knowledge of true Indian History, no knowledge of my case, and is only a lackey for those who wish to keep us always subject to their version of what justice is. They have at times called me a thug and a cold blooded murderer, but I know historically they called Geronimo a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Crazy Horse a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Captain Jack of the Modocs a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Black Hawk of the Sauk a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Tecumseh a cold blooded murderer and savage, they called Sitting Bull a cold blooded murderer and savage - and the list goes on and on.

The one thing all these men have in common is they were all imprisoned or killed by this government; they were all patriots in their own land, trying to stop the illegal immoral taking of their people's land and resources. They didn't call the men who murdered our people at Wounded Knee thugs and savages, they didn't call the snipers who shot Frank Clearwater at Wounded Knee in 73 a murderer, they didn't call the ones who shot Buddy Lamont a cold blooded murderer, they didn't call the ones who shot Joe Stuntz a cold blooded murderer, they didn't call the sniper who shot that young woman and baby in 1992 at Ruby Ridge Idaho in a cold blooded murder, they didn't call the ones who burned the men, women and children to death at Waco, Texas in 1993 in cold blooded murderers. I assume cold blooded means you have no sense of right or wrong or something of that nature when you take a life. And if that is so, then this country is full of cold blooded murderers and thugs because by proxy they have killed thousands of innocent men women and children in Iraq and most recently in Afghanistan, I've seen them on TV. I've seen the pictures of children's bodies piled on top of each other. And right now the US funds Israel's war machine as they kill hundreds of innocent men, women and children.

Einstein once said, "All things are relative" and "For every action there is a reaction". In the traditional way our people teach the same. In all the major religions around the world it is taught the same way before Einstein ever drew a breath. Every person in America who allows this injustice to continue without voicing any opposition is a party to murder on some level. Someone once said and it is a truism, "All that is needed for evil to prevail is good men to say nothing." And if Einstein is correct and Jesus is correct then you reap what you sow, and Buddha is correct who said there are karmic laws that must repay or be repaid for whatever you do then this nation had better start paying attention. It is financially at this point bankrupt. It is spiritually and morally bankrupt.

"I'm sure this letter won't buy me any favored treatment. Actually I don't know that anything ever has. They had a plot to kill me once that didn't work. They have denied me medical treatment that I need. I have arthritis in my knees. I have a semi dysfunctional jaw from lack of medical treatment. I have 80% loss of vision in one eye. And I have other internal organ infirmities that need medical treatment. But though I have trouble walking I will stand and voice my objection to the cold blooded mistreatment of indigenous people in this land and others. I will speak out always against the cold blooded atrocities that are caused directly by military weapons and/or political policies that cause people to take their own lives as in my country and other countries around the world. And though my vision may be failing me somewhat I can still read the writing on the wall.

Though this country is in great financial peril money - is not the cure. There are some writings today that this country will be destroyed by fire, well let me tell you, or should I say, reiterate the words of my elders and others; the fires are burning now, right now today all over the world the fires are burning. There will be natural devastation upon devastation coming to this country that has used the land and resources of my people to pollute and destroy the natural order of life. You reap what you sow. And as my people say everything that goes around comes around. As Einstein said, "For every action there is a reaction."

I may live a hundred years or I may die tomorrow; but I will always have concern and sorrow for those innocent people that lose their lives. It is such a great tragedy that even some of those who pull the triggers and attack others have been convinced they are doing the right thing for some bureaucrat with little or no understanding of life that espouses some rhetoric about justice being served.

If I sound angry or hurt or disappointed or a multitude of other emotions you would probably be correct. I remember once upon a time, in my naïve belief that sooner or later I would be free and justice would be served. In my case after 33 years of illegal imprisonment justice will never be served, it will be up to the Creator to bring about a reaction that may in some future time balance the scales. But for me and the others like me, whether they are among other prisoners in the US prison system or dead in the streets of Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza Strip or South America or some reservation road or some ghetto street, justice is not being served at this time.

If there is anything further I could say that would affect you in some way it would be to encourage you to take a few minutes out of your life and quietly sit and reflect and maybe just maybe you can hear the mothers crying for their lost children and the men crying for their lost wives and daughters and the grandfathers crying for their lost sons and I could say more but perhaps you may have grown tired of my commentary. Thank you for your time, thank you for reading this, and don't let evil triumph. Say something.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and all the others who gave their lives that future generations might enjoy some time together on this beautiful mother earth,
Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations)
Leonard Peltier

PS. I also want to take this opportunity to whole heartedly thank all those who wrote the prison on my behalf recently seeking my transfer to Turtle Mountain facility in North Dakota. Thank you.

IPF e-mail:
Also, please visit the website of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC):
LPDOC e-mail:
Censored news reporter Brenda Norrell
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