| International Indian Treaty Council |
CONSEJO INTERNACIONAL DE TRATADOS INDIOS
To: Leonard Peltier Supporters
From: Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Subject: Petition – FOIA REQUESTS ON BEHALF OF LEONARD PELTIER
We are sending you a Sample Petition that may be used regarding FOIA Requests on Behalf of Leonard Peltier
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PETITION: FOIA REQUESTS ON BEHALF OF LEONARD PELTIER
Honorable Jon Kyl, Chairman, & Honorable Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Democrat
United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology & Homeland Security
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
cc: Honorable Adam Putnam, Chairman, & Honorable William Lacy Clay, Ranking Democrat
U.S. House of Representatives
Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations & the Census Committee
B-349A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20501
Leonard Peltier is a Native American activist who is currently imprisoned at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg Pennsylvania. Mr. Peltier has been incarcerated for 30 years as a result of a shoot-out at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (South Dakota) on June 26, 1975, that resulted in the deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) & a young Native American man.
Currently, Mr. Peltier's attorneys are attempting to secure his files from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA requests have been made on Mr. Pelter's behalf to FBI Headquarters & its field offices around the country.
There have been numerous unnecessary delays in the handling of the FOIA requests submitted on Mr. Peltier’s behalf. For example, some FBI field offices have said that the scope of the inquiries outstrips their capacity to process the documents & referred the requests to FBI headquarters; the FBI Legal Attaché in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, has not responded to Mr. Peltier's request of January 9, 2002; & FBI Field Offices in Albany, Pittsburgh, Portland, & San Francisco claim that their files relating to Mr. Peltier have all been destroyed, some as early as September 1976.
I – along with Amnesty International & the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights – urge that congressional hearings be held on the handling of Mr. Peltier’s FOIA requests. The FBI must be required to divulge the exact number of documents it maintains on Mr. Peltier & the Field Offices that maintain these records; the total number of documents regarding this case that have been destroyed, as well as the date & authority under which records were destroyed; & whether or not any records dealing with Mr. Peltier have been transferred to any other agencies, as well as pertinent details of those transfers.
These documents are over 25 years old & are considered historically significant. In 2002, Congressman Barney Frank arranged for the release of 30,000 documents for this very reason. However, as many as 100,000 more documents remain to be released. Previously released documents showed repeated instances of FBI misconduct & forced the government prosecutor to admit that the government does not know who shot their agents. The remaining documents may contain new evidence that may exonerate Mr. Peltier. These remaining documents must be released to the public without delay.
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