Un ancien membre
du FBI et du congrès témoigne des efforts du FBI pour empêcher
la libération de Leonard Peltier.
Déclaration faite le vendredi 15 décembre 2000 à la National
Press Club, à Washington par Don Edwards, ancien agent du FBI et représentant
du congrès de Californie, concernant les efforts du FBI pour éviter
la clémence pour Leonard Peltier.
Hon. Don Edwards
P.O. Box 7151
Carmel, CA 93921
As a former Congressman from California for over thirty years, a former FBI
agent and a citizen committed to justice, I wish to speak out strongly against
the FBI's efforts in opposing the clemency appeal of Leonard Peltier.
I served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Right
in the U.S. House of Representatives. I took a personal interest in Mr. Peltier's
case and became convinced that he never received a fair trial. Even the government
now admits that the theory it presented against Mr. Peltier at trial was not
true. After 24 years in prison, Leonard Peltier has served an inordinate amount
of time and deserves the right to consideration of his clemency request on
the facts and the merits.
The FBI continues to deny its improper conduct on Pine Ridge during the 1970's
and in the trial of Leonard Peltier. The FBI used Mr. Peltier as a scapegoat
and they continue to do so today. At every step of the way, FBI agents and
leadership have opposed any admission of wrongdoing by the government, and
they have sought to misrepresent and politicize the meaning of clemency for
Leonard Peltier. The killing of FBI agents at Pine Ridge was reprehensible,
but the government now admits that it cannot prove that Mr.Peltier killed
Granting clemency to Mr. Peltier should not be viewed as expressing any disrespect
for the current agents or leadership of the FBI, nor would it represent any
condoning of the killings that took place on Pine Ridge. Instead, clemency
for Mr. Peltier would recognize past wrongdoing and the undermining of the
government's case since trial. Finally, it would serve as a crucial step in
the reconciliation and healing between the U.S. Government and Native Americans,
on the Pine Ridge Reservation and throughout the country.
Don Edwards (D-CA), ret.
Member of Congress, 1963-1995