Thursday, July 26, 2012

Black Horse Lawsuit: No Files Released 7.24.12

donated by Robert Robideau (rip)


July 25, 2012
South Texas. July 23, 2012.  The secret to a human psyche, the truth of corrupt and global powers, are as elusive as peace in a world gone violent. As brutal as  a people gone cloud cuckoo with desire to enslave once wild. Beauty.  Women. People of "color" (is white a color), children, the "poor" and those living connected to the land: hippies, counter culture and traditional First Nations: we are all in this dirge on the River Styx, together. 

The efforts to be released, into some semblance of justice and chances to rebirth freedom become plagued by not enough gold coins on our eyes. 
On July  20,  2012, Judge McCarthy in Buffalo NY, ruled he could find "no public documents" in the 900+ FBI files, in the "Black Horse case":  Michael Kuzma vs. Dept of Justice. Subsequently releasing not one page.  To Kuzma and his legal team. Kuzma and the hopeful supporters of Leonard Peltier "lost" this round.  But there are more rabbits to pull out of the black hat of fate.   Kuzma's counsel, Daire Brian Irwin,  explains a "more complex response to all this" is pending.  Meaning, that he will "persist in challenging subsequent FOIA requests" if/as they are corrupted, or denied. As well as "framing the FOIA differently".  And Kuzma says  "new FOIA request (s)  have already been filed" with the Federal Courts. Requests. Regarding the alleged shooting of an FBI Agent Fitzgerald, by "Frank Black Horse" back in the 1970's.  Where that ride takes us, still begs a map. Maybe a "wanted" poster.  As Black Horse is not 'officially" known to be "dead or live" and privacy acts for the living, prevail.  Irwin suggests "Black Horse"  give them a call. Why not.  Irwin says.  "Let us know if he is alive. if he has nothing to hide he can let us know he is alive.  And waive the FBI privacy act". 

Yes. The current  "loss" in court was perhaps anticipated.  
Yet.  Irwin reassures the effort by insisting "we will not stop until Leonard is free". 
Current affairs warrant, as always,  another peek into the complexities of this historical, brutal mess. 


Trying again, various long time Leonard Peltier/ American Indian Movement (AIM)  supporters are rallying this summer. And Fall. The effort  includes a revived Clemency effort, the current Black Horse lawsuit and FOIA requests filed by Peltier's FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) lawyers, Kuzma. What initially seemed a fine and perhaps "expedited" Court ruling, is now potentially  become long and drawn out affair.  Down the river, with a couple lost paddies.  That initial effort, demanding FOIA information about potential operatives in AIM, which may impact Peltier's status as prisoner, has been quashed. All along it seemed  there were slim chances for a significant, favorable ruling  And. Most in Indian Country were/are prepared for  the Black Horse case to simply drag on.  

"Free Peltier" rally
 downtown Buffalo NY  Feb. 2012
(photo a. nora claypoole)
LIke a tar and feathered crook busted in a local 1890's saloon. 

The  May 2012 request for Black Horse files was at best. A wild card suit filed, a belated effort to nail the FBI to their own cheating ways.  Kuzma had tried for a few years to simply have access to "anything of public source" about Frank Black Horse, now a verified "operative or informant" for the FBI during the 1970's. Black Horse had  infiltrated the American Indian Movement, and could  possibly be implicated in the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, if ANY information about him, is made visible.  But the request was compromised from the onset, as Kuzma had narrowed his request for files, to mere "public documents",  news clippings, anything sourced from outside the FBI. 

 When Judge McCarthy perused the files he found nothing of "public" nature:    "I have found no documents fitting the parties’ definition of “public source documents…. Thereafter, Plaintiff’s motion for a Vaughn Index.. will be withdrawn and this action will be dismissed in its entirety without further action”. 

 McCarthy in his response explains that a public source document is defined as :   “….encompass[ing] public court records as well as material located within FBI records which originated with or was created by an outside, non- government or non law enforcement entity, e.g., a newspaper or magazine article, or other publications which can be released because they are not subject to copyright protection”. 
(source, Pacer: Report, Recommendation and Order 12-CV-00102(A)(M) filed July 20, 2012).


But a few years back the FBI said they did have more public documents for Kuzma in this pile of 927 pages, at hand  (he did receive various generic news clippings at one point, it seems, but not the entire motherlode).  A promise to release more news clippings and other public documents and then a change of the weather, is what seeded this storm of Black Horse activity. But. 

Why Kuzma focussed on mere public documents, is a quandary. And what his remedy is for this limited request, and it's dead end. Is complex. 

 Apparently it begins where it began: more FOIA requests to an agency whose signature sell point is "cagey". 

"Frank Black Horse" and FBI agent, circa 1972
The likelihood of a win that breaks open truth is like finding a pearl in a cracker jack box. In stacks of redacted, revisionist history. So. Even with a court win in this May 2012 lawsuit, there would still have been  subsequent briefs/hearings, to access the "real" FBI files regarding Black Horse. Kuzma  and his legal team, knew this going  into the arena. Nonetheless.   A  "win" in the May 2012 suit might have at least put the FBI, on guard.  Perhaps the  simple fact, that the Judge took pause, in this case, had that effect. 

Still, there was a hope. 

For  a release of something in those  927 pages (interestingly, and to the objection of the plaintiff, in  mid June 2012, the FBI reduced the count from 927, to  "919 pages").  Though not the crucial key to locked FBI files. Nor busting corruption of FOIA requests over the years.  A win this past week would have at least lead Kuzma and his team down a hallway to where the secrets, lie. 

Perhaps a Judge ruling that the FBI was corrupting FOIA requests by shuffling files, and taking three years to be forthright with Kuzma's efforts.  Would have been a ruler on the knuckles of government protected bullies: it didn't happen. 

 Now.  There is. An August 6th 2012, Federal Court deadline for "objections" to be filed. But that  is not going to happen. According to Irwin. And Kuzma, explains:  "No objections will be filed since Magistrate Judge McCarthy found that there were no public source documents.  I have already submitted new FOIA requests for documents pertaining to Frank Blackhorse and FBI S/A Curtis A. Fitzgerald (who is now deceased)." 

"Anna Mae and daughter"
painting by Robert Robideau (rip)
In an earlier interview with Kuzma, he explained that because Fitzgerald is deceased, the FOIA requests may not be blocked by the privacy act.  Black Horse was never indicted for the shooting, and Kuzma is hoping for clues. Somewhere in the Templar quest.  The belief is implied.  That with enough integrity and earnest,  consistency and unrelinquishing certainty. These demands for files will get so close to truth, that the FBI will stumble. But Kuzma is playing his cards close to the vest.  His strategy, not on the table, yet. And the fact is.  If a person is working for the FBI, and kills "in the line of duty", they are not necessarily charged with a murder (mob bosses who were double agents, used this defense, back in the day). 

This new Black Horse/Fitzgerald request is the next notch in a long road to accessing information which impacts not only Kuzma and his personal campaign to find out "who was this guy Black Horse", but more broadly impacting, perhaps, those men, Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham. Serving life sentences for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash.  Both young AIM "footsoldiers" at the time of her murder (1975/6), they claim their innocence and have attorneys currently working on their behalf.  Perhaps Kuzma and Irwin's efforts will assist in revealing more key details in the role operatives played in her murder.  And at least it may help Leonard Peltier, in his current, efforts for Clemency.


The Peltier case is on the minds of many this late summer, especially since Delaney Bruce, Peltier's long time devoted, effective organizer  and executive director for his defense committee, has left her position.  For various, unforeseen and tragic reasons. Bruce is no longer with the Leonard Peltier Offense Defense Committee. In the interim, while the search for near impossible replacement ensue. Paulette D'auteill is stepping in.

She is first wife of Robert Robideau (rip), Robideau acquitted in the 1970's FBI killing for which his cousin Peltier is doing time. D'auteill is a warrior and organizer who goes all the way back to those "old AIM days" and she is  stepping in, to help keep the Peltier Defense Committee viable.  It is not an easy task, Bruce's shoes, "hard to fill", but a necessary effort.   Because in an election year, the United States President often "offers clemency" to prisoners who s/he feels warrant a release.  Peltier, and his supporters are once again rallying for Clemency.  The first serious Clemency effort, in 2000 with President Bill Clinton, came close, but ultimately failed.  

To the bystander, the  lookey  loo and Peltier People  hoping for Justice.  Anything that Kuzma and his team accomplish with regards to their  new FOIA request, anything Looking Cloud's lawyer--Barry Bachrach--can win in terms of injustice toward HIS client. Seem to come together in the case of requesting remedy for Peltier's railroaded and unjust incarceration. 

Yes. In this recent roundabout. The public access road to Black Horse and his role in old AIM, has been stalled.  But. The mystery of his complex tether to old AIM history prevails.  Information as  to his whereabouts has been under construction for years. And this post modern version of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show is far from over. Just like the ancient trek of dead across a river, we persist in pushing through, to truth. To the other side of fear.  



to be added this evening

a. nora claypoole

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting.