Friday, July 31, 2009

News from Indianz.Com

EchoHawk announces three members of DC team (7/31)

Al Franken: Gangs and crime in Indian Country (7/31)

Tribes seek more resources to combat gangs (7/31)

Medicine Crow 'humbled' by presidential honor (7/31)

Jobs: AMERIND CEO, Chickasaw Nation director (7/31)

Leeanne Root: No 'loophole' in Native contracts (7/31)

Kevin Abourezk: Police shootings at Pine Ridge (7/31)

Steven Newcomb: The Christian invasion 'right' (7/31)

Interview with IHS director Yvette Roubideaux (7/31)

Oglala Sioux officers on leave after shootings (7/31)

City opposes Muscogee Nation land-into-trust (7/31)

Cheyenne man calls pizza workers 'prejudiced' (7/31)

Census 2010 will start in Alaska Native village (7/31)

Navajo court allows votes on reform initiatives (7/31)

Lincoln Indian Club hosts powwow in Nebraska (7/31)

New York tribes receive share of stimulus funds (7/31)

Lummi Nation to vote on waterfront agreement (7/31)

Hualapai Tribe moves ahead with water project (7/31)

Mohawk First Nation meets with border agency (7/31)

The Guardian: Buffy Sainte-Marie still fabulous (7/31)

Tohono O'odham Nation goes to court for casino (7/31)

Kickapoo Tribe sued by former casino manager (7/31)

Blog: Seminole Tribe seeks changes to compact (7/31)

Man charged with robberies at Seminole casino (7/31)

Soo Tribe's commercial casino has $755M debt (7/31)

More headlines...

31 Jul 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

EXCLUSIVE: John Walker Lindh's Parents Discuss Their Son's Story, from Joining the US-Backed Taliban Army to Surviving a Northern Alliance Massacre, to His Abuse at the Hands of US Forces
In their first extended interview, the parents of John Walker Lindh, Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh, join us for the hour to tell their son’s story. He was born in Washington, DC in 1981. At the age of sixteen, he converted to Islam. In 1999, Lindh left the United States for Yemen to study Arabic and the Koran. He later traveled to Pakistan and then to Afghanistan, before 9/11, where he received military training from the US-backed, Taliban-run Afghan Army to fight against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan’s civil war. He was captured in late 2001, found emaciated and wounded, one of the few to survive a massacre by the Northern Alliance. To his parents’ relief, he was handed to US forces, but they brutalized him, as well. Donald Rumsfeld had ordered them to “take the gloves off.” He was designated Detainee 001 in the war on terror. When he returned to the United States in January 2002, he was being held as a prisoner accused of conspiring to kill Americans. As part of a plea deal, Lindh pleaded guilty to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons and was given a twenty-year sentence. [includes rush transcript]

Coup Regime Intensifies Crackdown, Renews Zelaya Rejection
Iran Arrests Mourners, Protesters
Report: Bailed-Out Banks Spent $32B in Bonuses in 2008
UN: Afghan Deaths Increase 24%
17 Killed, 60 Wounded in Iraq Violence
Secret US Military Memo Calls for Iraq Withdrawal
Britain Opens Inquiry into Iraq War
US Envoy Calls for Lifting Sudan Sanctions
Admin Ordered to Free Gitmo Prisoner
US Signs Global Disabilities Convention
Defying Veto Threat, House Keeps Weapons Programs
House Backs New Food Safety Laws
Senate Ends Funding for Nuclear Waste Facility
Study: 63% of Seafood Species Depleted

Video: Parole vigil at USP Lewisburg

RussiaToday reports from the parole vigil at USP Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, on 28 July 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

News from Indianz.Com

30 Jul 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

EXCLUSIVE: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from Nicaraguan Border on Who's Behind the Coup, His Attempts to Return Home, the Role of the United States and More
In a Democracy Now! national broadcast exclusive, ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya joins us from the Nicaragua-Honduras border for a wide-ranging interview on his attempts to return home, who’s behind the coup, the role of the United States, and much more. “I think the United States is going to lose a great deal of influence in Latin America if it does not turn the coup d’etat around,” Zeleya says. “It will not be able to put forth its idea about democracy. It won’t be credible before anyone.” On his message to the Honduran people, Zelaya says they should “maintain their resistance against those who want to take their rights away…so that no one will be able to disrespect them, which is what the coup regime is doing today.”

The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets
A startling two-part series published in the Gazette newspaper of Colorado Springs titled “Casualties of War” examines a part of war seldom discussed by the media or government officials: the difficulty of returning to civilian life after being trained to be a killer. The story focuses on a single battalion based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment. Soldiers from the brigade have have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, drunk driving, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides. The Army unit’s murder rate is 114 times the rate for Colorado Springs. We speak with the reporter who broke the story and get the Army’s response.

Conservative Dems Win Limits on Public Health Option
US to Release Young Gitmo Prisoner
Freed Gitmo Prisoners Found Advocacy, Support Group
Clinton Threatened to Cut UK Intel in Gitmo Case
Honduran Coup Leader: No Zelaya Return Without Elite Backing
Search Ends for Missing Haitian Migrants
House Panel OKs Measure to End Drug Sentencing Disparity
Quaker Files Suit over Conscientious Objector Recognition
Obama Urged to Address Human Rights in Arroyo Meeting
Obama to Host Scholar, Arresting Officer at White House

Peltier Must Be Free

How Leonard Peltier Could Leave Prison by August 18

How Leonard Peltier Could Leave Prison by August 18

by Harvey Wasserman
July 30, 2009

For a formidable and growing global community of supporters, the prospect of Native American activist Leonard Peltier finally leaving prison inspires a longing that cuts to the depths of the soul.

So Peltier’s first parole hearing of the Obama Era---on Tuesday, July 28---inspired hope of an intensity that will have a major impact on the new presidency. A decision must come from the Federal Parole Commission within three weeks. His attorney is calling for a surge of public support that would create an irresistible political climate for Leonard’s release.

The relationship between Peltier and those who have followed his case over the decades can be intensely personal. His imprisonment has come to stand not only for five centuries of unjust violence waged against Native Americans, but also for the inhumane theft of the life of a man who has handled his 33 years in jail with epic dignity, effectiveness and grace.

Peltier’s latest parole hearing convened at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he is currently held. According to Eric Seitz, Peltier’s Honolulu-based attorney, Peltier spoke for more than an hour “with great eloquence” about the nature of his case, his imprisonment and his plans for freedom. “The hearing officer seemed to listen carefully,” said Seitz. “We thought it went very well.”

The decision on Peltier’s parole will be made by the four sitting members of the Federal Parole Commission ( ) whose offices are in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Commissioners Isaac Fulwood, Jr., Cranston Mitchell, Edward Reilly and Patricia Cushware are all Bush appointees. One seat is vacant; Fulwood was elevated to the Chairman’s seat in May by President Obama.

According to Seitz, the hearing was taped by an officer charged with reporting to the Commissioners within 48 hours. The Commissioners are required to render a decision within 21 days---by August 18. Should they rule in his favor, Peltier could walk out of prison very soon after the decision is issued.

Should the Commssioners turn down his parole application, Seitz says the appeal would go to the federal district court in Harrisburg. The report of the hearing would become available to Peltier and the public.

Seitz said he spoke to the record for about 20 minutes on the legalities of the case. He said Peter Mattheissen, author of IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE, explained the history of the 1970s incidents that led to Peltier being accused of murdering two FBI agents. CRAZY HORSE is the definitive account of the origins of the case and of the climate of violence and repression imposed on the native community at the time of the killings. Seitz said Mattheissen emphasized “the many reasons to have misgivings about whether the system performed well and fairly in Leonard's case.”

Mattheissen was joined by Dr.Thomas Fassett of the United Methodist Church, who testified, said Seitz, “to the negative impact of Peltier’s 33-year imprisonment on the world’s view of how the US government treats its native population. Leonard's case is viewed in the larger community both nationally & internationally as a major embarrassment…as a gross injustice…a black mark.”

The testimony was accompanied by thousands of letters, with signees including South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, US Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), and actor Robert Redford, whose film INCIDENT AT OGALALA is the definitive documentary.

Cynthia Maleterre of the Turtle Island Clan then outlined how Peltier could meet the requirements of parole in his home community in North Dakota. Restored to his Chippewa-Dakota homeland, Maleterre explained that Peltier would have housing, a job and be surrounded by family, including great-grandchildren he has never seen.

Seitz said testimony opposing parole came from a representative of the FBI, sent by Director Robert Mueller, a holdover Bush appointee, and from the former director of the Minnesota Bureau. Two sons of Jack Coler, one of the FBI agents killed in the Ogalala shoot-out, also argued against Peltier being freed, as did a former agent named Ed Woods.

Seitz said that all those opposing parole argued Peltier should spend the rest of his days in prison, and did not deserve a new trial.

But Seitz was “guardedly optimistic” about a favorable decision from the Parole Commission. He said that a “good rapport” had been established with the hearing officer, and that the new chair of the commission is generally held “in high esteem.”

President Barack Obama does have the power to grant clemency, but Seitz said prisoners apply only when all other avenues have been exhausted. Usually, says Seitz, “presidential pardons do not come until the Chief Executive is leaving office.”

Seitz says letters to the Parole Commission and to local newspapers, calls to Congressional Representatives (202-224-3121), talk show hosts and other forms of public pressure are now of the utmost importance. The hope, he says, lies in creating a “public environment favorable to release.”

As Leonard Peltier approaches his 65th year---having spent half his life in prison---every day is now critical to lifting this burden from our collective souls.

Carlos Alberto Torres Update

On July 28, 2009, Carlos Alberto finally received something from the Parole Commission... saying they will be delaying for up to 90 days their decision pending the resolution of the still-outstanding January disciplinary report falsely accusing him of possessing hidden knives. Prior to his May parole hearing, the accusation had been expunged... after the parole hearing, he and the others who occupied the cell were re-charged, and the renewed accusation remains pending. At his request I have written to the prison and the regional office asking that they resolve this immediately so that the Parole Commission can render its decision.

Jan Susler
People's Law Office
1180 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60642
773/235-0070 x 118

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

29 Jul 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Obama Admin Expands Law-Enforcement Program "287 G", Criticized for Targeting Immigrants and Increasing Racial Profiling
The Obama administration has expanded the controversial 287 G program, which allows local law enforcement agencies to enter into agreements with Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE, effectively giving local police the powers of federal immigration agents. The agreements have been widely criticized for increasing racial profiling and singling out immigrants for arrest without suspicion of crime. We speak to Aarti Shahani of Justice Strategies and Roberto Lovato of New America Media.

U.S. Revokes Visas for Honduran Coup Officials
The U.S. has revoked the visas of four officials serving in the Honduran coup government. Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya had asked the Obama administration to revoke the visas in order to increase international pressure on the coup regime.

Christopher Pyle, Whistleblower Who Sparked Church Hearings of 1970s, on Military Spying of Olympia Peace Activists
The news of peace activists in Olympia, Washington exposing Army spying, infiltration, and intelligence gathering on their groups may strengthen congressional demands for a full-scale investigation of U.S. intelligence activities like those of the 1970s. We speak with law professor and former army whisteblower Christopher Pyle, whose 1970 disclosure of the military’s widespread surveillance of civilian groups triggered scores of Congressional probes, including the Church Committee hearings, where he served as an investigator.

General: U.S. Control of Iraqi Airspace Likely Beyond 2011
Hundreds Protest Gates in Baghdad
British Forces Exiting Iraq
Colombian Troops to Join U.S. in Afghanistan
U.S. Revokes Visas for Honduran Coup Officials
Following Global Protests, Iran Frees 140 Prisoners, Closes Jail
Toll in Nigeria Clashes Hits 150
Afghanistan Offers to Repatriate Gitmo Teen
Rights Group Sues U.K. for Torture, Rendition of Ex-Gitmo Prisoner
Senate Panel Backs Sotomayor Nomination
Regulators: Speculation Inflated Oil Prices, Limits Considered
Schwarzenegger Cuts More Social Spending from California Budget Bill
Protesters Demand Network Coverage of Single-Payer
Suspect in Tiller Murder Pleads Not Guilty
IG: Tennessee Valley Authority Ignored 20 Years of Warnings Before Coal Ash Disaster

News from Indianz.Com

First Native woman US Attorney to resign post (7/29)

Jobs: AMERIND CEO, Chickasaw Nation director (7/29)

Brenda Golden: American Indians as prisoners (7/29)

Oglala woman starts job as USDA rural director (7/29)

Close vote upheld for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (7/29)

Ponca Tribe settles pollution lawsuit for $10.8M (7/29)

Penobscot Nation seeks recognition for athletes (7/29)

Senate Judiciary Committee favors Sotomayor (7/29)

Mashantucket Tribe announces casino job cuts (7/29)

Catawba Nation to open high-stakes bingo hall (7/29)

Column: Keeping count of tribal casino impacts (7/29)

Appeals court dismisses charge in Aquash case (7/28)

Melvin Martin: The Kansas City Roll in Rapid City (7/28)

Pueblo women host benefit concert in Santa Fe (7/28)

NNALSA hosts 6th annual job fair in Washington (7/28)

Editorial: Indian trust case demands settlement (7/28)

Mark Trahant: Indian businesses and health care (7/28)

Gyassi Ross: Favorites of the corny Indian family (7/28)

Peter d'Errico: Stealing and stalling from Indians (7/28)

Harvey Wasserman: Obama can set Peltier free (7/28)

Socialist Worker: Interview with Robert Robideau (7/28)

Column: Flandreau Tribe builds bridges with city (7/28)

Bob Barker to meet with Eastern Cherokee chief (7/28)

More headlines...

NPR: Peltier Parole Prospects Spurs Debate

July 27, 2009

Former American-Indian movement leader Leonard Peltier is up for parole at the end of July. Peltier, who is seriously ill, has been in prison for more than 30 years for the 1975 killing of two FBI agents.

His supporters hope he will be paroled in order to live his last days at home in North Dakota, but some vehemently oppose parole for Peltier.

In 2000 when Peltier was up for a presidential pardon, 500 FBI agents marched around the White House with a banner that read "Never Forget."

Charles Michael Ray of South Dakota Public Broadcasting reports.


We All Stand Before Peltier's Parole Board
We All Stand Before Peltier's Parole Board

Native American activist Leonard Peltier has been in prison for more than 12,226 days, more than 33 years. His is one of the longest ordeals of any political prisoner in human history.

With him, our souls have suffered. Our bodies ache for his freedom.

Today, July 28, 2009, Peltier goes before the Federal Parole Commission in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. As you read this, all over the world, beginning in the wee hours of the morning in the South Pacific, prayer vigils, peace marches, ecumenical gatherings, group chantings and all forms of individual meditation accompany this hearing. It is one of the most important tests of the new Obama Administration.

Peltier was charged more than a third of a century ago with the murder of two FBI agents. The circumstances of the prosecution, and the legal history of the case, involve thousands of pages of missing evidence, compromised witnesses and procedures so twisted as to stagger the imagination and leave any sense of fair play and reasonable jurisprudence buried in the dust.

Through it all, Peltier has maintained his dignity and strength with astonishing grace. He will be 65 years old in September, having spent more than half his life behind bars. His body is wracked with prison-related ailments. He has great grandchildren he has never seen.

Yet his writings remain politically astute, spiritually compelling and unfailingly compassionate.

Supporters believe the time is “favorable” for his release. The four-member Parole Commission that will decide on his plea is chaired by Isaac Fulwood, Jr., originally appointed by George W. Bush, elevated to the Chair in May by Barack Obama.

Obama himself has the power through various legal means to end Peltier’s torture and make him a free man.

Peltier’s defense attorney, Eric Seitz, has expressed optimism that the Parole Board will grant Peltier his freedom, especially given Leonard’s exemplary behavior in prison, the utter collapse of the case against him, his health, age and other factors, not least of which may be a changed political and cultural climate. But Seitz has warned of previous disappointments in an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now .

Millions of supporters worldwide have suffered with Leonard over the decades as with no other political prisoner. His case embodies the tortured relationship between the US Government and the Native American community, says Tony Gonzalez (of the Comca'ac-Chicano Tribe) of the American Indian Movement founded, he says, 41 years ago today.

Meaningful steps toward healing that relationship will be very hard to take until Leonard Peltier is free to re-join his family.

This is a critical moment in the Obama Era. Bill Clinton was thoroughly briefed by numerous people very close to the Peltier case, but did not free him. Constitutional scholar Barack Obama is also well aware of this horrific imprisonment.

Peltier’s freedom marks a monumental corner that must be turned. For the millions who have ached through the terrible injustice and sheer physical and spiritual pain of this imprisonment, it is a moment of liberation that must come.

Only a strongly supportive political climate can make it happen. Call your Senators and Representatives as well as the White House and Parole Commission, newspapers and radio shows, web friends and neighbors down the street. Meditate, pray, march, dance, sing, shout, laugh, cry….do whatever you can to help move this man out of his jail cell and into the open air after 33 hellish years.

This imprisonment must end. Rarely has it been more true that freeing a single human being will help free us all.

Harvey Wasserman is the author of SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at He can be reached at:

28 Jul 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! Broadcast Exclusive: Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups, Activist Friends Stunned
Newly declassified documents reveal that an active member of Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance in Washington state was actually an informant for the US military. The man everyone knew as “John Jacob” was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis. The military’s role in the spying raises questions about possibly illegal activity. The Posse Comitatus law bars the use of the armed forces for law enforcement inside the United States. The Fort Lewis military base denied our request for an interview. But in a statement to Democracy Now, the base’s Public Affairs office publicly acknowledged for the first time that Towery is a military operative. “This could be one of the key revelations of this era,” said Eileen Clancy, who has closely tracked government spying on activist organizations. [includes rush transcript]

Baucus Health Plan Omits Public Insurance Option
22 Health Groups Spent Over $1 Million in Lobbying in 2Q
Obesity Medical Costs Balloon to $147 Billion
Report: Power Shifts in Plan for Shadow Government
Gates Discusses Arms Deal in Iraq and Israel
Military May Expand Role of Contractors in Afghanistan
Efforts to Reduce Foreclosures Falls Short
911 Tapes Released in Henry Louis Gates Case
Study Shows Danger of Texting While Driving
85 Haitian Migrants Missing After Boat Capsizes
Red Cross: Sexual Violence on the Rise in Congo
Watchdog Group Calls on ABC to Include Coverage of Single-Payer Option

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News from Lewisburg

Greetings from Lewisburg, PA. As you know, Leonard's parole hearing was today. The attorney Eric Seitz is very hopeful about the outcome of the hearing. The government brought nothing new to the table and made it clear that their position is that LP should never be released despite his being eligible for parole. That, of course, is about nothing but revenge. Peter Matthiessen ("In the Spirit of Crazy Horse") was a witness today. He's attended many of the hearings, appeals, etc., over the years. He told us he felt the examiner was attentive and open to what was being said on LP's behalf. He's also feeling positive. We're also told Leonard handled the Q&A (for about 90 minutes) very well. Unfortunately, there's nothing further to report. The examiner said he'd like some time before making a recommendation. We expect that Leonard will be notified of the recommendation within the next 24-48 hours. This is progress, folks. Normally a denial is made and immediately, sometimes even before LP's lawyers have even finished their presentation. Overall, the feeling is that Leonard received a fair hearing. Keep up those prayers for a positive outcome. Ultimately, of course, the full Parole Commission will make the final decision. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 27, 2009

From Lewisburg

On Namapahh Radio

Robin Carneen & Tara Pretends Eagle Weber will be teaming up on July 28th for Peltier

Join Robin Carneen on the NW coast at 4-6am PST while her friend & fellow journalist Tara Pretends Eagle Weber calls in from a Rally/Vigil outside the gates of Lewisburg PA Prison, where Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier has been incarcerated and has been granted a parole hearing on the morning of July 28th, at 10am Pacific.

Wanbli also will broadcast beginning at noon EST. See

Human Rights Activists Demand Parole For Peltier

Human Rights Activists Demand Parole For Peltier
By Fran Korotzer - July 26, 2009

NEW YORK ­ On Friday, July 17, 75 people gathered at the Judson Memorial Church in N.Y.C. for a concert and discussion about Leonard Peltier, a man who has spent the past 33 years in prison despite the fact that very many people believe him to be innocent. Peltier will have a parole hearing on July 28.

The evening began with an opening prayer in the Lakota language from Tiokasin Ghosthorse and with music he played on his flute. There were musical performances from David Lippman, Grupo Raices, and David Amran. Rolando Victorio Mousaa read a letter that Pete Seeger wrote to the parole board on Peltier’s behalf ­ and then sang a song that Seeger had asked him to sing. Lady Penumbra and Ty Conscious recited poetry that Peltier wrote. There was an audiotape played of an interview with Eric Seitz, a parole attorney, and several videos were viewed: Leonard Crowdog on Peltier, No Boundaries by Peter Matthiesen, and Wounded Knee by Dennis Banks. Attorney Lynne Stewart spoke very favorably of the kind of person Peltier is. She said that Mumia and Leonard are held in prison to scare the rest of us out of fighting injustice. Peltier’s current attorney, Mike Kuzma, said that efforts to get files on the case from the FBI using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were being stonewalled either by the FBI or the courts. There are 1143 pages of FBI documents on the case that remain undisclosed.

The events that led to Peltier’s conviction began in the early 1970s when tensions broke out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota ­ between the then tribal chairman Dick Wilson, who was pro-assimilation, and the traditionalists. Wilson was accused of giving economic benefits to the assimilationists and leaving the others in poverty. The growing conflict prompted the traditionalists to band together with the American Indian Movement (AIM), a civil rights group committed to uniting all Native Peoples.

In 1973 local traditionalists and AIM occupied the Pine Ridge hamlet of Wounded Knee to protest the alleged abuses. The government responded by firing 250,000 rounds of ammunition into the area and killing two occupants. The occupation lasted 71 days and only ended after the government agreed to look into their complaints. This never happened and conditions on the reservation worsened. Wilson outlawed AIM and hired vigilantes who called themselves Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs) to enforce his rules.

Between 1973 and 1976 anyone associated with AIM was apparently targeted for violence - the net result: over 60 traditionalists were murdered. Rather than stopping the violence, the FBI supplied the GOONs with weaponry and intelligence on AIM.

As the situation worsened the traditionalists asked AIM to return to the reservation. Leonard Peltier was one that answered the call. He and 12 others set up a camp on the Jumping Bull ranch at Pine Ridge.

On June 26, 1975 two FBI agents in unmarked cars pursued a red pick-up truck onto the ranch supposedly looking for someone who had gotten into a fight and stolen a pair of boots. Gunshots rang out. 150 FBI swat team members responded along with Bureau of Indian Affairs police and GOONs. When it was over 1 AIM member and 2 FBI agents lay dead.

Four people were indicted for the deaths of the FBI agents. The charges against one were dropped and 2 were found innocent on the grounds of self-defense. Peltier escaped to Canada where he was apprehended in February, 1976. The FBI presented a Canadian court with an affidavit from a woman named Myrtle Poor Bear who claimed she was Peltier’s girl friend and that she had witnessed him shooting the agents. But Poor Bear had never met Peltier, nor had she been present at the time of the shooting - a fact later confirmed by the US Prosecutor and by her subsequent declaration that she had given false testimony.

There is considerable evidence that Leonard Peltier did not get a fair trial ­ and the prosecutor failed to produce a single witness that could identify him as the shooter. Still he was sentenced to 60 years in prison - two life sentences.

Jim Messerschmidt, who wrote “The Trial of Leonard Peltier”, said, “…the conviction of Peltier for the murder of two FBI agents was based on coerced testimony and the suppression and fabrication of evidence, and inconsistencies and contradictions in the government’s case. Since Peltier’s incarceration over thirty years ago people worldwide have demanded justice in this case as it has deservedly gained international attention. People around the world must now insist that a favorable parole decision be rendered on July 28th.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has joined the call for Peltier’s parole characterizing his continued incarceration as, “A sad commentary on the U.S. government and the humanitarian values Americans profess.”

View Photos/Videos From The Event…

News from Indianz.Com

Fort Sill Apache Tribe seeks delay in casino fight (7/27)

OST adds Alaska to list of consultation sessions (7/27)

Jobs: AMERIND CEO, Chickasaw Nation director (7/27)

Suagee: Tribes and the green energy revolution (7/27)

ICT: Interview with Mellor Willie, NAIHC director (7/27)

BIA faces deadline on Little Shell Chippewa Tribe (7/27)

Class action accuses BIA of bias against Navajos (7/27)

EPA works with Navajo Nation on uranium sites (7/27)

Alaska tribes owe millions in back payroll taxes (7/27)

Cherokee Nation court hears Freedmen dispute (7/27)

Cherokee Nation looking to tap into wind power (7/27)

Dakota pipemakers fear loss of tribal traditions (7/27)

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe planning diabetes center (7/27)

South Dakota to change offensive place names (7/27)

Teens arrested for Pueblo man's death in Utah (7/27)

Colville Tribes ready for Chief Joseph Hatchery (7/27)

Book Review: Little River Band in 'Our People' (7/27)

Utne Reader: Why Germans like to play Indians (7/27)

Doubts cloud Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino (7/27)

Guidiville Band moves forward with casino plans (7/27)

Opinion: End tribal gaming monopoly in Arizona (7/27)

Editorial: Connecticut giving up gaming money (7/27)

Appeals court calls for Indian trust accounting (7/24)

More headlines...

27 Jul 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

National Exclusive...Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, Wife of Ousted Honduran President, Calls on US to Aid Her Husband's Return Home: "We Want Justice, We Want Peace, We Demand the Return to Democracy"
After a failed attempt to return to Honduras over the weekend, ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has complained that US condemnation of the coup against him is waning. Zelaya had tried to cross back into Honduras from Nicaragua on Friday but stayed for less than an hour. We speak with the wife of the ousted Honduran president, First Lady Xiomara Castro de Zelaya. She’s spent the past day trying to get to the border with Nicaragua, and she joins us now from the town of Jacaleapa. [includes rush transcript]

Tensions Rise in Latin America over US Military Plan to Use Three Bases in Colombia
The Colombian government has agreed to grant US forces the use of three Colombian military bases for South American anti-drug operations. The move has heightened tensions between Colombia, the largest recipient of US military aid in the Americas, and its neighbors, particularly Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned that the US Army could “invade” his country from Colombia. [includes rush transcript]

Parole Hearing to Be Held Tuesday for Imprisoned Native American Activist Leonard Peltier
The sixty-four-year-old activist has been in prison for thirty-three years and is now being held at the Lewisburg prison in Pennsylvania. Peltier was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. At his last hearing, the Parole Commission originally denied Peltier parole in 1993 based on their finding that he “participated in the premeditated and cold blooded execution of those two officers.” However, the Parole Commission has since said it “recognizes that the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that [Peltier] personally participated in the executions of the two FBI agents.” Peltier has long maintained his innocence and is widely considered a political prisoner who was not granted a fair trial. [includes rush transcript]

Israel: All Options on Iran Are Still on the Table
Cheney Wanted US Troops to Arrest Suspected Terrorists Inside US
Teenager Held at Guantanamo May Face Civilian Trial
Clinton Describes Zelaya’s Brief Returns to Honduras as “Reckless”
Palin’s Farewell Message to the Media: “Quit Making Things Up”
Obama Weighs In Again on Henry Louis Gates Controversy
Court Demands Accounting for Indian Trusts
US to Sign UN Convention on Rights of Disabled
Bill Introduced to Restore Voting Rights to Former Prisoners
House Bill Lifts Ban on Needle Exchanges
Worldwide Rallies Condemn Iran’s Treatment of Opposition Protesters
Veterans Commit Murder at Home After Return from Iraq
10 NYC Homeless Activists Arrested at Encampment
Anti-Gay Singapore Prof Cancels NYU Stint

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Portland, OR, Vigil on 27 Jul

To show local support, there will be a 6 p.m. vigil in Pioneer Courthouse Square on Monday, July 27. The gathering will take place around a central brick in the square that was donated in Peltier’s name.

Sunday Event for Leonard in Denver

Just wanted to let you all know about this event:

Sunday July 26th, 3pm
Colorado Anti-Violence Program Office
304 Elati Street, Denver
A screening of: "Incident at Oglala"
A Matinee Film Benefit for American Indian Movement Political Prisoner,
Leonard Peltier

American Indian Movement leader and organizer, Leonard Peltier, has spent over 30 years in prison as a result of legal proceedings marred with doctored evidence, perjured witness testimonies, and falsified evidence.

Leonard's incarceration is but one story in a chapter of state repression against indigenous self organizing in the 1970's. His arrest and imprisonment came as a direct result of the effectiveness of the American Indian Movement and others to fight for self determination for indigenous
peoples in the Americas and against continued injustices at the hands of colonizer governments.

Leonard has been granted a parole hearing date of Tuesday July 28th. His legal team and the Leonard Peltier Defense-Offense Committee have called for stepped up community based efforts on his behalf in the lead up to this hearing.

The Denver Anarchist Black Cross is a new collective in the Denver area working toward contributing to the defense, both internally and externally, of social movements working against oppression and for self determination for all peoples.

All funds generated from this event will go to benefit ongoing legal and movement building work on Leonard's behalf.

Questions? Comments?

Sunrise Ceremony in Thailand name is mike pirsch, i am an econmic refugee from usa now living in krabi thailand...
tony gonzales asked if i would organize a sunrise prayer ceremony where i live in krabi thailand...
we are holding our sunrise ceremony at sunrise on 28july at 6am local time...
6am local time is 7pm edt; 6pm cdt; on 27 july...
we hope others along the path of sunrise across the planet will likewise hold sunrise ceremonies until the ceremony in san francisco which i believe will staart at the moment that the parole hearing begins...
in thailand we have genreated some interest which is good because people here dont know about AIM and Leonard...

in unity

mike pirsch

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why We Should Care

Today Leonard Peltier has been incarcerated over 33 years. It also marks approximately nine years since Leonard Peltier received significant national attention and support when it appeared that former President William Clinton intended to grant Mr. Peltier clemency, only to see Mr. Clinton bow to the pressure of an unprecedented propaganda campaign conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the resulting disillusionment and deflation of supporters who worked so hard and truly believed that former President Clinton would do the right thing. So, with the many issues and causes facing our society today, just why should the continuing incarceration of Leonard Peltier be a matter of significant concern to all Americans. The answer should be obvious: as Americans, each and every one of us must be outraged when Federal Appellate Courts acknowledge that Mr. Peltier’s case was fraught with Government misconduct and injustice, and yet neither the Courts, the Executive Branch, nor Congress take any action to correct a situation that tears at the fabric of our Country.

The acknowledgments of Government wrongdoing by the Courts are damning. As recently as the Fall of 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit stated:

Much of the government’s 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.

When the Government was forced to produce documents previously withheld, the United Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit repeatedly recognized specific instances of FBI misconduct: “There is evidence in this record of improper conduct on the part of some FBI agents....” Indeed, the Eighth Circuit concluded that the FBI withheld critical ballistics evidence which raised questions "regarding the truth and accuracy of [the FBI’s ballistic’s expert] Hodge's testimony." The Eighth Circuit discussed this critical evidence which was withheld by the FBI as "newly discovered evidence indicating [that the government's ballistic expert] may not have been telling the truth," and concluded that the evidence withheld by the FBI created "inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government's case."

The Eighth Circuit made that statement over twenty years ago and one would think that Mr. Peltier would have received a new trial at a minimum. But, despite recognizing the misconduct, the Eighth Circuit provided absolutely no relief to this man who sits in prison even though the Court acknowledged serious doubts about his guilt. This is even more troubling when one considers that this Country’s criminal “justice” system is based on the presumption of innocence and the requirement that the Government prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome that presumption. One would certainly assume that, if the Government misconduct could have caused serious doubt in the minds of the jury, then Mr. Pelier should be free. Yet, he sits in prison.

The Eighth Circuit, as did the Tenth Circuit, also addressed the Government’s coercing of witnesses and extracting perjurious affidavits and testimony from, among others, a woman known as Myrtle Poor Bear. Despite knowing Poor Bear was incompetent, in order to extradite Mr. Peltier from Canada, the FBI had her sign affidavits which falsely stated that she was Peltier's girlfriend and that she saw Peltier kill Agents Coler and Williams. However, it is undisputed that she never even knew Peltier, and she was never even at the scene of the shoot-out on June 26, 1975.

The Eighth Circuit recognized that "[t]he Poor Bear....testimony was certainly consistent with [Peltier's] theory [that the FBI framed him by manufacturing evidence and inducing witnesses to testify in accordance with its theory of the murders.]" Then, in addressing the Poor Bear testimony at oral argument, United States Attorney Evan Hultman tried to minimize the Government’s role in presenting the testimony stating that “[t]he affidavits were accepted on their face as being statements of a witness who was present...who is testifying in the affidavit under oath as to what it was she saw.” Judge Ross of the Eight Circuit excoriated the Government:

Judge Ross: But anybody who read those affidavits would know that they contradict each other. And why the FBI and prosecutor’s office continued to extract more to put into the affidavits in hope to get Mr. Peltier back to the United States is beyond my understanding.

Mr. Hultman: Yes.

Judge Ross: Because you should have known, and the FBI should have known that you were pressuring the woman to add to her statement.

While Hultman denied having involvement in the preparation of these affidavits, document subsequently acquired under FOIA clearly demonstrate that he committed a fraud on the Court because he, in fact, chose which affidavits to present to the Canadian authorities and which to conceal. In a memorandum dated May 10, 1979, Robert L. Keuch, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the United States government, wrote: "It was upon Halprin's recommendation with concurrence of the Special Prosecutors Evan Hultman and Robert Sickma, that only Myrtle Poor Bear's second and third affidavits were used in the Peltier extradition." This letter responded to a request from the Canadian Department of Justice in which "the Canadian authorities requested information concerning the submission of two out of three affidavits furnished by Myrtle Poor Bear to the Canadian Government when it was known that the first affidavit was inconsistent with the two that were forwarded."

Most troubling is the fact that officer’s of the Court were not troubled by the Government misconduct. This is evidenceds by AUSA Crooks’ admission on television that it did not bother him if the Government fabricated evidence to acquire a conviction. When asked about the use of the fabricated testimony at the trial of Leonard Peltier, by a television reporter (Steve Kroft) in connection with a show entitled “West 57th Street,” in 1992, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Crooks, who prepared the Government's case against Leonard Peltier, said:

It doesn't bother my conscience one bit... He got convicted on fair evidence. Doesn't bother my conscience one whit. I don't agree that there's anything wrong with that, and I can tell you, it don't bother my conscience if we did.

So, why should we care about the fate of Leonard Peltier. His fate represents what can happen to any of us if we allow the Government to convict a person by utilizing wrongful tactics and by trammeling upon our basic rights. Any injustice diminishes the rights of each of us. At what point are we going to stand up and shout enough. It could happen to any one of us. If it does, then it is too late to cry out against injustice. The time is now, before we find ourselves in the kafkesque world in which Leonard Peltier lives.

Submitted by Barry A. Bachrach, Esquire

Interview with Grandma Aggie fromthe 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Interview with Grandma Aggie fromthe 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

The eldest living member of her tribe, the Takelma Indians of southwest Oregon, Agnes Baker-Pilgrim is a world-renowned spiritual leader, spokesperson and member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, and keeper of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony---a tradition that she revived for her people after 150 years.

Agnes, more widely known as Grandma Aggie, [...]

You may view the latest post at

Canyon's 'guardians' press for protections

Canyon's 'guardians' press for protections
by Matthew Putesoy - Jul. 25, 2009 12:00 AM

The Grand Canyon is a national treasure, inviting 5 million people every year to explore and be inspired by its beauty. To the Havasuw 'Baaja, who have lived in the region for many hundreds of years, it is sacred.

As the "guardians of the Grand Canyon," we strenuously object to mining for uranium here. It is a threat to the health of our environment and tribe, our tourism-based economy, and our religion.

Thank you, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, for announcing a two-year moratorium on new mining claims in the 1 million acres of lands around Grand Canyon National Park.

But existing claims, such as those pursued by Canadian-based Denison Mines Corp., still threaten the animals, air, drinking water and people of this region. Denison, which has staked 110 claims around the Grand Canyon, is seeking groundwater-aquifer permits that would allow it to reopen the Canyon Mine, near Red Butte on the South Rim, as well as two other mining sites.

Uranium mining has been associated with contamination of ground or surface water. Here, mining could poison the aquifer, which extends for 5,000 square miles under the Coconino Plateau, and serves as drinking water for our tribe and neighboring communities.

As I told Congress recently, if our water were polluted, we could not relocate to Phoenix or someplace else and still survive as the Havasupai Tribe. We are the Grand Canyon. Thanks to Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva for introducing the Grand Canyon Watersheds Protection Act. We urge U.S. Sen. John McCain to introduce it in the Senate.

Additionally, air and water pollution and the development associated with mining operations could deter tourists, the lifeblood of our economy. Visitors come here to hike, camp, relax at our lodge and enjoy the Havasu, Mooney, Beaver, and Navajo falls, which are among the best-loved and most-photographed waterfalls on Mother Earth.

Most importantly, Red Butte, where Denison Mines intends to reopen a mine, is a traditional site sacred to the Havasuw 'Baaja. Located in the Kaibab National Forest, Red Butte is known as Wii'i Gdwiisa, meaning "clenched-fist mountain."

As longtime Havasupai leader Rex Tilousi says, "Red Butte is the lungs of our Grandmother Canyon." My people have used these traditional Havasupai religious areas for centuries.

Instead of allowing the destruction of our national treasure, we are asking the federal government to work with Havasupai Tribe to protect Red Butte and all of the lands on and around the Grand Canyon from further mining activities. This natural wonder is irreplaceable and demands our shared action and protection for those living now, and those yet to be born.

Members of the public are invited to join the Havasupai today for a free public concert at 6 p.m. and for a public forum on uranium mining and protecting our sacred lands on Sunday at the base of Red Butte. For more information go online to: arizona.sierra

Matthew Putesoy is vice chairman of the Havasupai Tribe.

Lead Plaintiff Comments on Court Ruling

For Immediate Release:

Lead Plaintiff Comments on Court Ruling

WASHINGTON, July 24 -- Today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the Indian Trust case makes clear that the government’s duty to account continues and that the government “cannot simply throw up its hands and stop the accounting,” Lead Plaintiff Ms. Elouise Cobell said.

She expressed appreciation for the court not freeing the government from its burden to render an accounting.

For hundreds of thousands of Indians, including children, the elderly, and the infirm who depend upon their trust funds for food, clothing, shelter, and health care, this ruling means that many more years will pass before they can hope to secure trust funds that the government has withheld unconscionably and in breach of trust duties that it has owed for generations.

The appellate court reversed the trial court’s $455.6 million award in restitution, stating that the district court may not relieve the government of an accounting duty as a matter of law.

Despite the fact that today’s decision may prolong the ultimate resolution of the case, Ms. Cobell affirmed the commitment of the plaintiffs to pursue the case: “We will continue to seek justice, no matter how long that takes. Tens of thousands of beneficiaries have died while this case has been pending without ever receiving an accounting of their trust assets.”

Accordingly, unless there is a fair settlement, plaintiffs will seek further review and request the appointment of a receiver to ensure that individual Indian trust beneficiaries finally receive the protection they are owed under the law.

For additional information
Bill McAllister
202-257-5385 (cell)

This Week from Indian Country Today

Appeals court: Indian trust accounting needed
WASHINGTON – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled July 24 that the Department of the Interior must account for billions of dollars in mismanaged Indian trust funds.


Casino and Canoe Journeys
Cherokee Nation refurbishes historic Ross Cemetery
President pushes health care reform agenda
Johnson examines effects of economic crisis on rural communities
Appeals court: Indian trust accounting needed
Stimulus money helps Coeur d’Alene
McCaskill knocks Alaska Native Corporations
Non-Indian interloper charged with marijuana possession on Schaghticoke reservation
Recreational use of sacred sites damaging to spirituality
‘Boorish conduct’ may not mean ‘hostile’ on the job, judges say
Gillette reflects on White House role
From tragedy, a new purpose
Maine Legislature passes significant tribal bills, balks at others
Bill calls for Duwamish recognition
Comanche trendsetter creates splendorous Native wedding designs
Teehee’s top priority
Confederated Colville Tribes and NRCS celebrate salmon return
Tulsa council member sounds a Carcieri-steeped battle cry
Honoring Seminole Ancestors
Loretta Tuell breaks barriers in legal profession
Feds see ‘proliferation’ of Indian gang activities
Empowering women strengthens Indian country
‘Forced patience’
Eagle controversy yields education as well as some indignation
Classes aim to preserve urban Indians’ heritage


Great Lakes


Tribal sovereignty and the green energy revolution: The Waxman-Markey Bill
Is this the year the United States will finally enact a law to start dealing with the climate crisis? The House of Representatives passed its version of such a bill June 26, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The Senate is expected to take up the bill in September.
Read more »

For news you won't get from Indian Country Today, see Censored News.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Call! Free Peltier Now!

News from Indianz.Com

Appeals court calls for Indian trust accounting (7/24)

Melvin Martin: Not much change in Rapid City (7/24)

Senate Indian Affairs hearing on gang activity (7/24)

Amendment to limit Native contracts dropped (7/24)

Joe Garcia/Ernie Stevens: Original sovereignty (7/24)

Obituary: Alison Bridges Gottfriedson, activist (7/24)

Eight attacks on Native men in New Mexico city (7/24)

Jobs: AMERIND CEO, Chickasaw Nation director (7/24)

Former DOI official defends security of network (7/24)

NCAI backs Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court (7/24)

Commentary: Misuse of Indian blood quantum (7/24)

Bois Forte Band offers $14K reward in fire case (7/24)

BIA granted extension to acquire surplus land (7/24)

Tule River Tribe testifies for reservoir study bill (7/24)

Cherokee Nation loses ICWA lawsuit in Nevada (7/24)

Tribal court to hear Turtle Mountain power fight (7/24)

Salt River Tribe outlines baseball stadium plans (7/24)

Appeal set for Mashpee Wampanoag land claim (7/24)

Public Radio: Leech Lake group fights oil pipeline (7/24)

Brothertown Nation still waiting on recognition (7/24)

Blog: Warm Springs Tribes dispute horse story (7/24)

Art Review: Inuit postcards at New York NMAI (7/24)

Shakopee Tribe loans $78M for casino projects (7/24)

Fort Sill casino a 'federal' issue in New Mexico (7/24)

Connecticut tribes team up to promote casinos (7/24)

More headlines...

24 Jul 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Defying Coup Regime, Zelaya Attempts Return to Honduras
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is attempting a risky return home after last month’s military coup. The coup regime has threatened to arrest him if he sets foot in the country. We go to Honduras to speak with Latin America historian Greg Grandin. [includes rush transcript]

US-India Nuke Deals Raise Fears of Escalated Indo-Pakistan Arms Race
The Obama administration took major steps this week toward helping several major US defense contractors sell sophisticated US arms and nuclear technology to India. Increased US-India nuclear cooperation is stoking fears the US is escalating India’s arms race with Pakistan. We speak to Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and journalist Siddharth Varadarajan of The Hindu, India’s leading English-language newspaper.

Fmr. Iranian Political Prisoners, Relatives of Iran's Jailed Protesters Lead Three-Day Hunger Strike Outside UN
A three-day hunger strike outside the UN began Wednesday to demand the release of all prisoners of conscience in Iran. We hear from some of the voices at the scene, including former political prisoners, many of whom had been in solitary confinement and tortured, and relatives of current prisoners jailed in Iran. We also hear from prominent Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji, linguist and analyst Noam Chomsky, Iranian student activist Saharnaz Samaienejad, and Iranian American activist and lawyer Bitta Mostofi.

Zelaya Arrives Near Honduran Border in Bid to Return
Iraqi PM: US Troops Could Stay Beyond 2011
US Held Talks with Iraqi Militants
UN Debates “Responsibility to Protect” Doctrine
US Silent on Alleged Kyrgyz Vote Fraud
Report: 91% of Terror Cases Result in Convictions
Dems: No Senate Healthcare Vote Before Recess
Mayors, Legislators Among 40 Arrested in NJ Corruption Probe
Cambridge Police Won’t Apologize for Gates Arrest
Report: Abortion Providers “Routinely Targeted” in Six States
Consumer Group Criticizes Food Safety Picks
Minimum Wage Rises to $7.25

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rally for Leonard Peltier: "33 Years is Too Much!"

Host: Melissa Neubert & Katie Lenza/The Peace Coalition

Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Location: Town Square Pavilion, S. IL Ave., Carbondale, IL


News from Indianz.Com

Melvin Martin: Not much change in Rapid City (7/23)

Probation requested for Rapid City hate crimes (7/23)

Activists pay tribute to Alison Gottfriedson, 57 (7/23)

Opinion: Contracts help Alaska Native people (7/23)

Jobs: AMERIND CEO, Chickasaw Nation director (7/23)

Utah tribes oppose train station at sacred site (7/23)

Nevada prisons allow tobacco for ceremonies (7/23)

Judge rules Cherokee Nation not a part of suit (7/23)

Charges possible for removal of Puyallup items (7/23)

Trooper in Creek paramedic scuffle suspended (7/23)

Omaha woman tackles poverty on reservation (7/23)

The Circle: Women of Nations director ousted (7/23)

Museum accused of mistreating Indian workers (7/23)

Meskwaki Tribe completes acquisition of bank (7/23)

Choctaw council member denies election claim (7/23)

Assembly of First Nations settles on new chief (7/23)

Blood Tribe in mourning after fatal car accident (7/23)

Judge upholds conviction of Abramoff associate (7/23)

Fort Sill Apache Tribe will appeal NIGC decision (7/23)

Tohono O'odham Nation sues to protect casino (7/23)

Editorial: Tribal gaming paying off in Oklahoma (7/23)

Blog: Seminole Tribe asks for new gaming deal (7/23)

Pueblo casino benefits from new airline service (7/23)

More headlines...

23 Jul 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Obama: Cambridge Police "Acted Stupidly" in Arrest of Harvard Scholar Henry Louis Gates
In his fourth prime-time White House news conference, President Obama was asked about last week’s arrest of the famed African American scholar Henry Louis Gates inside his own home last week by a white police officer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was responding to a report of a possible burglary. Obama criticized the arrest, placing it in the context of “a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.” [includes rush transcript]

Promoting Healthcare Reform, Obama Admits US Can't Insure All Americans Without Single Payer
Obama devoted most of his White House news conference to defend his push for healthcare reform. He acknowledged the US won’t be able to provide healthcare insurance to every American without adopting single payer, which his administration has opposed. [includes rush transcript]

Watchdog Group Sues for Disclosure of White House Meetings with Healthcare Execs
President Obama spoke last night hours after a watchdog group filed a lawsuit seeking records of visits by top healthcare executives to the White House. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says the public has a right to learn the extent that these executives are influencing the Obama administration’s healthcare policy. We speak to the group’s executive director, Melanie Sloan. [includes rush transcript]

Court Rules New York Fire Department Discriminates Against Black, Latino Applicants
A federal judge has determined that the Fire Department of New York City used racially discriminatory hiring practices that unlawfully prevented hundreds of qualified African American and Latino applicants from joining the department. New York City has the least diverse fire department of any major city in the nation.

"The Yes Men Fix the World": In New Film, Anti-Corporate Pranksters the Yes Men Continue to Jolt Polluters and Profiteers
Anti-corporate pranksters and gonzo political activists the Yes Men are back with a new film, The Yes Men Fix the World. The movie follows Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno as they infiltrate and expose the world of big business through high-profile outrageous pranks. From ExxonMobil to Halliburton, no industry is too big for the Yes Men’s hoaxes. [includes rush transcript]

Honduran Coup Regime Considers Zelaya Return
UN: US Uncooperative on Human Rights Probes
Judge: Case Against Gitmo Prisoner “an Outrage”
Audit: US Embassy in Iraq Should Be Scaled Down
US Toll Passes 5,000 in Iraq, Afghanistan
Clinton Warns Iran of US “Defense Umbrella” in Mideast
Senate Narrowly Defeats Gun Measure
Study: Hundreds of NY, NJ Immigration Raids Broke Law
Obama: US Can’t Insure All Americans Without Single Payer
Judge: FDNY Excluded Blacks, Latinos with Biased Practices
Top Banks Set Aside $74B for Bonuses