May 31, 2008

Peltier yes, Clinton no

Here's another reason to vote for or against Hillary Clinton: the pardon of Leonard Peltier that was supposed to happen but didn't.

Native Americans say NO! to Hillary Clinton[W]e in Indian Country were hopeful that a Democrat in the White House would at last listen to reason and finally free Leonard Peltier. So for eight years we patiently presented our evidence and over ten million signatures from around the world. We were wrong, President Clinton left office without signing his pardon and Leonard was left to spend another decade unjustly confined to a jail cell. He has now been there for over thirty years, long past the parole date for the crime he was convicted of aiding and abetting.

However it isn't only that Clinton refused to pardon Peltier it was the way it was done that has angered Indian Country. After an immense and intense lobbying effort by Native American people and our organizations the Clintons led us to believe that a pardon would be forthcoming at the end of their administration. I spent the final days of the Clinton administration helping the LPDC so I know first hand that contacts within the administration made reassuring backchannel statements to the LPDC and I also know that those statements came from the Office of the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. ... [W]e were led to believe what we did by Hillary Clinton's office and we all assumed, because of who those contacts were, with her direct knowledge. They deliberatly lied to keep us quiet as long as needed and Indian Country has a long memory.

No comments: