A first-hand account of the terrifying deployment of an anti-aircraft device pointed at people.
Later, a veteran buddy looked it up to be sure, matched it up with our pictures, and based on his experience noted:
“My suspicion is that the Avenger Missile Systems deployed to Standing Rock are a cost-effective alternative to having an Apache Helo flying overhead when they need it. The Avenger system has Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Capabilities. The civilian plane and helicopter probably don’t have FLIR and that is when they need an Apache Helo to “monitor” situations under darkness and record for evaluation later. Instead of calling up the Apache, they can have Avengers on-site for instant intelligence day or night. The Avenger system also has video capabilities. It costs them far less to have an Avenger system on the ground 24 hrs a day than to deploy an Apache Helo occasionally. The security ground forces have Night Vision but the Avenger has FLIR and a laser rangefinder along with video capabilities. The FLIR will be at least a plate-sized round lense mounted on the weapon rail on the left side (driver side) if there is one. Just a suspicion. If I am correct, there should be more info to request in a FOIA. The sheriff’s Department can’t all have TS Sec clearances so if they brief them all using Avenger footage, it should be low hanging fruit that would be unclassified.”
However, Peltier won’t get to fulfill that promise to his people, as the Office of the Pardon Attorney through the Department of Justice sent his long-time attorney Marin Garbus the following letter posted at whoisleonardpeltier.info:
Dear Mr. Martin Garbus:
The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017. Please advise your client accordingly.
Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision. As a matter of well-established policy, we do not disclose the reasons for the decision in a clemency matter. In addition, deliberative communications pertaining to agency and presidential decision-making are confidential and not available under existing case law interpreting the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act. Your client will become eligible to reapply for commutation one year from the date on which the President denied the current application.
Office of the Pardon Attorney
FORT YATES, ND – In a unanimous vote, Standing Rock Sioux tribal council members voted to close the network of encampments behind the Dakota Access Pipeline protests within 30 days, including the main Oceti Sakowin, Rosebud, and Sacred Stone camps. Council members also voted against providing any temporary camps or shelters to individuals who should remain at the camps after the February 19 deadline. The decision was made in an emergency meeting held on Friday, January 20 at the tribe’s headquarters in Fort Yates, North Dakota.
The talks were scheduled following a motion approved by tribal members of the Cannon Ball District two nights earlier on Wednesday, January 18. In that meeting, residents voted in favor of closing the sprawling network of camps where an estimated 1,000 people remain living on lands bordering the reservation.
“The main objective of the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been achieved to a degree,” said Cody Two Bears, the district representative from Cannon Ball.
Matt Remle and Last Real Indians generously allowed me to join in a previous piece regarding divesting from banks that support the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). That is crucial. We absolutely should not be investing in companies that hurt Native communities the way that Wells Fargo, Bank of America, TD Bank, Bank of America, and Chase do. You can pretty much assume that any humongo national bank has dirty hands and is helping to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and a bunch of other horrible things. So don’t bank with them.
But where should we bank? We have to put our money someplace, right? We can’t just stash our cash under a pile of Pendleton and Pendleton-ish blankets, can we?
No. Fortunately, there’s a lot of good options. Local options. Humane options. Local credit unions. And then, on top of all those amazing options, there’s something that is even better than those options. You can bank Native.