An Open Letter; The Audacity & Hypocrisy of America: Leonard Peltier & Nelson Mandela


Update 2/5/16. This year marks 40 years of ILLEGAL and WRONGFUL Incarceration for Leonard Peltier. 40 YEARS! The Honorable Nelson Mandela advocated for Leonard’s Freedom; he understood and respected Leonard’s deep commitment to his People. The Apartheid in America continues to exist while both the government and the people sadly refuse to Acknowledge! 

First I would like to Thank all People who work towards Unbiased Peace, Justice, Truth, Equality, and Harmony among all Peoples and the Mother{Earth} Herself. It is indeed a hard task as the tenets of both Religion and Politics more often than not get in the way. Unfettered Greed and lust for Power also muddy the waters and the results we see both nationally and internationally are continually devastating.

America is an audacious nation and whatever synonym one chooses for the word “audacious” fits us well. We are however lacking in both humility and honesty and that gives our audaciousness more of a negative connotation. The passing of Nelson “Madiba” Mandela to the Spirit World (may he rest in Grace) has highlighted the audacity of America…or perhaps it is our hypocrisy that has been thrown into the spotlight. During Madiba’s memorial service, President Obama gave a most moving memorial speech and I do believe that he was genuine in his words and thoughts; he is a gracious diplomat which was readily captured on camera as he shook hands with President Raul Castro of Cuba. However as President Obama was speaking to the needs of all countries to work towards Human and Political Rights for their people and to continue the Legacy of Nelson Mandela something struck a resonant chord; America does NOT work towards Human and Political Rights for all its people…and one individual especially came to mind > Wrongly Incarcerated Native American Federal Prisoner Leonard Peltier (89637-132). During parts of President Obama’s speech when he talked of Madiba’s struggles and deep commitment to his people, it certainly could have been Leonard Peltier that he was speaking of.

For close to 4 decades, pleas for granting new trials, parole, pardons, and clemency for Leonard Peltier have fallen upon deaf ears in Washington, DC. Leonard has now been wrongfully incarcerated for 10 more years than Nelson Mandela’s 27 years. It was odd to hear President Obama speak so eloquently of Madiba and to know that for the past 5 years (in January 2014) thousands upon thousands of world citizens have been pleading and demanding that President Obama grant Leonard executive clemency. What was even more striking was to see former President George W Bush sitting uncomfortably at the memorial; on the last full day of his presidency in January 2009 perhaps one of his last presidential duties – he denied executive clemency to Leonard. Former President Bill Clinton did not seem uncomfortable at the memorial service in South Africa; he of course had said he would seriously consider granting executive clemency to Leonard and as he made this a public statement, the FBI chose to have a protest march/rally at the White House in December 2000 and the result was that the issue of clemency for Leonard was then ignored.

With the death of Madiba we have heard the cries for Leonard’s Freedom echoing louder both here at home and abroad. This is not a new phenomenon as Leonard comes across the radar whenever issues of Human Rights Abuses are made public in America’s “Indian Country” or somewhere else in the world; but this surge feels different. It appears that Leonard has taken on a new notoriety; he has become more than a symbol of Native American Oppression and American Political Prisoners; he has now become the Symbol of the long-standing covert/overt malicious behavior of the United States Government’s towards growing factions of its own people (or more succinctly put – towards individuals who live within the borders of the United States of America, especially those who belong to Sovereign Nations, People-of-Color, the Disenfranchised, Immigrants, Homeless, Veterans, Elders, Children, Women, the Disabled, anyone who is an Activist for Human Rights, Environmental Rights, Peace, etc…actually just about EveryOne) and the rest of the world. What makes this even more profound is that it is our own Government and its agencies that have helped to put Leonard Peltier on this precarious pedestal.

Through the American Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) alone, it is obvious that Leonard Peltier has been wrongfully incarcerated and even though this glaring proof is open public record, he still sits in prison. The hope of course is that the public will remain ignorant or disbelieve the truth of Leonard’s innocence or tire of trying to demand his Freedom or forget about him and I am here to tell you that this will NOT happen! As some of Leonard’s supporters move on into the Spirit World (Nelson Mandela was a strong advocate for Leonard’s freedom), as some age and become too infirm to carry on, others… the young ones will rise-up to take on the cause of Leonard Peltier’s Freedom because the Truth of his Innocence and the Guilt of the United States Government and its Agencies (particularly the FBI) will not die. Leonard is now 69 years old and in poor health; his long-standing unstable diabetes and heart disease are worrisome. To say that he could suffer deadly consequences because of medical negligence is no exaggeration. Should Leonard die in prison his story will not die with him, he will forever be seen as the symbol of America’s hypocrisy in the quest for Justice, Freedom, and Human Rights.

The very truth of matter is not only has Leonard Peltier’s wrongful incarceration become public knowledge throughout the world so too have other things that the United States would rather not have become known. From our deplorable ranking as the country with the largest prison population to the incomprehensible drive to deny access to healthcare for the ever-growing disenfranchised to that insane law that gives corporations the same “rights” as people it certainly appears that Human and Political Rights of actual Human beings is NOT something that America strives for. Very sadly trust and good faith have been lost and until America can own up to at least some of its wrongs the future for Democracy looks as bad as Leonard’s should he remain in prison. Truly one man, President Barack Obama of the United States of America is the ONLY individual who can release Leonard Peltier from prison through executive clemency. Within mere moments President Obama can light a strong beacon of Hope and Democracy by granting Leonard Peltier Executive Clemency….and the world is waiting….. To continue to deny Leonard his Freedom encourages the formation of a Police State, encourages the degradation of Democracy, and damns every individual who seeks Unbiased Peace, Justice, Truth, Equality, and Harmony among all Peoples and the Mother{Earth} Herself.

For information on Leonard Peltier please go to this website;

Thank You. In Peace. Bonnie F. Walker, RN, BS, LNC


22 thoughts on “An Open Letter; The Audacity & Hypocrisy of America: Leonard Peltier & Nelson Mandela

  1. This is a brilliant letter, and your comparison to the similar situation to the late, great Nelson Mandela and and President Obama’s magnificent eulogy to him, a telling point. I am proud of you and others fighters for justice for Leonard Peltier, Bonnie! This is inspired stuff! Please, mr President, hear our cries!

  2. This negative action against activists is called the “Internecine Matrix”

    Internecine Matrix: Letter to Sen. Charles Grassley:
    RE: Green Mafia – Environmentalism in the Service of $pecial Interests
    To: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IOWA)
    February 24, 2005
    The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector which was formed by Independent Sector
    for the Senate Finance Committee regarding actions to strengthen
    governance, ethical conduct, and accountability within the non-profit

    For your information, on February 18, 2005, ICEA has filed complaints
    against the Foundation Syndicate under these sections:
    18) – Whistleblower protection
    19) – Conflict of Interests/Inappropriate activity
    One of ICEA’s main concerns is the inability to resolve disputes without
    forced costly litigation because the governmental agencies in place to
    protect the community seem to be controlled by the same industries the
    people need protection from. Until these issues are addressed properly,
    the ideal sustainable democratic process, the chiefly economic —
    dynamic ideal of free enterprise, free markets and individual
    opportunity based on merit and mobility — the American Dream will be a
    David Jakupca
    International Center for Environmental Arts

    Google: “Internecine Matrix”

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  4. WE are Hypocrites and proud of it , we call our hypocrisy a Democracy because we can, and it sounds better with “D”, by the way what kind of hypocrites would we be if we would start telling the truth all of the sudden.and admit to corruption and crime that we do ? ….. Every innocent victim in our jails and prisons is a witness to our failure in a matters of Freedom and Justice !

  5. Just one individual comes to mind??? Only one? America has hundreds of political prisoners and millions if you count people in jail for refusing to go along with making nature illegal.

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  7. While I stand with Bonnie imploring President Obama to grant executive clemency to Leonard Peltier, I am also concerned with the ‘deplorable ranking as the country with the largest prison population’ Bonnie spoke of, I am concerned that Ohio’s Old Law is unfairly keeping prisoners far beyond the sentences of those creating the same offenses since the New Law came into being, in 1996. Approximately 5,000 prisoners are being denied parole by the parole board because to release them would put an end to the board, itself. Read that again. They are protecting their JOBS.

    That New Law was meant to be reto-active… until the board got wind of the fact it would eliminate the board once all Old Law prisoners were released. So when each inmate came before them, they re-sentenced them, 5, 10 years more. Thus making a mockery of the judges who sentenced them initially.

    One such person is my fiancé`, who was ‘flopped’ 10 years in 1998, and then again 6 years more in 2008. By the time he sees the board again in 2015, he will have served 30 years for an offense now getting 15 years. This is an unfair law that needs to be changed!

    Did you know? The Parole Board was established to help prisoners to get OUT of prison!

    Thank you.
    Tiana Dreymor

    • tiana just looking ay some of the people working on democracy now and one way to reduce is to let free so many that are aging or ill it is a begging and the other interesting thing i found on huffington post is that we need to have holder and obama granting clemency not just more but it is time to let free people like Pelitire if you want to stir them up the best thing to do is free our POLITICAL prisoners THEIR are too many even I that they claim they could trap FREEDOM FREEDOM that is what we need is this not supposed to be a DEMOCRACY

  8. My heart cries for the continued unjust treatment of our native peoples. SHAME. Hopes for a release soon of Mr. Peltier. It is long overdue.

  9. Beverly Dwyer I totally agree..You know when we were all kids including President Obama ,we would say( “If I were President”) and name off all these good things we would do with full compassion for the good of Man and beast…..If this True story was told of Leonard Pelter to our children now, what do you think our children would say about granting clemency for Leonard Peltier and all our innocent victims imprisoned unjustly ??…Our hearts were not tainted with all this political agendas and may be gain for brownie points…,The Truth would ring out of them clean and pure. We can learn so much from the pure hearts of our young. Go back to that place in you heart and your mind Mr President and use your high power to do the right thing. Its not like you put him their,, so don’t allow intimidation to keep him their.!! Be our Night in Shining Armor. You Mr President Be our Nelson Mandela

    • To you brverlys look at democracy now they have alady lawyer and others working and lloking for help to get this to eric holder about clemency and or a pardon as to our overcrowded especially right now they are looking to get those elderly and or sick prisoners like Pellitier 38 years and sick and look at the wrongful death of a twenty three year old girl whom committed a lil crimes wrongfully and intentionaally denied and deprived by the same people who committed their crimes and imprisoned this copyrighted author then student of law in vermont me and the death of this young girl in vermont that girl only needed her life saving medication and denied she died Ms Cynthia J Pickel and I have asked my attorneys to file a wrongful death suit as they are all the same people whom did their best against my court filed stalking orders to imprison me falsely wrong lil Indian warrior woman I was and am political prisoner of their conflicted interests and have zalinger cameron lambke and turley of vermont working also on the double double double double jeoperdies and bad laws that need to be rewritten also look at the huffington post and if you are sincere they are looking for help to do these things and to free pellitier and so many others etc

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      • Bonnie, thank you so much for continueing to fight for the freedom of this wonderman man, an icon of courage and integrity to the Native-Americans and many otherse around the world, who has been so badly treated and is the victim of rank injustice. Your letter was brilliant and so incisive, and I hope that it enters the consciousness of President Obama and he gives him clemency or a pardon. I believe he will soon walk out of prison a free man.
        brenda george

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