In the February, 1995 issue of the Circle, there was an article entitled "FBI Buys Ads to Attack Peltier Clemency." To some on the group/list this is old news, to others not so old, I suppose. With so much data coming round the bend re Leonard nowadays one tends to shrug off the reading. However, in this instance, I am glad I took the time.
Way back when (Nov., '94), when Lisa Hellwig provided hard copy of the FBI ad (which remains available for the asking) I wrote to T. Giago, the publisher of Indian Country Today, to register a complaint. Of course, it was as if I sent the letter off into a void. In part, I said...
"Having just been relayed hard copy of the FBI anti-Peltier ad which recently appeared in Indian Country Today, I am prompted to posit the following. The ad itself is disgusting. It's assertions have been PROVEN to be false! That this piece of trash is forwarded to the world under the signature of organizations representing "over 15,000 active duty and former FBI agents" is, perhaps, the most perfect illustration of current FBI misconduct and their continguing gall re the First Nations/First People.
"The fact that the ad appeared in a First Nations/First People newspaper is unnerving. Did the FBI pay well? Unless the ad slipped by the "editor," my guess is that Tim Giago (editor of Indian Country Today) is making a "statement" here. I suggest also that Tim Giago be contacted re his purportion that Dick Wilson and his GOONS were in the right on Pine Ridge. Anyone who says such needs to be knocked around a bit (figuratively)."Then, on November 23, 1994 LHELLWI@delphi.com stated in a Natchat post:
"My objection to Indian Country Today publishing this ad is not that I think Tim Giago, as an Indian, is obligated to support Leonard Peltier and AIM; rather I object that he accepted money for and published an advertisement containing allegations that have been disproven in Federal Court, and by the release of tons of FOIA documents.
"For instance, release of FBI 301 documents, and radio transcripts, indicated that agents Coler and Williams were initially in pursuit of a red pickup truck, not a red and white Chevy Suburban van. Months after the shootout, when the FBI discovered that Peltier owned a red-and white van, the description magically changed. The search for Jimmy Eagle was completely out of the FBI's jurisdiction, since they can only investigate "major" crimes on reservations. Stealing cowboy boots has never, in my recollection, been considered a major crime, even if the cowboy is wearing them at the time. Further, the cowboy wasn't abducted. (Eagle and the two men from Manderson were actually friends, they were drinking together and got into a fight.)
"The major lie in this ad is the ballistics/weapons information. The .223 shell casing discovered at the site wasn't even examined for almost 5 months. The prosecution claimed that the AR-15 recovered from Robideau's car in Wichita was too badly damaged to test-fire and was also too badly damaged to do a firing pin test. You can imagine the prosecution's chagrin when, at one of Leonard's appeals, evidence was uncovered which proved that the prosecution cold and did perform a firing pin test and it did not match the shell casing found at the site. Considering that Lyn Crooks had brandished this damaged AR-15 at the jury during the first trial, shouting that this was the gun that Leonard Peltier had used to kill the agents, and that this was the shell they found at the site which proved that this was the gun, the new evidence at the appeals hearing was a little awkward for the prosecution."
All of the above is relevant as regards the current Circle FBI article. And, of course, not everyone read it. Now you have encountered some background...and we can now move on to exerpts from the current Circle article:
"McAuliffe [Osage] defends the editorial integrity of the Post, saying, "We in the newsroom have nothing to do with the ads." According to a member of their advertising department, The Washington Post maintains a policy of accepting all ads, except those selling psychic services, handguns, or sex."
"They paid money to put it in, and advertising money is what we need to run our business," says Indian Country Today editor Avis Little Eagle. "Most of the complaints have come from various Leonard Peltier Support Groups around the country. They were just perturbed that we would run it. If an ad is prepaid we will run it. We don't get government grants, so this is how we make our money," Little Eagle says. Asked if they would check sensational claims of a product such as shampoo, Little Eagle responded, "This ran in the Washington Post before it ran in our paper. They would have noticed if there were untrue things in it. If there were inaccuracies, it was the FBI that put them there. You need to talk with out publisher." "If a news story would have come in like that we would have called both sides and gotten a minimum of five sources. We operate under a code of journalistic ethics. I don't operate our newsroom like that FBI advertisement, and I don't want our editorial department mixed in with this. You need to talk with Tim, our publisher." Tim Giago could not be reached for comment."
Okay...apparently, despite the fact that the Washingtron Post and Indian Country Today are premiere Wasichu and First Nations/First Peoples newspapers publishing in the Land of the Free and HJome of the Brave, all one has to do is plunk down a fee. Shocking? Well, no, not really...
As regards ICT, I remembered some comments Avis Little Eagle made a short time ago. Note:
"Avis Little Eagle, managing editor of _Indian Country TODAY_, the nation's largest American Indian newspaper, said "There are many incidents of hate crime. I've done stories on them. There were murders down on the Rosebud (reservation in North Dakota) where they'd pick up Indians and beat them to death. They were non-Indians who did it and then the prosecutors would file manslaughter charges. No murder, nothing intentional. They would get two or three years and a slap on the wrist. And it's not just the killings and the beatings. It's on-going discrimination, like when people go in and sit down at restuarants. We report on that all the time."
"It's always been there," Little Eagle continued.
"It's just that nobody's ever done anything about it. But now people are speaking out. They're saying it's not right. No. We don't have to put up with it. It was always there but people just didn't say anything."
"Little Eagle said legal advocacy groups are coming together to deal with the problem of off-reservation hate crimes and discrimination. "Indian people need something with central clout, like the NAACP. Something that would be able to speak for the little guys."
"In the meantime, it is necessary that law enforcement and the criminal justice system become more aware of this neglected segment of hate victims and respond more vigorously. It will entail rethinking and a more pro-active policy on the part of police and prosecutors, given the historic reluctance of American Indian peoples to come forward with reports of such incidents. Without these, racist violence against Native Americans will go unchecked, continuing a shameful history that should have been buried generations ago."Avis Little Eagle, Managing Editor ( capitalized cause I think a ME is a big deal...one with high standards!) sounds good re the hate crimes. Right? Oh yeah...hate crimes are safe. :( The FBI? Ah, yes...a different story. Here she is stating the patently ridiculous as regards the FBI ad:
"They paid money to put it in, and advertising money is what we need to run our business..."
"...If an ad is prepaid we will run it. We don't get government grants, so this is how we make our money..."
"...This [ad] ran in the Washington Post before it ran in our paper. They would have noticed if there were untrue things in it. If there were inaccuracies, it was the FBI that put them there. You need to talk with out [sic] publisher.
"If a news story would have come in like that we would have called both sides and gotten a minimum of five sources. We operate under a code of journalistic ethics. I don't operate our newsroom like that FBI advertisement, and I don't want our editorial department mixed in with this. You need to talk with Tim, our publisher."Remember Oginalii (my friend), these are the responses from the Managing Editor of Indian Country Today. One who says that
"If a news story would have come in like that we would have called both sides and gotten a minimum of five sources. We operate under a code of journalistic ethics. I don't operate our newsroom like that FBI advertisement, and I don't want our editorial department mixed in with this. You need to talk with Tim, our publisher."Even a moron could annotate the above quotes so as to illustrate their self-serving foundation...I have recommended to a friend that she NOT subscribe to Indian Country Today because of their approach to the plight of Leonard Peltier. Please do let your conscience be "your" guide."