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Woodward Probe * Canada Free Peltier * Kissinger Outrage

02 December 2002

"You can no more win a war,

than you can win an earthquake."

-- Jeanette Rankin

1) Justice eyes Woodward FBI probe
2) Canadian members of Parliament: Free Leonard Peltier!
3) The Latest Kissinger Outrage

Editor's Notes:

As with the NC-scheduled execution of Desmond Carter,* the case of Robert "Woody" Woodward, begs the question: What is legally justified killing? Woody was a friend of mine, an environmental activist and wonderful human being. He was kind and a gentle person. On December 2nd, 2001, he sought political asylum in a Church in Brattleboro Vermont. Two policemen came into the Church and opened fire, shooting him seven times within a minute of entering the sanctuary. Woody was handcuffed, while bleeding to death. The Attorney General's report (of Vermont), issued April 2, 2002 (to consider if this case should be investigated), concluded: "The shooting death of Robert Woodward on December 2, 2001, although tragic, was legally justified."

Today I plan on going to a Memorial Service and silent vigil. Please visit the Justice for Woody web site, link in the first item.

Item 2 is on another critical justice issue. Canadian members of Parliament reiterated just last Tuesday that they want the U.S. government to free native activist Leonard Peltier, who was handed over to U.S. authorities after a controversial hearing riddled with perjured testimony.

And Item 3 continues with the question by Christopher Hitchens and others: "Why is a proven liar and wanted man in charge of the 9/11 investigation?" Yet, while the outrage is being blunted by the mainstream TV media's analysis that appears to justify the spending of billions to prepare an attack on Iraq, while criminal acts of terrorism around the world expands, the US administration is making matters worse. Why -- for oil, chaos, power, madness? Yet the beginning of the US Christmas shopping season is a boom; the desire for distraction and denial, people getting sucked in to the illusion of wealth is a short term goal, but chaos and ruin seems to be the message and direction. Meanwhile, the devastation of the world's worst oil spill off the coast of Spain* is threatening the livelihoods of thousands and adding to the destruction of life by corrupt regimes and broken democracies.

Desmond Carter is scheduled to be put to death on December 10.
This date is recognized internationally as Human Rights Day.
To learn more about an act of an institutional killing, see:

A Nation Behind Bars: the buried talents of a population

1) Justice eyes Woodward FBI probe

Brattleboro Reformer
Article Last Updated:
Saturday, November 30, 2002 - 12:30:28 AM MST

Justice eyes Woodward FBI probe
Reformer Staff

BRATTLEBORO -- Part of an FBI investigation into the shooting death of Robert Woodward has been completed and is under review by the Justice Department, but the probe continues to delay a civil suit filed by Woodward's family, and a federal judge wants to know more.

U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha last week ordered William Ellis, defense attorney for the Town of Brattleboro and Brattleboro Police Officers Marshall Holbrook and Terrance Parker, to determine the status of the investigation by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and report his findings by Dec. 20.

"The court is concerned that the process of the civil suit before this court is being delayed by the investigation by the Department of Justice and seeks information as to the length of time the department will take to complete its investigation," Murtha wrote in a Nov. 22 order.

Woodward, 37, was fatally shot by Parker and Holbrook in the All Souls Unitarian-Universalist Church in West Brattleboro on Dec. 2, 2001. Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell in April exonerated the police officers of any wrongdoing after a lengthy investigation that largely focused on technical details of the incident.

But Woodward's family is pursuing a wrongful death civil suit against the town of Brattleboro and the two officers. The suit alleges the town failed to adequately train and supervise Holbrook and Parker. It further charges the two officers with "unconstitutional use of unreasonable force" and negligence in shooting Woodward seven times, including once in the back.

In July, the Department of Justice unexpectedly opened an investigation into whether Woodward's federal civil rights had been violated. Justice spokes-man Casey Stavropoulos said the investigation was being conducted with the FBI.

John Kavanagh, FBI supervisor for Vermont, said this week that his office had completed the preliminary investigation and the information was forwarded to the Department of Justice "over six weeks ago."
Kavanagh said because state police and the attorney generals already had conducted research, the FBI used the material gathered by those agencies rather than re-interviewing witnesses.

If the Department of Justice orders a full-blown investigation, the FBI will "reinvent the wheel," Kavanagh said -- interviewing witnesses and gathering its own data.

Stavropoulos said the Woodward case was still classified as an ongoing matter, and is under review by Justice Department attorneys.
"It's an open, ongoing investigation by the Civil Rights Division," she said.

The FBI investigation is linked to the civil suit filed by Woodward's family. On Aug. 26, a motion to extend the discovery schedule was submitted to U.S. District Court, signed by Ellis, as well as by attorneys Thomas Costello and Joel Faxon of Bridgeport, Conn. Both Costello and Faxon represent the Woodward family.

In the motion, both parties asked for postponement of depositions of the defendants and the disclosure of experts until the Justice Department and the FBI conclude their investigation into the shooting.
It was the second delay, since depositions had been postponed while Sorrell and the Vermont State Police conducted investigations, according to court documents.

The basis for delaying the deposition was that Holbrook and Parker did not want to be deposed as long as a criminal investigation was open, according to court documents. "They will assert their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in response to any questioning conducted by plaintiffs before the FBI completes its investigation," the motion states.

On Sept. 3, a discovery schedule was submitted to the court, signed by both parties, that stated, "Depositions of the individual defendants shall be completed on or before Nov. 30, 2002, or 30 days after the FBI completes its investigation, whichever is later."

However, on Sept. 30, Ellis filed a motion for a protective order. According to court documents, Ellis had telephone conversations with both Costello and Faxon, who wanted to schedule the depositions of Holbrook and Parker for the week of Oct. 21. Ellis stated that he wanted to stick with the schedule both sides had agreed upon.

In court documents filed Oct. 10, Costello and Faxon argued, among other things, that the existence of the FBI investigation could not be proven.

"Unlike the case of the attorney general's criminal investigation where the existence of that investigation was evident and acknowledged by both the state of Vermont and all of the concerned parties to this action, here defendants rely on a purported investigation by the FBI which even that agency will not confirm whether it has undertaken," the attorneys wrote to the court.

"There is simply no evidence offered by defendants that the FBI investigation exists or is even contemplated," court documents state.
Brattleboro Police Chief John Martin was quoted as saying he could confirm the existence of an FBI investigation, and at that point there was no criminal action pending against any of the defendants in the case, according to the documents.

"Even if there is an FBI investigation currently under way, and even if that investigation were to result in criminal charges against these defendants, there is no automatic stay of discovery and defendants have advanced no basis for such a dramatic measure."

In court documents filed Oct. 21, Ellis argued that Costello and Faxon had previously acknowledged the existence of the FBI investigation in court documents, such as the motion to extend discovery.

"Moreover, the plaintiffs offer the bald assertion that 'there is simply no evidence offered by defendants that the FBI investigation exists or is even contemplated,'" Ellis stated. "Again, such an allegation is troublesome in light of the plaintiffs' previous representations concerning the existence of this investigation."

Ellis also stated that there was ample evidence of the investigation in the media. In support of his argument, Ellis submitted a copy of a published news story about the investigation.

On Friday, Murtha granted the protective order, Ellis said. "The protective order was just issued to enforce what we had agreed to with our previous motion," he added.

©1999-2002 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and NENI Newspapers,1413,102%257E8860%257E1022029,00.html

For Flyby News Archives on a Friend Shot Dead by Police, see:,18782,m

For the "Justice for Woody" web site, visit:

2) Canadian members of Parliament: Free Leonard Peltier!

MPs Want U.S. to Release Native Activist Peltier
Wed Nov 20,
Mark Bourrie, Inter Press Service

OTTAWA, Nov 19 (IPS) - Canadian members of Parliament reiterated Tuesday that they want the U.S. government to free native activist Leonard Peltier, who was handed over to U.S. authorities after a controversial hearing riddled with perjured testimony.

Peltier is in Kansas state's Leavenworth Penitentiary serving the 27th year of two life sentences for the murder of two FBI agents, Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, who were killed during a shootout at a South Dakota reservation on Jun. 26, 1975.

U.S. prosecutors admit they do not believe Peltier shot the agents, but claim he was involved in planning the ambush of the men, who were on the Pine Ridge Reservation to arrest a leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM), the group that had sponsored an occupation in the nearby community of Wounded Knee.

Peltier, a leader of the AIM and one of its most articulate spokesmen, has always denied any role in the killings. After the murders, he fled to Canada, but was turned over to U.S. authorities after an extradition hearing in 1975. The U.S. promised to give Peltier a fair trial.

''At a time when we are concerned in general about the possibility of people being falsely incriminated by an overzealous American administration, we would do well to be reminded and instructed to Mr. Peltier's case,'' said Bill Blaikie, a senior member of the left-of-center New Democratic party.

''Here was a case with an obvious political dimension and, as a result of evidence that was manufactured, Mr. Peltier, who did not believe he would be treated fairly in the United States, was extradited,'' he added.

Tuesday's parliamentary debate, which did not include a vote, was co-sponsored by John Reynolds, deputy leader of the right-of-center Canadian Alliance Party. Reynolds has campaigned for several years for Peltier's release, complaining that the U.S. justice system dismissed ''critical and compelling testimony in the Peltier case''.

The debate discussed evidence revealed in a privately commissioned legal inquiry held in Toronto in October, 2000. The findings of the inquiry, headed by Justice Fred Kaufman, a retired judge of the Quebec Court of Appeal, formed the basis of a Canadian clemency appeal that was turned down by former U.S. president Bill Clinton in the last days of his administration.

Kaufman concluded: ''I am satisfied that if this had been known when the extradition hearing took place, the request to extradite Peltier would likely have been refused.''

Several other Canadian judges, including Justice R.P. Anderson of the British Columbia Supreme Court, have commented on the case.

''It seems clear to me that the conduct of the U.S. government involved misconduct from the inception,'' said Anderson.

The key extradition hearing witness, Myrtle Poor Bear, later testified that the FBI coerced her into signing false affidavits stating she witnessed Peltier murder the two agents.

The jailed man's supporters in Canada and the United States say the FBI fabricated documents supporting Poor Bear's testimony and withheld important evidence that pointed toward another suspect. The Canadian government, which conducted a five-year internal investigation into the extradition, admits that it knows Poor Bear's affidavits were false.

Peltier's latest request for parole was turned down by authorities after a hearing last summer. His lead lawyer, former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark, thinks he will be released before 2008, when he is eligible for a full parole hearing.

''We've detected weaknesses today that we've seen repeatedly,'' Clark said Tuesday. ''I think we'll get him out before 2008. But every day hurts.''

''This is such a tragic injustice for the people involved and such a tragedy for the country that in the 21st century we still have such a multi-tiered system of justice,'' he added.

While the debate did not include a vote, a senior government official said it gives Ottawa ''a strong moral ground to remind the Americans that Canada objects to the continuing imprisonment of Mr. Peltier''.
Copyright © 2002

For more on Leonard Peltier, see:,22139,

and the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee:

3) The Latest Kissinger Outrage

New York Times
December 1, 2002
He's Ba-a-ack!

WASHINGTON — It's an inspired choice. Bold, counterintuitive, edgy,
outside the box. Who better to investigate an unwarranted attack on America than the man who used to instigate America's unwarranted attacks? Who better to ferret out government duplicity and manipulation than the man who engineered secret wars, secret bombings, secret wiretaps and secret coups, and still ended up as a Pillar of the Establishment and Nobel Peace Prize winner?

It was Dick Cheney's brainstorm, naturally. Only someone as pathologically opaque as the vice president could appreciate the sublime translucency of Henry Kissinger. And only someone intent on recreating the glory days of the Ford and Nixon White Houses could have hungered to add the 79-year-old Dr. Strange—— I mean, Dr. Kissinger to the Bush team.

There will be naysayers who quibble that the president's choice to lead the 9/11 commission is not so much a realist as an opportunist, not so much Metternich as Machiavelli. They will look askance at Mr. Kissinger's résumé: keeping the Vietnam War going for years after he realized it might be unwinnable; encouraging the illegal bombing of Cambodia; backing Chile's murderous Pinochet; playing Iago to President Richard Nixon, telling him he'd be "a weakling" if he did not prosecute newspapers running the Pentagon Papers; wiretapping journalists and his own colleagues to track down leaks on the Cambodia bombing.

If you look for the words "Kissinger" and "secret" in the same sentence in Nexis, the search cannot be completed; there are too many results. When he was dating Jill St. John and Liv Ullmann and preaching that power is an aphrodisiac, he even coyly called himself "a secret swinger." In Walter Isaacson's biography, "Kissinger," the same words cascade: "deceitful," "disingenuous," "paranoid," "insecure," "temper tantrum," "flatterer," "two-faced" and "secretive." The über-diplomat has even been criticized for dissembling in his own memoirs. But secretiveness is not a disqualification for jobs in this White House. Quite the contrary: only the clandestine and the conspiratorial need apply. Mr. Bush, after all, worked very hard to suppress any investigation of 9/11. He had to cave to the victims' families, who were hellbent to hear what the president learned in his August 2001 briefing about Al Qaeda plans, and what wires were crossed at the C.I.A., F.B.I. and I.N.S. Now Mr. Bush can let the commission proceed, secure in the knowledge that Mr. Kissinger has never shed light on a single dark corner, or failed to flatter a boss, in his entire celebrated career. (He was one of Mr. Bush's patient tutors in foreign policy during the campaign.)

If you want to get to the bottom of something, you don't appoint Henry Kissinger. If you want to keep others from getting to the bottom of something, you appoint Henry Kissinger. Mr. Bush learned about the diplomat's black belt in the black arts long ago, when he made a patsy of Bush père. As the ambassador to the U.N. in 1971, Bush 41 was accused of aggressively making the case for Taiwan and against Beijing, even as Mr. Kissinger, the national security adviser, was secretly traveling to Beijing and undercutting Taiwan. Afterward, Mr. Kissinger told George H. W. Bush he was "disappointed" that Beijing had gotten Taiwan's seat in the U.N. "Given the fact that we were saying one thing in New York and doing another in Washington," Mr. Bush drily observed, "that outcome was inevitable." Fortunately, Bush Jr. was not held back by the revulsion that many in his generation have for Mr. Kissinger's power-drunk promotion of bloody American adventures abroad. As the former fraternity president told GQ magazine, he stayed a retro 50's guy through the roiling 60's: "I don't remember any kind of heaviness ruining my time at Yale." Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney are in tune with Mr. Kissinger's principles: that the greatest enemy of U.S. policy is the U.S. media, that American diplomacy may be happily indifferent to American public opinion, that the great unwashed masses of our democracy are just a big old drag on the elites who know what's best, and that corporate pals are a help, not a hindrance, in government work.

For this administration, outside the box is inside the box.

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The Latest Kissinger Outrage
Why is a proven liar and wanted man in charge of the 9/11 investigation?
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2002, at 3:36 PM PT

The Bush administration has been saying in public for several months that it does not desire an independent inquiry into the gross "failures of intelligence" that left U.S. society defenseless 14 months ago. By announcing that Henry Kissinger will be chairing the inquiry that it did not want, the president has now made the same point in a different way. But the cynicism of the decision and the gross insult to democracy and to the families of the victims that it represents has to be analyzed to be believed.

For the complete article, see:

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