Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Trimbachs on Tour

"[D]ozens [of AIMsters] were said to be involved as co-conspirators [in the murder of Anna Mae Aquash], among them AIM legends, their lawyers [see here], and the group’s lesser lieutenants."---Joseph H. Trimbach, FBI

The retired FBI agent Mr. Joseph H. "Joe" Trimbach (pictured above) and his son John Trimbach, the authors of American Indian Mafia, are scheduling speaking tours to tell people the truth about the violence perpetrated by the leaders of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

I was able to meet the Trimbachs and hear them discuss their book recently. Joseph Trimbach has been invited to speak at a university soon.

When word got out that Trimbachs would be appearing, some people who already had purchased the book also came to get their previously-purchased copies signed and to meet and thank the authors.

Some of the audience were very interested in Indian issues and expressed their gratitude that Joe Trimbach had finally written this history to set the record straight.

I offered to treat the Trimbachs for lunch, but they had to dash to the airport. They have a busy schedule.

The Trimbachs are very upbeat about their book project because they have the truth on their side and highly-respected supporters.

Their book has been endorsed by prominent people such as Judge William H. Webster, a former Director of both the FBI and CIA; Tim Giago, the former editor and publisher of Indian Country Today; Lt Colonel USMC and FOX News contributor Oliver North; Paul DeMain, the editor of News from Indian Country; Ed Wood, of the No Parole Peltier Association; and prominent political and legal officials.

Judge Webster's endorsement is quoted on the cover of the book, and he has written:

Although much has been written about the tragic events at Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge, Joe Trimbach's book appears to be the first definitive report of the courageous efforts of federal law enforcement (FBI, U.S. Marshals and BIA), often at great personal risk, to restore order to the Native Americans living in the midst of violence and intimidation. [American Indian Mafia] is well documented and presents an important contribution to our understanding of what actually happened.

Tim Giago, whose family home at Wounded Knee was destroyed by the AIM terrorists, has written:

As a longtime journalist, author, and Oglala Lakota born, raised and educated on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, I have been appalled at the many books, movies, and documentaries about Wounded Knee II and about Leonard Peltier [convicted in connection with the 6-26-73 murder of FBI Agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams] that are so filled with myths, misconceptions and outright lies...Trimbach takes apart Matthiessen’s In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, movies like Thunderheart, Lakota Woman, and A Tattoo on My Heart - The Warriors of Wounded Knee 1973, and exposes them for the frauds that they are. It is refreshing to finally hear the other side of the story.

Paul DeMain has written:

It's an ugly dark feeling realizing you were lied to. For many years I supported clemency for Leonard Peltier, and towed the line for leadership of the American Indian Movement…The facts, the anger, and the blame [American Indian Mafia] puts on AIM, on its sympathizers, and even on the institution Trimbach once worked for, is from a law-enforcement perspective, and is revealing. See clearly through the foggy AIM alibis, the false cry of civil rights. From a tiny element of Native America we once looked up to, the people's Movement was hijacked by false warriors, murderers, and liars. Whether you support the FBI or thought of it as your enemy, [American Indian Mafia] is a must-read for understanding the other side of the DMZ, established at Wounded Knee ’73.

In his article "Anna Mae Awaits Justice," (6-30-07) Joe Trimbach wrote (scroll down):

Leonard Peltier, a member of a militant group of Native Americans...bragged about being the one who shot [FBI Agent Ron Williams] in the face, as he sat pleading for his life. With the exception of a few days on the lam following a prison break, Peltier has spent the last 30 years behind bars. Many of his brothers-in-arms, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), have tried to construct plausible alibis to support his claimed innocence. None of it has stuck, and many of the cover stories have only served to implicate AIM members in other killings, such as the execution-style murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Anna Mae was a member suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. There’s an old Lakota saying when roughly translated means that medicine comes to those who need it. Put another way, what goes around, comes around. Well, here it comes.

June 26, 2007: The Supreme Court of British Columbia orders the extradition of John Graham to the United States. He is the alleged trigger man who carried out the executioner’s mandate against Anna Mae. According to Arlo Looking Cloud (Graham’s convicted helper), Graham put a gun to Anna Mae’s head, pulled the trigger, and pushed her off a cliff. For the last several years, he has been under house arrest in Canada. 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...Peltier thought the Agents were after him because he was a wanted fugitive. The Agents were actually looking for someone else and didn’t even know Peltier was on the reservation. AIM leaders thought Anna Mae was an FBI informant. She was not. As it turned out, oblivious to the leadership, Anna Mae was loyal to the end. Ron pleaded for his life, hoping to prevail upon the humanity of his killer. In her final moments, Anna Mae did the same and when she realized the end was near, she asked to pray on her knees. (The request was denied.) Months before he placed a gun to Ron Williams’s head, 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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name of the group is Native American Movement. Not Native American Mafia. It was not a crime organization. It was a group of people (mostly Native Americans) that wanted peace and equal rights for the fellow man. And there was some shootings, beatings, and rapes that were justified by the U.S. Government. And the people who did bad things against AIM because of there cause and Race, are probably prejudice. And are no different than a Nazi. I have respect for the ones who were there only on orders because they were simply doing there job, but for the ones taking advantage of it they are sick.

7:59 PM  

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