By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
On top of the campaign to pressure New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to release terrorist killer Judith Clark from prison, the far-left is asking President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, an American Indian activist who was convicted of the execution-style murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams.
February 4 has been declared “International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier,” who was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment.
A group working for Peltier’s release, in an email to its supporters, says, “Several high-level meetings (some with Administration officials) are expected to occur in Washington, D.C., in early 2012.” No officials were named, however.
The campaign has the support of actor Danny Glover, whose film company, Louverture Films, has taken up the cause of freeing the convicted killer. The Glover company, which has received over $19.7 million from the Marxist regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, is involved in the publicity campaign for “Wind Chases the Sun,” a film that glamorizes Peltier.
Another Danny Glover project, “The Black Power Mix Tape,” features former Communist Party activist Angela Davis.
While the chances of an Obama pardon of Peltier may seem far-fetched, support for Peltier does exist in the “progressive” ranks of the Democratic Party. Reps. Maxine Waters and John Conyers have been among dozens of left-wing Democrats who had asked President Clinton to give clemency to Peltier.
Interestingly, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, had been a Peltier supporter when he was a left-wing congressman from California. He signed a congressional letter asking President Carter to give clemency to Peltier.
While the far-left Democrats failed in their efforts to get Presidents Carter and Clinton to let Peltier out of prison, the case of Obama could be different. Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, signed a submission to the U.N. claiming that Peltier is a “political prisoner” in the U.S. and should be freed. One wonders if the President ever talked to Wright, his pastor of 20 years, about the case, or whether Wright preached about it in his sermons.
A committee established to free Peltier is asking its supporters to directly telephone the White House to demand clemency for Peltier. The group is also asking people to contact Attorney General Eric Holder on behalf of Peltier. Holder, of course, was involved in facilitating the Clinton pardons of Weather Underground terrorists Linda Evans and Susan Rosenberg and various Puerto Rican FALN terrorists. Under Obama, the Holder Justice Department granted early release to Weather Underground terrorist Marilyn Buck.
The group working for Peltier’s freedom says, “As has been done in the past, we’re busy lobbying senators and other Members of Congress to gain their support for Leonard’s freedom…To date, this activity has been focused on mail and fax communications. To enhance our effectiveness, a lobbying trip to Capitol Hill and face-to-face meetings with congressional leaders is planned.”
The FBI has officially opposed any form of release or clemency for Peltier. In 2009, Thomas J. Harrington, FBI Executive Assistant Director in the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, testified in opposition to parole for Peltier, saying, “The intentional and vicious attack by Mr. Peltier was not simply a blatant attack on two FBI special agents; it was an attack on law enforcement as a whole—an attack on the rule of law. The inevitable haziness brought on by the passage of time does not diminish the brutality of the crimes or the lifelong torment to the surviving families. Those surviving families extend beyond the Coler and Williams’ to the entire FBI family. Moderation or lenience in terms of Mr. Peltier’s sentence can only signal disregard and disrespect to the law enforcement community as a whole, and to the families of Special Agents Coler and Williams.”
Nevertheless, Danny Glover brings Hollywood star power to the effort. Glover played roles in such films as “The Color Purple” and “Lethal Weapon.”
Since Glover has criticized Obama for not being left-wing enough, a White House grant of clemency for Peltier could be used to appease Obama’s base.
The campaign to get the attention of Obama and other left-wing Democrats is well underway. Glover participated in a “Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights” on behalf of Peltier that took place at the “Occupy Oakland” encampment in Oakland, California.
“I am involved because of the great injustice that was committed against Leonard Peltier,” Glover said. “I believe he is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. During the trial there were at least 25 violations of the U.S. Constitution committed against him. This is a travesty of justice.”
The “Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights” was launched on December 18, 2011 on Alcatraz Island and will conclude in Washington, D.C. on May 18, 2012. “I plan on being in Washington on May 18,” Glover said. However, he did not say if a visit to the White House or Congress was on his agenda.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.