Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Peltier v. FBI, March 11th at the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Minneapolis

Case No. 07-1745MN
Leonard Peltier v. Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
University of St. Thomas School of Law
Frey Moot Courtroom
1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota


On June 8, 2007, Peltier attorneys filed with the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit an appellate brief asking the Court to
review and release some 11,000 pages of documents related to the
investigation and prosecution of Leonard Peltier. The FBI continues
to withhold those documents, claiming that their release would violate
promises of confidentiality made to informants and would, incredibly,
endanger the national security of the United States. In the brief, it
is argued that the FBI's promises to its informants expired long ago,
and were waived when those informants testified publicly. It is
asserted that the virtually unprecedented public interest in the case
of Leonard Peltier warrants careful judicial review of the withheld
documents. In addition, it is demonstrated that the FBI's historic
misconduct in this case, coupled with its continued misrepresentations
about Peltier's case, shows sufficient bad faith to require the most
searching inquiry into any claims of privilege.

The government's response was to categorically insist that there is no
degree of governmental misconduct toward a FOIA litigant that could
cause a court to "question the good faith of the agency," Cox v
Department of Justice, 576 F2d 1302, 1312 (8 Cir. 1978) unless the
litigant can prove misconduct in the FOIA proceedings themselves.

On October 9, 2007, attorneys Ron Kuby and David Pressman filed a
reply brief with the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eight
Circuit. According to the Peltier attorneys:

"The government's assertion that it can wave away its sordid history
of proven FBI and prosecutorial misconduct toward Peltier with a 'what
have we done to you lately' nonchalance rests entirely on the
government's own insistence. More significantly, the government
conflates Peltier's lengthy, documented, proven history of the most
serious governmental misconduct with some fanciful, gauzy grievance
made by some hypothetical litigant. The government again demonstrates
that it does not now, nor has it ever, taken seriously any of the
courts that have admonished it about the treatment of Leonard Peltier.
It has been proven that the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence,
manufactured inculpatory evidence that it knew to be false, coerced
witnesses and engaged in an over reaction to Wounded Knee sufficiently
grave to cause a Senior Judge of this Court to opine that the
Government shares responsibility for the firefight that led to the
death of the two FBI agents. The government has shown no solicitude
for the enormous 'burden on the judiciary' that its own malfeasance
has caused."

Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

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