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Katrina Warming * Peltier * Woody * Patriot

01 September 2005

THE HURRICANE that struck Louisiana..

was nicknamed Katrina..

Its real name is global warming.

1) Katrina's real name is Global Warming
2) Court room eyewitness: Peltier is a political prisoner

- - Justice for Woody and family within a year?
3) ACLU needs help to amend Patriot Act
- - Kerry and Edwards to Stay in Recount Case

Editor's Notes:

It is time to face up to the facts, unprecedented tragedy is upon us. The big question from those in Louisiana and Mississippi is why is it taking so long for help. Media people are outnumbering rescuers. Could it be that using national guardsmen and funds for the war in Iraq is having repercussions back home? Besides exhausting resources, an undeclared war is an abomination to the founding principles of the US Constitution. If we are fighting for justice and freedom, then the next few items should be resolved, sooner rather than later.

"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man,
by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."

Thomas Jefferson

1) Katrina's real name is Global Warming

Katrina's real name
By Ross Gelbspan
The Boston Globe

August 30, 2005

THE HURRICANE that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.

When the year began with a two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles, the cause was global warming.

When 124-mile-an-hour winds shut down nuclear plants in Scandinavia and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the driver was global warming.

When a severe drought in the Midwest dropped water levels in the Missouri River to their lowest on record earlier this summer, the reason was global warming.

In July, when the worst drought on record triggered wildfires in Spain and Portugal and left water levels in France at their lowest in 30 years, the explanation was global warming.

When a lethal heat wave in Arizona kept temperatures above 110 degrees and killed more than 20 people in one week, the culprit was global warming.

And when the Indian city of Bombay (Mumbai) received 37 inches of rain in one day - killing 1,000 people and disrupting the lives of 20 million others - the villain was global warming.

As the atmosphere warms, it generates longer droughts, more-intense downpours, more-frequent heat waves, and more-severe storms.

Although Katrina began as a relatively small hurricane that glanced off south Florida, it was supercharged with extraordinary intensity by the relatively blistering sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico.

The consequences are as heartbreaking as they are terrifying.

Unfortunately, very few people in America know the real name of Hurricane Katrina because the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue.

The reason is simple: To allow the climate to stabilize requires humanity to cut its use of coal and oil by 70 percent. That, of course, threatens the survival of one of the largest commercial enterprises in history.

In 1995, public utility hearings in Minnesota found that the coal industry had paid more than $1 million to four scientists who were public dissenters on global warming. And ExxonMobil has spent more than $13 million since 1998 on an anti-global warming public relations and lobbying campaign.

In 2000, big oil and big coal scored their biggest electoral victory yet when President George W. Bush was elected president - and subsequently took suggestions from the industry for his climate and energy policies.

As the pace of climate change accelerates, many researchers fear we have already entered a period of irreversible runaway climate change.

Against this background, the ignorance of the American public about global warming stands out as an indictment of the US media.

When the US press has bothered to cover the subject of global warming, it has focused almost exclusively on its political and diplomatic aspects and not on what the warming is doing to our agriculture, water supplies, plant and animal life, public health, and weather.

For years, the fossil fuel industry has lobbied the media to accord the same weight to a handful of global warming skeptics that it accords the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries reporting to the United Nations.

Today, with the science having become even more robust - and the impacts as visible as the megastorm that covered much of the Gulf of Mexico - the press bears a share of the guilt for our self-induced destruction with the oil and coal industries.

As a Bostonian, I am afraid that the coming winter will - like last winter - be unusually short and devastatingly severe. At the beginning of 2005, a deadly ice storm knocked out power to thousands of people in New England and dropped a record-setting 42.2 inches of snow on Boston.

The conventional name of the month was January. Its real name is global warming.

Ross Gelbspan is author of "The Heat Is On" and "Boiling Point."

This article was published by The Boston Globe:

For FN's resource page, see:

Mounting Evidence of Global Warming!

2) Court room eyewitness: Peltier is a political prisoner

- - Justice for Woody and family within a year?

Court room eyewitness: Peltier is a political prisoner
Re: Article against Leonard in Smoke Signals Newspaper
Leonard Peltier Defense Committe

The latest attack against Leonard is again coming from Indian Country and the strategy and style are too reminiscent of Paul DeMain's. Judge for yourselves (you can find it at ; then click on the Smoke Signals newspaper picture) and if you feel so inspired, I encourage you to respond. Below is the response letter by long time supporter David Givers:

August 30, 2005

Dear Editors,

Ron Kartens description of the trial of Leonard Peltier leaves out an important perspective. Someone like me who was in the court room for the entire trial.

In 1976, I had never heard of Leonard Peltier nor gave very much attention to media coverage of the shoot out in which FBI agents Williams and Coler were killed. Shortly before the Peltier trial started in Fargo, some Indian women, with children in hand, knocked on my door asking for help to find housing in our neighborhood. It was a random event that led me to attend the trial. They were part of the Peltier legal defense team that was coming to Fargo to help defend Mr. Peltier.

The women came back after we helped them and I heard from them accusations against the FBI, and the courts, that I simply could not believe at the time. I am someone who believes that the right to a fair trial is deeply embedded in our freedoms, is guaranteed by our Constitution, and that our system of law should always pursue the truth. I felt an obligation to be a public spectator at the trial and to form my own conclusion. I was able to sit in the court room every day there were hearings in Fargo.

It took years of legal labor by the Peltier defense committee to uncover the evidence to convince Amnesty International that Leonard Peltier is a political prisoner and they did declare him a political prisoner. That evidence is contained in the FBI documents that have been forced into disclosure via the Freedom of Information Act. The best example of the many government lies that occurred in our court is the murder weapon alleged to have been used by Mr. Peltier.

That day in court is indelibly etched in my memory. Agent Evan Hodge testified that the AR 15 linked directly to Leonard Peltier was the exact weapon used to kill Agents Williams and Coler. However, there was something wrong about that mans testimony. He was visibly nervous.

As an FBI forensic expert, he undoubtedly provided expert testimony numerous times. He should have been impeccable in his composure and testimony. He simply was not. Shortly after leaving the witness stand, Prosecutor Lynn Crooks recalled Hodge back for rephrasing. That was the coverup designed to prevent future perjury charges.

That fact is that the so called murder weapon tested by Agent Hodge did not match the ballistic evidence. That weapon, alleged by the government used by Leonard Peltier, did not kill the agents. This truth was discovered years later through the Freedom of Information Act. However, Mr. Crooks paraded that weapon all around the court room many times stating how Mr. Peltier at point blank range cold bloodedly killed the agents. That is another lie and it undoubtedly had an indelible impact on the jury.

Of course this is not just my belief or accusation. It is an actual appeals court ruling. In November 2003, the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that

Much of the governments behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed."

Virtually every time the defense challenged the government, and every attempt the defense made to present its own case, Judge Paul Benson had the jury removed from the court room. The jury never heard the defense. I saw this happen. No wonder the jury convicted. It is a false conviction because of false testimony by the government, and use of false and intimidated witnesses.

Please re read the findings by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

I don't know how you feel about our court system, but when we allow our officials to falsely imprison through suppression of the truth and repression of witnesses, then you and I have let our Constitution and Bill of Rights become meaningless pieces of paper and not a sacred agreement between we the people and our elected and appointed officials.

Yet Leonard Peltier remains in prison because he is a political prisoner. He is in prison because the unwritten rule is that when a law man goes down, someone pays the price with prison or death. At the time of the trial, there were no other persons to charge with the killings. Thus, Mr. Peltier had to pay the price no matter what the cost has been to the integrity of our courts and the sacred honor of our Constitution.

There is a question that remains unanswered by Mr. Kartens article. If the FBI had all these witnesses and informants when the trial was going on, why didn't they produce them? Suddenly they are once again falling silently and anonymously like Autumn leaves to confess that they know Leonard is guilty. The lies must continue to protect themselves and to prejudice the parole board and the general public, who in your story, are Grand Ronde people.

Many years have passed and it is long past time to heal these wounds. Mr. Peltier must be released from prison. As for the individuals who perpetrated this injustice and created a political prisoner, they have to live with their own guilty consciences. I bear them no grudge. I simply want the honor of our Constitution, with the right to a fair trial, restored through the release of Leonard Peltier.

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For FN's updated resource: Free Leonard Peltier

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- - Justice for Woody and family within a year?

Published by the Valley Advocate

Justice for Woody
Years after they shot him dead in church,
the police who killed Robert Woodward may face a jury--soon.
by Eesha Williams

- September 1, 2005 [See link at end for PHOTO]

Robert Woodward: Justice delayed, perhaps not denied.

"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man,
by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."

Thomas Jefferson

For decades, the percentage of all court decisions that are made by juries has been going down sharply in the United States, making the justice system more reliant on professional judges.

Why does that matter?

For one thing, judges and prosecutors work with police on a daily basis. So when it's time for a prosecutor to try to persuade a judge to send a cop to jail for unjustified murder or assault, the outcome is often predictable. Until August 24 it looked as if the case of the Woodward family versus the Brattleboro Police Department would be another example of that phenomenon.

On Dec. 2, 2001, a local man, Robert "Woody" Woodward, walked into a Brattleboro church, interrupting Sunday morning services. Woodward, who was 37 and had no criminal record, held a small knife and threatened to cut himself. A member of the congregation called 911. Brattleboro police officers Terrance Parker and Marshall Holbrook quickly arrived. Within minutes, in full view of the congregation, they had shot and killed Woodward.

The Woodward family filed a wrongful death suit. But over the next three years, decisions by a federal judge in Brattleboro, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Vermont Attorney General all went against Woodward's family's attempts to make the officers accountable for Woody's killing. But on Aug. 24, a federal appeals court in New York City said it was wrong for the Brattleboro judge to reject the Woodward family's request for a jury trial. The two-page ruling by judges Rosemary Pooler, Sonia Sotomayor and Edward Korman is available at It reads in part, "Four witnesses gave sworn statements that Woodward made no advances or threatening moves toward the officers or any bystanders before he was shot. ... Some witnesses who claim to have seen Woodward advance on the officers gave conflicting statements..." The judges note that some witnesses estimated that Woodward--armed only with a small knife--was 20 feet from the cops when they shot him. Others said he was closer. Officer Parker worked 97 hours of overtime in the month before he shot Woodward.

"There's no guarantee that a jury will decide differently than a judge in a police wrongful death case. But it is better to have people who live in the community with the police every day decide," says Jeffrey Abramson, author of We the Jury, published by Harvard University Press.

The mood of the Brattleboro community was revealed when residents here voted 1,566 to 933 last year in favor of creating a civilian board to investigate complaints against the police.

Protests organized by the group have called for Brattleboro to train its police in the use of non-lethal weapons and other means of dealing with mentally ill people.

The Woodward family's lawyer, Brattleboro native Joel Faxon, sounded jubilant after the ruling. "During the jury trial the Brattleboro Police Department's improper procedures will come to light," he predicted. "When the public becomes aware, they will demand reforms. People in Brattleboro need to know that what happened to Robert Woodward won't happen again."

Faxon said he expects a jury will consider the case within six months. If the jury rules in favor of the Woodwards, they will likely get money from the town. The earlier decisions meant that no one would even have to pay a fine for killing Robert Woodward.

For the original posting of this article, see:

For FN's resource page, see:
Friend Shot Dead by Police.

3) ACLU needs help to amend Patriot Act

- - Kerry and Edwards to Stay in Recount Case

ACLU requests your help to amend Patriot Act

The ACLU has filed an important lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Patriot Act provision allowing the use of "national security letters." We recently disclosed that the FBI used this controversial power to demand records from our client. Because of a gag order, I can't provide details on the case, but I can tell you that our client is a member of the American Library Association in Connecticut.

This is just the latest concrete evidence that Patriot Act reforms are necessary to protect our privacy and all our civil liberties. Right now, both the Senate and the House are considering changes to the act. That's why we need your help.

Fortunately, the Senate bill takes some steps to add protections against abuse in its reauthorization of the expiring sections of the Patriot Act and is better than the House bill, although more reforms are needed. Unfortunately, because of the gag order, our client cannot participate in the public debate as Congress prepares to reauthorize or amend it in September. We are fighting the gag order, and hope the court will soon lift it.

With your help, we can ensure that the Senate changes prevail. We need as many people as possible to send a strong message to Washington. That's why I'm asking you and other ACLU supporters to urge your friends to contact Congress in order to protect gains made on the Patriot Act by adopting the Senate version.

In appreciation of your pro-freedom work, we will send you a free DVD of "Beyond the Patriot Act," the premiere episode in our new TV series, The ACLU Freedom Files. Just use this form to ask five friends to join our fight against the Patriot Act. We'll send you the DVD.

Thank you for your important role in preserving and defending our civil liberties.


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union

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- - Kerry and Edwards to Stay in Recount Case
Trial to Start in August 2006

August 31, 2005

Don McTigue, attorney for John Kerry and John Edwards, appeared in federal court in Toledo, before Judge Carr, on August 30th, and told the Court that Kerry and Edwards intend to remain in the case.

Judge Carr set an August 22, 2006 trial date.

Additionally he consolidated the two recount cases, Rios v. Blackwell and Yost v. Cobb & Badnarik. He gave the plaintiffs until September 15th to file amended pleadings (plaintiff's counsel had requested an opportunity to streamline their claims).

Judge Carr set a discovery cut-off of May 1, 2006, and ruled that any summary judgment motions must be made by May 15, 2006.

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