The House Commerce Committee put the brakes on a fast-moving plan to put the first-ever domestic controls on data scrambling technology, rejecting 35 to 16 a Federal Bureau of Investigation-backed proposal to require all American computers users to register the codes to their encrypted software.
Surprised by the sudden violence, out-manned, out-gunned and at an extreme tactical disadvantage, Coler and Williams were both wounded and defenseless within minutes. Coler sustained a severe wound, the force of a bullet nearly tearing his right arm off. Williams, wounded in the left shoulder and right foot, removed his shirt during the hail of incoming rifle fire and fashioned a tourniquet around the arm of Coler, who had fallen unconscious. Coler, a former Los Angeles Police Department sergeant with two small sons, and Williams, an affable,friendly former FBI clerical employee, were at the mercy of Peltier and his associates. But there was to be no mercy that day for the fine young law enforcement officers.
Not satisfied with the terrible injuries they had inflicted, Peltier and two other men walked down the hill toward the ambushed officers. Three shots were heard. Williams, kneeling and apparently surrendering, was shot in the face directly through his outstretched, shielding hand. He died instantly. Coler, still unconscious,was shot twice in the head at close range. He died instantly after the second shot. Before leaving the murder scene, Peltier and his criminal associates stole the two dead agents' handguns and the .308 rifle Coler was going after when shot.
Mr. President, it's time for Leonard Peltier to pay up. Our judicial system is overwhelmed, overworked and has spoken in this case, again and again. It's time to move on. Leonard Peltier is a vicious, violent and cowardly criminal who hides behind legitimate Native American issues. Leonard Peltier was never a leader in the Native American Community. Peltier is simply a vicious thug and murderer with no respect or regard for human life, especially when law enforcement officers are involved. Our citizens, on and off the reservations, must be protected from predators such as Peltier. Our laws must be respected and obeyed or the penalty must be pad. The punishment must also fit the crime - and it does here.
Mr. President, since Leonard Peltier couldn't fool the federal courts, he is now trying to fool you and the public. He is shading and hiding the facts - and playing on sympathy. Don't let him get away with it, Mr. President. Sympathy is appropriate only for the dead heroes and their surviving families. Don't let their sacrifice be forgotten.
The other concealments that they went through are unbelievable. The FBI laboratory, is the subject of a whole series of reports that condemn it for fabricating evidence, for falsifying evidence, for incompetence in evaluation of evidence. Yet the extenuated nature of the only evidence against Leonard Peltier is so absurd that if it were a good laboratory, it wouldn't be worth anything.
They covered up lab reports that said they could not connect the one bullet - it wasn't the bullet but the casing - an expended casing - they could not connect it with what I was called the "Wichita AR-15." It's an adaptation of the standard Army M-16 rifle. They said they could not match it with the Wichita gun or rifle, which was the gun they were trying to place in Leonard Peltier's hands, except it was found in the van that blew up just outside of Wichita, as it was driving down there
And Leonard Peltier wasn't within 1,500 miles of it. So how does that get to be his rifle in the first place? Well, they had a plan for that. The FBI said there was only one AR-15 rifle on the reservation. But that was absolutely false. And the courts have now declared, without question, that there were multiple numbers of AR-15s there, and M-16s as well, which fire the same 223 cartridge, which is a high velocity cartridge that killed these FBI agents.
They reenacted a scene for which they had no evidence whatsoever, in which Lynn Crooks, the main prosecutor who is still with the case, stood up in front of the jury and said one agent was suffering from having been hit at a distance and he put his hand in front of his head and pleaded not to be shot and was shot through the hand and killed by Leonard Peltier who then whirled and shot the other agent and killed him, both at point lank range.
The only problem was there was absolutely no evidence of that, no witness testified to anything like that.
And you know what he said, across the river here in St. Paul, on Nov. 12, 1993, from the man who was on the case as a prosecutor from the beginning, and is still on it, "We do not know who shot the two agents." That's a quote.. "We do not know who shot the two agents." Leonard Peltier is in prison, and has been there 22 years. He's there, convicted on two counts of murder, and he's serving two life sentences
And the government has said, "We do not know who did it," and he went beyond that and said, "We did not prove who did it." And he went beyond that and said, "All we proved was that he participated."
Well, Leonard was on the compound, there is no doubt about that. And he was down at Tent City when the shooting started. And he pulled on his boots and grabbed a rifle and ran up there as fast as he could. He went straight to Harry Jumping Bulls house. Because those are the people he's trying to protect.. They weren't there He could hear children in another house and he ran over there, people shooting at him the whole way.
When he got there he realized, he was drawing fire. The best thing he could do to protect the kids was 'how's he going to get them out of there,' you can't even tell where all the shooting's coming from. So he took a chance on getting out by himself again, telling the kids to get under the bed and stay there, because he wasn't going to draw fire to that house. They were shooting at the house, once they saw him run in there. You know you could go on like that for a long time, with all of the evidence that wasn't there.
They have nothing except hatred and the desire to maintain the domination of the federal government that's existed over the Indian people for these too many dishonorable centuries now. To hold Leonard Peltier.
And the government itself, let me say one thing about their statement that they do not know who killed the agents. It's not a mistake. And it's not a confession. It was a necessity. Because in that appellate argument, if they had maintained that they had proven who the assassin of those two FBI agents was, there would have to be a reversal because there was no evidence of it.