Sunday, September 23, 2007

Renowned Lakota Journalist Tim Giago Tells the Truth about the Murder of Anna Mae Aquash

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"Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, a Mi'kmaq Indian from Canada, was brutally murdered in 1975. Her murder can only be described as a conspiracy and a cover-up by the American Indian Movement."---Tim Giago

I have posted many articles on my blog about the June 26, 1975 murders of the two FBI agents on Pine Ridge Indian reservation and about the subsequent murder the following winter of a Canadian Indian woman and mother of two, Anna Mae Aquash. Readers can type "Aquash" into the search feature at the top left of this site.

The renowned Lakota journalist Tim Giago grew up in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Mr. Giago founded the Lakota Times in 1981. His newspaper was firebombed and its windows were shot out three times. Mr. Giago received many death threats, and once someone even tried to kill him while he operated his newspaper on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

In 1992, The Lakota Times was re-named Indian Country Today. For 18 years, Mr. Giago served as editor and publisher and built his paper into the largest independent Indian newspaper in America. Mr. Giago started the Lakota Journal in 2000 and served as its editor and publisher until his retirement in 2004. Mr. Giago was the founder and the first president of the Native American Journalists Association and a 1991 Nieman Fellow at Harvard. [See Mr. Giago's full biography here]

On August 30, 2007, Mr. Giago wrote an article in the Huffington Post about the 1976 murder of Anna Mae Aquash, a young Canadian Indian woman.

According to Mr. Giago, Aquash's murder "can only be described as a conspiracy and a cover-up by the American Indian Movement."

Giago writes:

"One man, Arlo Looking Cloud, an Oglala Lakota, and a member of AIM, is serving life in prison for her murder while his accomplice, the man he accused of pulling the trigger, John "Boy" Graham, a native of the Yukon in Canada, is awaiting extradition to the United States to stand trial.

Looking Cloud and Graham, in the parlance of the Mafia, were foot soldiers. They did not make the decisions of life and death but they were merely the tools that carried out the orders of their superiors. After 32 years have passed, who gave the order to kill Ms. Aquash? Who are these conspirators?

Anna Mae was murdered on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Her body was discovered on February 24, 1976. The higher ups in AIM immediately placed the blame on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and then set their propaganda machine in motion to shift the focus of the investigation away from themselves...

The mainstream media made heroes of the occupiers of Wounded Knee. They became legends in their own minds. Even today there is still talk among the Lakota people of Pine Ridge that some terrible things took place within the AIM camp at Wounded Knee. There were rumors of other murders within the confines of the encampment. There was talk of the rape of young white and Indian women at the camp. One Lakota elder, fluent in the Lakota language, said during the occupation, "All they do is smoke dope and make the women take their pants down." There is a strong suspicion among some Pine Ridge residents that there are other bodies buried in secret graves at Wounded Knee including the body of an African American man named Perry Ray Robinson who apparently entered the camp at Wounded Knee in 1973 and has not be seen or heard from since...

Some of the leadership suspected Aquash of being an FBI informant. She was held captive by members of AIM in the Denver home of Troy Lynn Yellowwood for a short time and then in February of 1975 [1976?] she was tied up, placed in the trunk of a car owned by Theda Clark and transported to the reservation where, it is alleged, several members of AIM, including their attorney Bruce Ellison and a former correspondent for the Rapid City Journal, Candy Hamilton, observed her as a captive at the home of Bill Means shortly before she was taken to a lonely rode near the village of Wanblee and executed. Looking Cloud, Graham and Theda Clark were with her when she died...

At an AIM conference held in Farmington, N.M. in 1975, Leonard Peltier was assigned the task of confronting Aquash and accusing her of being an FBI informant, according to an interview by Peter Matthiessen. Peltier was later convicted of the murder of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams near Oglala. He has maintained his innocence, but in her testimony at the Looking Cloud trial Ka-Mook Banks, the wife of Dennis Banks, and an AIM insider, said she was present when Peltier acknowledged killing the FBI agents by pointing his finger like a gun. She testified that Peltier said, 'The 'MF' was begging for his life, but I shot him anyway'....

For every violent death on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970s, AIM has pointed the finger of blame at the FBI, and at the duly elected tribal government of Dick Wilson. Over the years Wilson was mercilessly castigated and vilified by AIM and the mainstream media, and the government of the Oglala Sioux Tribe was labeled as 'goons.'

Too many movies and too many books have glorified AIM and told only one side of the story. It would be a terrible miscarriage of justice if only the foot soldiers are prosecuted and not those that gave the order to murder Anna Mae or those that knew about it and failed to prevent it or to report it." [full text]


Blogger Thaddeus said...

Unattributed quotes and vicious slander. And this guy is supposed to be a journalist? What a hack. I'm sure he has been well-rewarded for his slander of Indian activists and for his endorsement of Republican candidates. A sell-out.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

I don't think he's a Republican.

Mr. Giago's home was Wounded Knee. His parents' cabin was ruined by the AIM terrorists.

5:03 AM  

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