THE DEBATE WILL CONTINUE, tearing at all the facts from all directions, but the NPPA has relied not on name-calling and rhetoric but on the words of Peltier, Robideau, and Butler, as its web site suggests. Even Peter Matthiessen, the cornerstone of Peltier’s immortality, and yes, even Peltier’s own defense attorney, William Kunstler himself, believed that Peltier was guilty!
It must be embarrassing for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee to learn that someone of the stature of ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ, the distinguished Harvard law professor (and by his own accounts a liberal and no friend of either law-enforcement or big government), states that Matthiessen “is utterly unconvincing – indeed embarrassingly sophomoric – when he pleads the legal innocence of individual Indian criminals. The American Indian Movement – like every militant fringe group – contains its share of violent criminals who seek to glorify their predatory acts under the flag of the movement.” “…(and) not only fails to convince; he (Matthiessen) inadvertently makes a strong case for Mr. Peltier’s guilt.” (The New York Times, book review, March 8, 1983.)
Dino Butler, in a 1995 interview, derides Matthiessen for not consulting with him regarding the lie of Mr. X.
“It is totally false that I had knowledge of who that person was and knew that person was going to come into our camp that day to deliver dynamite. I felt like me and my family were put in danger. I lost a lot of respect for Peter Matthieson as a writer and as a person I could trust because he didn’t verify this, and it put me and my family in jeopardy. He never made any effort to contact me and ask me if this was true.”
“I’m not going to go out of my way to cause a scene over this because I can’t divert my attention away from what is the real truth here. Peter Matthieson was victimized by that too. Whatever made him do that separated him from seeking out the truth. That’s the important thing to me, not who’s telling the biggest lie. What I represent is what I have to be concerned with and I have to be focused on the direction I am going in all the time. I cannot allow myself to become distracted by other things that do not represent the truth.”