Monday, August 17, 2009

"Justice" — Fromme to Peltier~ Re-reported, edited by Carolyn Bennett

"Justice" — Fromme to Peltier

August 17th, 2009 3:23 AM   Print

Re-reported, edited by Carolyn Bennett

Dressed in red nun-like robes, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme drew a semi-automatic .45 pistol from a holster on her thigh, aimed the gun at U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, and pulled the trigger. Fromme was disarmed by Secret Service agents and members of the public thus preventing injury to the President. The gun was later found to contain no bullets in the chamber but a clip of ammunition.

Though she had not been charged in cult leader Charles Manson's "Helter Skelter" massacres (only contempt of court for refusing to testify in that 1969 case), Fromme was reportedly among his earliest and most devoted followers. During his trial she with other followers camped outside the courthouse showing the letter 'X', copying Manson's marking, carved into her forehead.

Fromme was imprisoned in 1975 and escaped from a female prison in Alderson, West Virginia, in 1987. After her capture she was sentenced to an additional 15 months in prison. She claimed her escape was to be closer to Manson. Last Friday Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was released from prison—from the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility that provides specialized medical and mental health services to female offenders. She had been granted parole last year.

A different slant on "justice" rises from an Indian reservation at Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier has spent 33 years in prison on questionable charges. Throughout the years of his incarceration Peltier (64) has maintained his innocence and critical questions have risen repeatedly from many sources about the fairness of his trial and whether he committed the murders he was charged with.

The events of June 26, 1975, from which this case rises "took place against a backdrop of terror that had developed on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The reservation was under internal siege at the hands of then-Chairman Dick Wilson and … the so-called 'Guardians of the Oglala Nation,' who were supported by and collaborated with the FBI and BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] police.

"The conflict has been characterized as a battle between Wilson's secular group and traditional elders and others who were working for election reform on the reservation. More than 60 people from the traditional group had been killed in the two years before the 1975 shootout. None of those killings were investigated by local, state or federal law enforcement agencies."

Amidst growing tensions "tribe elders called the American Indian Movement for help." Leonard Peltier was among a group of AIM activists who responded and set up a camp on the reservation.

"On June 26, 1975, two FBI agents in unmarked cars came onto the reservation apparently to serve a warrant to a boy who had stolen some boots. Soon after the agents' arrival, shots were heard and the shoot-out began. During the fracas the FBI agents and an Indian, Joe Stuntz, were killed."

Peltier was convicted in 1977 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of FBI Special Agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams. On July 28 of this year Peltier was granted a parole hearing, his second in more than 15 years. He appeared before the parole board and pleaded his case.

In a few days the Federal Parole Board is expected to decide whether to release or retain indefinitely American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier.

Sources and notes

"FBI Misconduct - Pine Ridge 'Reign of Terror' & Leonard Peltier"

Petition excerpted from posting at

To: The Judiciary Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Congress

On November 20, 2003, a congressional report accused federal officials in Boston and in Washington, D.C., of inflicting 'incalculable damage' on the public by protecting murderous government informants over the past 38 years.

The House Committee on Government Reform (HCGR) detailed misconduct by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their supervisors (right up to former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), in the 1965 murder of Edward 'Teddy' Deegan. This is a case in which the FBI cultivated a Mafia hit man as a star informant and then government witness, and watched silently as he falsely accused four men of the murder.

Internal FBI documents show that FBI agents and their supervisors knew the identities of the real killers all along. Federal officials also took 'affirmative steps' to make sure that the four innocent men convicted in the Deegan case 'would not obtain post-conviction relief and that they would die in prison.' Two of the men DID die in prison.

There have been 'no adverse consequences' for the law enforcement officials who permitted these atrocities to occur.

Is the Government Reform Committee really surprised by the outcome of their investigation? Are you…?

For decades claims of official misconduct have been levied against the FBI by U.S. citizens, but Congress has turned a blind eye to such charges for the most part.

For nearly 30 years, for example, Congress — steeped in denial and fully believing the myth that has grown up around the FBI, i..e., that of premier law enforcement agency, protector of American rights, and defender of the U.S. Constitution— has failed to fully investigate the 'Reign of Terror' on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota during the 1970s. It also has failed to investigate the now documented FBI misconduct in the case of American Indian activist Leonard Peltier.

I know the Deegan case isn't an isolated incident. The case only provides additional proof of what many people — Leonard Peltier among them — already know from bitter experience. The FBI is plagued with a top-down malady characterized by thinking itself above the law, having no concern for justice, and desiring to squash all dissent. The U.S. Constitution is meaningless to an agency that now, as before, thinks the end justifies the means.

The HCGR said the Committee's report should spur a wider investigation. Yes, a wider investigation is indicated. Not just the misuse of informants but ALL FBI misconduct must be uncovered and the responsible parties held accountable.

I'm counting on you to seek out and expose the truth. Any official investigation of FBI misconduct MUST include the 'Reign of Terror' on Pine Ridge and the Peltier case where the government has been shown to have:

(a) Violated international law by using a false affidavit from an incompetent witness to obtain Leonard's extradition from Canada
(b) Withheld critical evidence
(c) Fabricated other evidence
(d) Intimidated witnesses
(e) Handpicked the trial judge and
(f) Prejudiced the jury against the American Indian Movement, in general, and Leonard Peltier, in particular.

This was all to ensure that Leonard Peltier, an innocent man, would pay the collective price for the deaths of two FBI agents in 1975. It was and continues to be an act of vengeance only and a shameful perversion of our Constitution.

This is a simple matter of justice… I want it. I want it now. Conduct a full investigation into the FBI misconduct on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the case of Leonard Peltier.…

The Undersigned

Friday August 14, 2009,

"Manson disciple Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme free after three decades, August 15, 2009, Times Online (Chris Ayres in Los Angeles),

"Peltier awaits parole decision" (Gale Courey Toensing), Indian Country Today, Aug 16, 2009, Updated: Aug 14, 2009,

Posted by Bennett's Column at 4:09 PM 0 comments
Labels: Charles Manson, FBI Misconduct, Leonard Peltier, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme, Pine Ridge


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