It has become clear that certain factions are maliciously and wrongfully<br>framing Leonard Peltier as a patsy to be falsely blamed for the death of<br>Anna Mae Aquash. First and foremost, let us be clear that Leonard had no<br>involvement in the murder.<br><br>Leonard Peltier has never voiced an opinion as to the innocence or guilt of<br>those charged with Anna Mae's murder. That is fact. Leonard's statements in<br>the past year have not given support to Arlo Looking Cloud or John Graham<br>specifically (or anyone else alleged to have taken part in Anna Mae's<br>murder), but have been solely in support of fairness and due process.<br><br>Leading up to the Looking Cloud trial and then in reporting the trial, the<br>media has embraced the false statements made by Kamook (Banks) Ecoffey and<br>others. It should be noted that Mr. Ecoffey was a key investigator in the<br>Looking Cloud case and carried on a relationship with a key witness prior to<br>trial, a witness who made falsely damning statements about Leonard at trial.<br>By sensationalizing testimony given in that trial, the media has made<br>outrageous accusations about Leonard Peltier that have no foundation in the<br>truth.<br><br>Indeed, the reporting is becoming more outrageous as a host of a Canadian<br>television program recently stated: "At his [Cloud's] trial the question was<br>raised that Leonard Peltier ordered the execution fearing that she was an<br>FBI informer." This statement was an intentional misrepresentation of the<br>facts and is not at all supported by the Looking Cloud trial transcript.<br>This is part of<br>a larger conspiracy to smear Leonard in the press and make him the patsy for<br>the wrongs committed by the FBI and others, some of whom have purported to<br>have been long time supporters of Leonard. We cannot stand and let shadows<br>gutlessly utilize the media to skewer Leonard Peltier to protect themselves,<br>in some instances, and, in other instances, simply to make sure that Leonard<br>remains in prison.<br><br>This has not been the only media attack. In a recent settlement in a civil<br>suit Leonard filed against Paul DeMain (editor of News From Indian<br>Country) - who had also aligned himself with the FBI against Leonard Peltier<br>in implying his involvement in the Aquash murder - DeMain was forced to<br>admit what is common knowledge in The Movement, i.e., that Leonard "had no<br>authority to order the murder," and that he has no evidence that Leonard had<br>any involvement in any way in the murder of Anna Mae. That is fact.<br><br>The recent attacks on Ward Churchill - who has contributed vastly to our<br>knowledge on the FBI's COINTELPRO activities (specifically on how the FBI<br>worked to destroy the American Indian Movement) and who has also served as a<br>spokesperson for Leonard Peltier for many years - is another example of<br>gross media manipulation. Remember that speakers, teachers, writers, and<br>publications themselves were targets of the FBI's counterintelligence<br>program during the 60s and 70s in an attempt to interrupt or prevent the<br>exchange of free ideas and to adversely affect<br>public opinion on activists and dissident groups. These attacks on Mr.<br>Churchill are designed, in part, to discredit Leonard Peltier and the work<br>that has generated vast interest in his case, as well as efforts to win his<br>freedom. People, such as Ward Churchill, have exposed the FBI's disruption<br>of AIM, the Black Panthers, and virtually any person who dares commit the<br>heinous crime of domestic dissent.<br><br>The FBI maneuvered in a very calculated fashion to disrupt AIM and other<br>organizations, and it continues to do so today, as we witness the Kafkesque<br>trial of Leonard Peltier for the death of Anna Mae Aquash in the media. The<br>motives underlying Anna Mae's death were planted by the<br>FBI as part of its co-intelpro activity. It started by the infiltration of<br>AIM by Douglas Durham who infiltrated AIM at its highest levels. He earned<br>the trust of Dennis Banks, Vernon Bellecourt and others whom he used to get<br>information for the government. Because Anna Mae saw through<br>Durham, she became a threat to Durham because, she, like many others did not<br>trust him. Leonard did not trust him and voiced his opinion to Dennis Banks<br>who disregarded it during the first International Treaty Council Convention<br>on the Standing Rock Reservation in 1974.<br><br>The FBI then began targeting and setting up Anna Mae because she had become<br>a threat to Durham's cover and they began a campaign to "bad jacket" her. We<br>know that both the FBI and people within AIM targeted Anna Mae Aquash<br>because of the connection which the FBI created between her and Durham.<br>Shortly after Durham was exposed as an agent of the FBI, Anna Mae became a<br>target because AIM leaders believed she was working with Durham. At this<br>time, AIM leaders resolved to rid AIM of so-called "rats." The fact is that<br>Anna Mae never was a "rat," but the FBI played people and maneuvered to<br>create fear among AIM leaders that she was. This caused great concern to<br>certain members of AIM because she was deeply involved with AIM Leaders. The<br>fear and suspicion became so overwhelming, certain factions decided<br>something had to be done with Anna Mae. Leonard was not involved in any way<br>with the decision making and the death of Anna Mae. In fact, Leonard at this<br>time was a fugitive on the run into Canada, incommunicado with the group<br>that he worked.<br><br>Now we have the John Graham Defense Committee inappropriately using<br>Leonard's statements to bolster support for Graham and also manipulate the<br>media. Indeed, John Graham has falsely associated himself in a relationship<br>with Leonard that does not and never did exist. In an<br>interview with David Melmer on March 02, 2004, Graham falsely stated that<br>shortly after the Oglala firefight, he and Anna Mae ". . .connected with<br>Leonard and them, and they were in the hills there..." However, Mr. Graham<br>did not, at any time, meet or join with Leonard's group. In fact,<br>Leonard Peltier has never met and doesn't know John Graham personally. We<br>now know that Graham's lies are part of a conspiracy and attempt to<br>implicate Leonard in the killing of Anna Mae.<br><br>Four requests were sent to the John Graham Defense Committee asking that all<br>links to Leonard Pettier Defense Committee Web sites and all Peltier<br>statements be removed from the John Graham Defense Committee's Web site.<br>When the private attempts to have these materials removed was ignored, we<br>publicly demanded the removal of all links to the Leonard Peltier Defense<br>Committee Web sites and all Peltier statements. Still, contrary to Leonard's<br>express demands, the John Graham Defense Committee has failed to honor<br>Leonard's wishes.<br><br>Let us be clear. Leonard Pettier had no involvement in the murder of Anna<br>Mae and it has become clear to Leonard that he must distance himself from<br>anyone alleged to have played a role in her death. Leonard must protect<br>himself from unfounded accusations. It is important that we not stand still<br>while Leonard is made the fall guy for yet another crime he did not commit.<br>Leonard has suffered 29 years and we will not stand by and allow him to<br>suffer any further injustice. We have already seen the United States<br>Government present patently false evidence both in Leonard's case and in the<br>Looking Cloud case. Baseless accusations are being made against Leonard and<br>associations being alleged that never existed. It is important that we stand<br>behind Leonard and not let him be framed for yet another incident in which<br>he had no part. It has become clear to Leonard and those close to him that<br>he must remove himself from anything or anyone who has been allegedly<br>connected to Anna Mae's murder. Most importantly is that certain factions be<br>stopped from lying<br>and implicating Leonard. We will not rest until that is done.<br><br><br><br>