Saturday, July 07, 2007

British Columbia Supreme Court Decision to Extradite John Graham

"Graham’s pre-meditation was evidently known to several others. In fact, dozens were said to be involved as co-conspirators, among them AIM legends, their lawyers, and the group’s lesser lieutenants...

[Anna Mae Aquash] died six months after [AIM ambushed and murdered two FBI agents], partly because it was feared that she would repeat Peltier’s boast which she heard “straight from the horse’s mouth”...

An old rusty prosecutorial engine is finally turning over, powered by an unlimited statute of limitations for murder in the first degree.

Former members know that aiding and abetting carries the same penalty that awaits Graham: life in prison. And so they are naturally concerned that Graham may cut a deal and sing like a canary..." Joe Trimbach, former Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Minneapolis FBI

News from Indian Country (7-7-07) has published the lengthy 6-26-07 decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia explaining why they decided to extradite John Graham for the murder of the Canadian Indian Anna Mae Aquash. [Note that on 6-26-75, two FBI agents were murdered on Pine Ridge and that on 6-26-06 the Chancellor of C.U. recommended that the tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies Ward Churchill be fired.]

Here is a brief excerpt from the 6-26-07 decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia that describes how the Canadian woman Anna Mae Aquash was reportedly murdered:

Aquash's badly decomposed body was discovered in 1976, and police began to suspect foul play after identifying her as having been involved with the American Indian Movement. Due to lack of cooperation, the investigation made little headway until agents began talking to [Fritz Arlo] Looking Cloud in the mid-90s. Looking Cloud and almost every other witness in the case were members of, and were actively involved in, the American Indian Movement at the time of Aquash's death. The government's theory at trial was that Looking Cloud and other American Indian Movement members killed Aquash, who was also a member, because they suspected she was a federal informant, working with the government.

When the rumor began to spread around the American Indian Movement that Aquash was an informant, she fled Pierre to Denver. A few weeks later, Looking Cloud, Theda Clark and John Graham (also called John Boy Patton) received orders from the American Indian Movement to bring Aquash back to South Dakota. They tied her up and drove her to Rapid City to question her about being an informant. Aquash was constantly guarded and her requests to be let free were refused. At some point, Aquash realized that she was about to be killed. Looking Cloud, Clark, and Graham met with other American Indian Movement members in Rapid City and eventually the three drove Aquash to an area near Wanblee. Aquash begged to go free, prayed, and cried. Looking Cloud and Graham marched Aquash up a hill and Graham shot her at the top of a cliff. Her body was either thrown or it tumbled to the bottom of that cliff. [Full text]

The retired FBI agent Joe Trimbach, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Minneapolis FBI office from February 1973-mid-1975, gave his perspective in a 6-27-07 article in News from Indian Country. I have written articles about Trimbach's views here, here, and here.

According to Trimbach:

Like Peltier before him, Graham has surrounded himself with supporters, some of them pitifully uninformed. But unlike Peltier’s murderous rampage, Graham’s pre-meditation was evidently known to several others. In fact, dozens were said to be involved as co-conspirators, among them AIM legends, their lawyers, and the group’s lesser lieutenants...

Months before he placed a gun to Ron Williams’s head [See details here], Peltier had placed a gun in Anna Mae’s mouth, in one of her early interrogations. She died six months after the Agents, partly because it was feared that she would repeat Peltier’s boast which she heard “straight from the horse’s mouth”...

People familiar with the case believe that once Graham is on American soil, AIM’s legacy is up for grabs. As the embattled Professor Ward Churchill likes to say, the chickens have come home to roost.

The professor, however, would presumably not want the description applied to his old warhorse buddy, AIM leader Russell Means. On a cold morning in 1976, Means and his brothers boycotted Anna Mae’s funeral, evidently believing her guilty as charged.

AIM war chiefs and Anna Mae’s erstwhile friends must now reposition themselves for the coming storm. An old rusty prosecutorial engine is finally turning over, powered by an unlimited statute of limitations for murder in the first degree.

Former members know that aiding and abetting carries the same penalty that awaits Graham: life in prison. And so they are naturally concerned that Graham may cut a deal and sing like a canary. Stay tuned. This could get very interesting. [Full text]

This article from Spring 2004 even claims that the Tenured Plagiarist of Ethnic Studies Ward Churchill was "a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) security team at the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota in the early 1970's."

I don't know if Ward Churchill was really a member of the Pine Ridge AIM security team in the early 1970's, as this article which appears to quote him claims, or not. Maybe Churchill was not quoted accurately. Or maybe he was making up one of his elaborate stories.

Wardo even claims that he driving across Pine Ridge to a new teaching job on either June 26 or 27, 1975 and witnessed FBI agents hunting for the killers of two FBI agents.

Perhaps when Graham goes on trial, this sort of claim might be cleared up; and we will find out if Wardo really was an AIM security thug in the early 1970's or if he is just a liar and a braggart.

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