Sunday, March 29, 2009

Former FBI Chief Joe Trimbach Urges President Obama to Keep Leonard Peltier Behind Bars

On June 26, 1975, two young FBI agents named Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams were ambushed and shot to death execution-style at close range after they were already injured and on the ground. Their faces were obliterated. Leonard Peltier was indicted for the murder of the two agents and for aiding and abetting in those murders. In 1977, Peltier received two consecutive life sentences.

The retired FBI Special Agent Joseph H. Trimbach issues this 3-17-09 press release about the killer of FBI agents:

March 17, 2009 – Former FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph H. Trimbach has asked President Obama to reject all petitions for executive clemency for Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement convicted in the 1975 murders of two federal agents.

In a strongly worded two-page letter, dated January 20, 2009, Trimbach called on the President to deny requests for clemency on the grounds that Peltier is guilty and unrepentant. This follows recent news that in his final days in office, President Bush formally rejected Peltier’s petition for freedom, thereby requiring Peltier to refile his request with the Obama administration. Peltier’s supporters hope President Obama will invoke his executive powers and grant an immediate pardon which would override current time limitations in the petition process. Calling his recent move a “charm offensive” designed to fool the President, Trimbach wrote that releasing Peltier would be “an abomination of justice” and “have far-reaching ramifications for your administration, for the FBI, and for the people of Indian Country.” In his letter, Trimbach recalled being shot at as he and his fellow agents chased Peltier and his accomplices into the hills south of the village of Oglala, on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Trimbach detailed several items that he says substantiate Peltier’s guilt as the triggerman, including Peltier’s boast about shooting one of the agents, recalled under oath by a witness in another trial. He further stated that information made public since Peltier’s conviction strongly validates the guilty verdict rendered in 1977. Specifically, Trimbach said that every judge who has heard or reviewed the case has concluded that Peltier was fairly tried and fairly convicted. Trimbach told the President that many well-intentioned people have been fooled by Peltier’s persona as a “political prisoner,” a manufactured identity that has bilked millions of donors out of millions of dollars for Peltier’s defense fund. Peltier is supported by Robert Redford, David Geffen, and other Hollywood celebrities who say the 64-year old inmate should be released due to humanitarian reasons.

Trimbach’s web site,, features a video which shows Peltier apparently contradicting himself over the course of several interviews. Through his blog site,, administered by James Simon, Trimbach argues that Peltier’s lawyers have merely sealed their client’s fate by encouraging his dishonesty and denial. “Every time an inconvenient truth exposes one of his falsehoods, he changes his story” says Trimbach, adding that only prisoners who admit their guilt and ask for forgiveness should be considered for parole or pardon. Peltier claimed for many years that another man, known as Mr. X, was guilty of executing Agents Ron Williams and Jack Coler. An interview of a masked X was shown on 60 Minutes in 1991. The story was later exposed as a hoax, designed to persuade then President Clinton that Peltier was innocent. Clinton left office without acting on the Peltier case.

In a separate letter to Congressman John Conyers, Trimbach cited Peltier’s 1993 Parole Board which concluded that his aiding and abetting conviction belied the greater probability that Peltier himself fired the fatal shots, all delivered at point-blank range. Evidence presented at Peltier’s trial included a shell casing found at the murder scene, which matched over a hundred shell casings found nearby and ejected from Peltier’s weapon, an AR-15 assault rifle. The weapon was recovered three months later after the car it was in, laden with gunpowder and weapons, exploded on a Kansas highway. A recent message from Peltier to his supporters opened with the words, “May Death Be Upon You, FBI.” Trimbach responded by writing, “On June 26, 1975, Leonard Peltier surely brought death to the FBI.”

Joseph Trimbach presents other evidence against Peltier in his book, American Indian Mafia, An FBI Agent’s True Story About Wounded Knee, Leonard Peltier, and the American Indian Movement (AIM). He may be reached through his public relations service found at (keywords: AIM Myth Busters) and his web site, For a book summary, see

[See full press release for contact details.]


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