Friday, September 18, 2009

Open Letter To The FBI By Arthur J. Miller

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An Open Letter to the FBI
by Arthur J Miller

In the social climate of Nations, there are times when the suffering of people seems to be a forgone conclusion and the winds of discontent are calm. Within every generation the climate changes and the winds of discontent blows into a storm. People look around their world and believe that the way things are do not have to be their continuing reality.

In this Nation, of the United States of America, the FBI has been the storm chasers who have sought to bottle up the storm and return the defiant ones to the obedience to the social order for which the FBI's political agenda represents.

Yes, the FBI has been America's political police force.

The movements of people of color struggling to lift themselves out of bondage and gain simple civil rights, the FBI was there trying to keep the chains of racism firmly attached. Books have been written about the FBI's actions against such people as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The movements of poor laborers struggling to work under decent conditions and livable wages, the FBI was there trying to drive them back to their terrible existence. Remember, the FBI began, in part, to crush the Wobblies.

The movements of peace that struggled so hard against [Vietnam] War, the most foolish act of humanity, the FBI was there acting in the interests of the warmongers and profiteers. I still remember many of the FBI's actions against those of us who stood against the war in Vietnam.

The movements to protect our Mother Earth from the devastation of abuse in the name of greed, the FBI was there trying to put a lid upon a struggle for the survival of our natural planet. We will not forget Judi Bari.

It seems that there may not have ever been a movement of people seeking social change in which the FBI has not been there trying to keep change from happening. Even today as thousands of people march in the streets against the globalization of corporate greed, there you are, FBI, doing what ever you can to stop it.

Through it all people have wondered; if this country that says it stands for "freedom" and is base upon the "will of the people", then why does it need a political police force trampling upon that freedom and seeking to suppress the people from having any say as to what their will may be?

Why can't people of color live with the same rights and opportunities as white people? Why can't laboring people have a fair share of the fruits of their toil? Why can't we learn to live in peace and not kill our brothers and sisters? Why can't we live in balance with Mother Earth without abusing her? Why can't the people decide our relations with other Nations rather than have world bodies controlled by only the interests of a few at the expense of the many?

Does the U.S. Constitution forbid these things? Do the words freedom and liberty for all mean only conformity to what the FBI believes is right, in their view, for the people?

Now the FBI has marched in Washington, DC out of fear that they may lose some of their political standing. That fear comes in the form of the possible freedom of one man, Leonard Peltier.

Like all other struggles of people out to improve their conditions and to right the wrongs done to them, the original people of this land have walked a long and hard road of struggle; and the FBI has been there trying to block their path. In Native Country, the FBI is known as the Federal Bureau of Intimation, for good reasons.

The Native storm came to a gale force pinnacle in the mid-1970s on Oglala Lakota land called Pine Ridge. There the Traditional People sought to speak out and change the conditions that they were forced to live under. Did the FBI go there to protect the "Constitutional Rights" of all the people? No, they did not and had they done what the Constitution called for the conflict would not have escalated as it did.

Out of the great desperation the Traditional People found themselves in they requested the help of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Who else could they turn to? They could not turn to you, the FBI, for you were actively a direct part of their problems. Because they saw no avenue of change they decided that they had to take a stand at Wounded Knee. Who was among those with their guns pointed and firing at the people at Wounded Knee? You, the FBI along with the illegal GOON squad with help from the U.S. military in clear violation of U.S. law.

After Wounded Knee, you, the FBI, hounded the Traditional People and members of AIM. None of this had anything to do with upholding the U.S. Constitution or U.S. laws as the first Wounded Knee trial so clearly showed. That case was dismissed because of your, the FBI's, illegal abuse.

In the two and a half years after Wounded Knee there was a reign of terror on Pine Ridge that you not only did nothing to stop but you helped instigate it. Again the Traditional People requested the help of AIM and an AIM encampment was set up. Then came that tragic day of the firefight on June 26, 1975, in which one AIM member and two FBI agents died.

You, the FBI, claim that upon that day the two agents were just following a vehicle that they suspected that a Native youth was in that was wanted in a case where some young people got into a drunken fight and a pair of cowboy boots was taken. Then upon entering a private compound your agents were ambushed and killed by Leonard Peltier and other people you have called common criminals. You have stated that Leonard had a long criminal history and he was nothing more than a "mad dog murderer";. But your story just does not add up. Please answer the following questions:

The vehicle that the agents were following was first described as a red Scout pickup truck. Then latter it was changed to a red and white Chevy van (because Leonard owned such a van). Are you telling us that your two highly trained agents cannot even give an accurate description of a vehicle?

Why was the vehicle not stopped out on the public road? Why follow it into an area in which your agents knew was an AIM encampment?

If this were just a case of common criminals is it the policy of FBI agents to go charging into a nest of such criminals without setting up a perimeter around it with back up? If this is the case then I must wonder why more FBI agents don't get killed.
You, the FBI, knew only too well the antagonism between you and AIM, remember Wounded Knee, you also knew of the reign of terror on Pine Ridge and the drive by shootings. Why in Gods name would your two agents go rushing in there in unmarked cars in the same manner as the drive by shootings and not expect a conflict?
If those people at the encampment were just common criminals and this was just an ambush, why is it that you, the FBI, have withheld 6,000 pages of your reports from Leonard's lawyers?

What is this long "criminal"; history of Leonard and what was the outcome of his trials?

Without an answer to these questions how could anyone find your story believable? The fact is to believe your story is to believe that the FBI is on a level par with the Keystone Cops.

We, who actively support Leonard Peltier believe the reasons for what happened that day are not those of your, the FBI, story.

We believe that your actions were taken to instigate a conflict with AIM in order to attract attention away from the illegal signing away of Oglala Lakota land that was taking place at the same time as the firefight. You, the FBI, knew and analyzed your problems at Wounded Knee (See your internal memo issued on 4/24/75 called, "The use of Special Agents of the FBI in a paramilitary law enforcement operations in the Indian Country";) and you did not want to repeat your mistakes.

You wanted a fast confrontation that could be used to suppress AIM. That meant instigating a firefight.

At the first trial of AIM members, in which their lawyers were able to speak to the truth of what happened that day, those AIM members were found not guilty for reason of self-defense.

Then you had Leonard extradited from Canada by using false statements and had Leonard's trial moved to a judge who would not allow Leonard's lawyers to present the same evidence as was used in the first trial. Along with witnesses that came out later to state that they were intimidated by you, the FBI, and by the creation of false evidence like the ballistics report, that was exposed in Leonard's second appeal, you were able by means of an unfair trial to get a conviction of Leonard.

You have stated that Leonard's supporters are just some Hollywood celebrities; there you are very wrong.

Millions of people world wide support freedom for Leonard Peltier, including a long list of well known human rights activists and organizations.

Now we have you, 800 FBI agents and supporters, marching in Washington, D.C. But what of the over 3,000 Peltier supporters who marched in New York the week before? It would seem that the media places a higher value on 800 FBI agents than 3,000 human rights activists, that is but another statement to the fact that the political system in power at this time does not view the citizens of the country as equals to those that enforce the policies of the government. But where in the U.S. Constitution does it state that some citizens are more equal than others?

I find no comfort in the death of any person, including your agents. I truly wish that had never had to happen. It is my dream that some day conflicts can be resolved through dialog. But such a dream will be very difficult as long as the FBI is used as a political police force that escalates conflict for their political purposes.

Leonard Peltier and AIM were not responsible for the deaths of your agents. The right of self-defense of one's person, family and people is the first fundamental natural right of all living beings. You sent your agents in there to instigate and firefight and you found out what Gen. Custer found out a hundred years earlier. Native people can and will defend themselves when attacked. Leonard and AIM did as Crazy Horse did in his day.

I have been told that it is dangerous to support Leonard Peltier and to take a stand against the political repression of the FBI, for it is said that the FBI does not act kindly to those that they see as threatening their ways. Many good-hearted people have deep fear in those three letters, FBI.

I have a greater fear than the fear of anything the FBI could or would do to me. I fear for our future if we do not learn to walk in peace with all of humanity or learn to live in balance with Mother Earth. That fear will drive one such as I to take a stand regardless of whatever repression may come my way.

Though you, the FBI, maybe able to suppress many of the storms of discontent, but there may come a time when the storms of all the suffering and abuse people join together into one great hurricane and sweep aside that which keeps them from fulfilling their dreams of a better world.

The FBI is strong and powerful, you have many guns and much money and resources. We who take our stands cannot hope to ever match those things that you do have. But that does not make us powerless for we have things that you can never posses; we have the truth of the reality of our world that we seek to change and we need not have to hide behind the lies of deceivers. We also have a spirit that is passed down to us from those who have struggled before us; that spirit of resistance is strong and can move us to great sacrifices.

Through the ages we have had those among us that have died in our cause, their spirit lives within our hearts. That spirit you cannot imprison for that only makes the spirit stronger. That spirit you cannot murder by an assassin's bullet or upon any death row, for that will only magnify the spirit a thousand fold.

In The Spirit of Crazy Horse, Geronimo, Sitting Bull, the Haymarket martyrs, Frank Little, Joe Hill, Wesley Everest, Sacco and Vanzetti, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Medgar Evers, Bobby Hutton, Fred Hampton, Joe Stuntz Killsright and so many others; I stand;

Arthur J. Miller
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