Quest


 
Restless Spirit: The Murder of Eddie Peltier
A True Story
By
Cat West
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NOTE: Sad to say that this article, although it would have been given freely, was "lifted" by Native News e-zine and a "senior staff" person took credit for the writing.  When I asked that my name be put on the article, they removed the article entirely, without comment.  There was a blurb at the bottom of the article declaring that because it was about Native People, they had the right to publish without permission. Perhaps yes, perhaps no, but plagiarism has no excuse.  If you wish to print this article or to copy it, please keep my name as the author, and notify webmaven when and where the article is going.  Thank you!  Cwest

INVISIBLE PEOPLE

A brief history of government abuse of native peoples and traditional ways

 

 

Check out this site link to Black Mesa Organization for more info on other areas where this is currently ongoing but relatively unspoken. Black Mesa Organization

 

History

Nazis systematically appropriated all the properties and resources of the Jewish people, herded them into ghettos, and then proceeded to exterminate them by the millions.  Occasionally, there were mock trials to make it appear that everything was legitimate, and the government had cause. 

All of this was ignored by those who chose “not to get involved”. The victims were invisible people until the world opened their eyes in horror.  We call it “The Holocaust”.

When the governments of North America systematically appropriated the richest lands and resources of all the First Nations Peoples, herded them into Reservations, starved, humiliated, and exterminated them by massacres, neglect, and disease, and broke every treaty ever signed, we call it “Progress”.

People, in the hundreds of millions, have died because of this.  But they remain, “invisible” to the citizens of North America, as a whole.  We know more about Star Wars, Video Games, and the personal sex lives of presidents than we do of the social dynamics of the people who cared for and respected this land long before contact with the European immigrants. 

When people came to the Americas seeking a new way of life, many of them appreciated the beauty, clean water, abundant resources and respected the Native Way of life… Others became fearful, greedy, and the conflicts that may have started out as misunderstandings became justification for abusive government, military inflicted genocide. 

The only people who benefited from this were the big money plantation owners, railroad fat cats and government interests.  Everyone else lost.  Both the White Man and the Red Man lost.  We lost the way of living that could have kept this land clean, bountiful and healing.  We have lost the knowledge and the understanding that could have made us both wise and strong.  We have become enslaved to the corporate greed which raids all resources of minerals, timber, land, and water.  An abundant land has become grayed and hardened, people who could have been the best of allies, racially divided, suspicious of everyone and everything.

This state of affairs serves well the government and their corporate handlers who exploit all of us for their own profit and control.

Who among us would agree to have a special branch of government, say the Department of the Interior which is headed by  an appointee and oversees the land, resources and animals.  Who among us would have that department control our lives, issue enforcement agencies to make certain we cannot grieve the wrongs?  The BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) is under the control of the Department of the interior.  Indians are considered property, like grazing land, animals, mines and oil fields. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has never provided an audit for the monies it takes in nor how they are dispersed. 

Native Peoples are supposed to have billions of dollars in oil royalties dispersed to them every month.  But there is never any itemization nor accounting for this oil that is being taken from the land, and checks are never issued with any kind of a report.  They can range from nothing, to a few cents, to several thousand dollars.  The larger checks always seem to go to people in places of influence, power and control within the social structures of the reserves. 

The social structure of most reserves revolves around getting around local thugs who often have the support of the FBI, even the military, should anyone raise the issue of fair treatment, or seek disclosure of any event. 

The living conditions on every reservation are appalling.  The level of poverty, addiction, abuse, infant and child mortality, elder abuse and neglect are shocking.  For 7 generations, the government “legally” kidnapped children as young as 4 yrs old from their parents and sent them to boarding schools where they were stripped of their identities, not allowed to speak their own language, beaten, molested and abused along with being taught how to serve their future “employers” of the white race.  Many were not allowed to return to their homes until they were adults.

 Many never survived the “generosity” of the government and religious institutions, which by any measure,  were concentration camps with a “noble mandate”. 

It is no wonder that it is easy to find corrupt, dishonest and abusive members of what’s left of Native societies who will, with the help, encouragement and support of the US government, the US Justice Department and the blind eye of the citizens of the US and Canada, take the positions of power and abuse within their own communities. 

Few judges will even look at the dynamics of a case involving Indians.  Indians have no credibility in courts that are located hundreds of miles from their home, and fair trials are impossible when there are no peers on the jury or even in the jury pool, and a blatantly racist, biased Judge allows and encourages abuses from the prosecution and denies all avenues of defense in their courtrooms.

Judge Benson in one such judge.  US Attorney Lynn Crooks is one such Prosecutor.  So was Dennis Fisher until three episodes of shoplifting lost him his job with the US Attorney’s Office. 

The tactics are simple:  Beat, abuse, threaten and harass individuals until they become compliant witnesses.  Destroy, hide, or deny evidence or witnesses that would clear the defendants, or point to someone in power who is truly guilty of the deed or deeds.  Definitely conceal, or threaten into silence, any witnesses that can point the finger to a government agent or agency thug.  If someone comes forward, silence him or her at all costs.  Kill them, their family, whatever it takes.

You keep saying to yourself at this point: “Not here! Not in My Country! Not in this day and age!”  And a few of you who rely on the reflex of ridicule to diminish any unpleasant possibilities will deny that any such ongoing “conspiracy” is "not possible!"

Keep thinking that way.  You are enabling it to continue.  Just like the Germans ignored the Jewish ghettos, and  the smoke and stench that rose up from the ovens at the concentration camps.  Denial is a formidable obstacle.  It makes us a nation of cowards. 

Eddie Peltier was murdered just a few years after Leonard Peltier was hijacked and framed for the murder of two FBI agents.  Several of the tactics that were used  to coerce witnesses in the Leonard Peltier case were again used in the Eddie Peltier case.  Even Judge Benson and US Attorneys Lynn Crooks and Dennis Fisher were put in place to keep the formula perfect.

One of the women who refused to perjure herself and testify against Leonard Peltier, was murdered.  The FBI further made an example of her by cutting off both her hands saying that they needed to do that to get fingerprints!  They defiled her to make an example to the others.  And it worked. 

One of the coerced witnesses in the Eddie Peltier Case was threatened specifically with “We can kill you and cut off your hands, just like we did her…”  And it was a fact because it had been done and nothing was done about it.  That along with threatening to take away children, or jailing elderly parents, or my favorite: Two oversize FBI agents kicking in the door of a house where two young girls were home alone one afternoon, and dragging one 12 yr. Old out of the shower, naked and shivering, and threatening them for over an hour… those kinds of tactics do work. 

Statements were made, or signed, and testimony, albeit confused and contradictory, was held in the highest courts as true.  Anyone who refused to testify, or complained of threats, beatings, torture and the suborning of perjury, were silenced immediately, arrested or died. 

This is how it was, and this is how it is.  Courts refuse to hear evidence against law enforcement agencies that control Native Peoples.  They refuse to acknowledge abuses and the suborning of perjury by esteemed prosecutors.

 They are most cowardly when it comes to dealing with one of their own.  A judge so corrupt and out of control that trials he presides over are considered “abhorrent” and abominations.  Perhaps Judge Benson belongs to all the right clubs, and maybe he knows more about his fellow Justices laundry than they are comfortable with.  Whatever prevents these judges and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals from righting the most blatant wrongs of the 20th century, it is a holocaust ongoing under the blind eye of good citizens like us.

That thousands of Indians are murdered on the Reservations and these murders go unsolved, is not surprising.  Most are never investigated.  Generally that  is because the person who committed the murder is wearing the color of authority.  If a stink does arise and an investigation has to proceed, everything is in place to make sure that the guilty go free. 

Bullies  are necessary to this whole structure.  They keep their own people down; harassing, threatening, even killing them or other members of their family or community, to terrify the rest of them into silence. 

The oil companies keep pumping out the oil reserves, the mining companies keep raiding the mineral deposits, uranium is mined, and all without any consideration for environmental hazards that destroy the air, the land, the water.  Along with all that, generations of innocents are decimated.

There is good incentive to be corrupt.  The social structure is crippled from generations of serial abductions and ethnic cleansing of history, language, values, identity. The product of this is the same as in any case with such a legacy of abuses.  Bullies, thugs, angry dysfunctional types who know that he who has the power is the one the others fear. Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, child molest, assaults, all forms of violence permeating the culture.

Feeding into that are millions of dollars of money that is never audited, never tracked, never accounted for. 

Such money can easily find its way into the pockets of dishonest or corrupt Justice Dept. Agents.  Payoffs create the darkest of alliances.  If Native People wish to dispute their situation, they must first take it up with… the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which as we know, is under the auspices of the Bureau of the Interior.

Like cattle, they are herded, controlled and denied recourse at every turn.  There are more parallels to the way Native Peoples have been thwarted and killed off and the Holocaust of the 1940’s.  One need only to open their eyes and look.  It is all there to see.  Nothing is hidden.  It is openly what it is.

The Leonard Peltier case is again raising the public awareness to the story of “Justice Denied” and the corrupt mechanisms which control the social structures and raid the resources of the land with neither consent nor control by the people who, by law, and by treaty which  was supposed to recognize the Native People’s right to these lands and resources-----FOREVER.

A TEST:

Bring up the subject of any Native grievance or issue in your circle of friends.  See how quickly the subject is changed.  Listen for the biting  ridicule nipping at your credibility to chase you away from talking about people who don’t really matter anyway. 

Even in this day and age, people who consider themselves as good people will make statements like: “We wouldn’t have these problems if we had just killed them all off in the first place.” 

Indians have been referred to as “The Indian Problem”,  a euphemistic dismissal of the systematic genocide that began with the US Army, which took control over all Indian Affairs, and later handed over the reigns of control to the Department of the Interior and they created the BIA.

There are people in chat rooms who are still amazed that “any real Indians” still exist!  The dime novel rendition of Indian Wars, fictional and inaccurate as they were, left an indelible format by which we view the First Nations People of today. 

Individual First Nations people have overcome major hurdles and can actually participate in the “white world under white rules”  Native People can now portray Native People in movies and Television.  Achievements in the fields of law, medicine, and other careers have also been noted. 

But what is missing is Justice.  To achieve that, we must take a look at Leonard Peltier, clearly a political prisoner, a testimony to the methods of corruption, displacement, and racism.  But he is only one example of many. 

Until there is a thorough, unbiased and open to the public view of the events that took place leading up to and since the death of the two FBI agents, their killer remains at large, and an innocent man, every bit the political hostage as was Nelson Mandela, remains behind bars.

The corrupt and abusive methods that worked to remove Leonard from his freedom, such as it was,  remain in place and reinforce the practices of corruption and abuses, murder and neglect and the wholesale misappropriation of billions of dollars of resources and lands, continues. 

That the Eddie Peltier case brings to light the same players and agencies employing the same tactics, means that it is still ongoing today. 

Eventually this will all come to light.  We will judged on how long we allowed it to go on.  We will also be judged by what we did to rectify it. Or more harshly by how long we ignored it.

The power of denial sickens us all.  How can we allow this to happen and continue to happen to anyone in this country and still call ourselves righteous?  Perhaps we already have been beaten down enough ourselves that we don’t think we are able to make a difference. 

Maybe this is too big.  Maybe it should just all go away…. I’m sure that is what the good people of Germany thought.  They have lost their historical anonymity in the worst possible way.   Their descendants are paying the price ever since. Judged as a cruel, hypocritical, selfish people, forever tied to the smoking ovens and concentration camps of their fathers and grandfathers time. 

We can continue to ignore this, but at what cost?

The result of  racist corporate greed and government corruption are clear:  The water, air so toxic and unsafe as to cause birth defects for generations.  The land so wrongly used and abused, that it too has become toxic.  All the while, we continue the silent genocide on the people who shared a perfect land with us.  All they asked for was that we respect their ways, respect the land, respect  what the  Creator   has given. 

Disrespect has become the hallmark of success in a materialistic world.  Anyone who threatens to open the minds and bring light or awakening  into the stale format of popular thought, is considered an enemy of the “people.”

People are held accountable to the government, but the government is accountable to no one.  What has been done to First Nations People has set legal precedence for what can be done to the rest of us.  A ruling in any Federal court, which is where the worst abuses of laws and rights of the individual occur, unanswered by appeal, uncorrected,  become the case history by which law enforcement agencies can act against us all. 

When the prosecution can admit that they tampered with evidence, beat, terrified, and abducted witnesses until they told the story the way the Justice Department wanted to hear it... and an appeals judge says it was "abhorrent", but necessary to get to the truth and allows it to stand, one wonders at the loss of definition "truth" has suffered.  "Getting at the truth" with third world torture tactics  becomes acceptable.  Worse yet, it becomes "LAW". 

We become a nation no longer governed by laws, but "ruled over" by them without regard for truth, justice, and human rights. 

We have got to see that we, as citizens, are allies to one another, and that government is accountable to us!  It’s all doable.  We have the best framework in the free world.  In fact, the Constitution of the United States was predicated on the teachings of Degananweda, a Native Holy Man.

Democracy did not arrive in with the Pilgrims, for they had no model to base it on.  It was conceived on the very land where they arrived weary,  hungry, ignorant, looking for a better life.

Teachings of the First Nations People held such promise, like a beacon, for an enlightened civilization to exist here. 

People come together through migration, driven by one force or another.  We are capable of sharing and learning without overtaking and subduing those whom we do not understand.

We are capable of uniting, rectifying wrongs, and living in harmony.  It will take work, dedication, commitment on every level.  But it will be worth it. 

How long can we pretend not to see, know or care? How long before we realize that we are becoming Invisible People, without voice or recourse, surrounded by the apathy that enables all things dark and evil to prevail? Too late then. 

The time has come to make it work the way it was intended from the beginning.

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