Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Federal Prosecutors Plan to Show That John Graham Sexually Assaulted Anna Mae Aquash Before She Was Slain

"Clyde Bellecourt, Russell, Bill, and Ted Means, Lorelie DeCora, Madonna Gilbert Thunderhawk, Attorney Bruce Ellison, Troy Lynn Irving and her auntie Theda Nelson Clark...may still be indicted...Justice will only be served when those in AIM leadership/security roles are brought to justice for the manipulation and orders they gave others to do their dirty work"--Paul DeMain

On October 6, John Graham (pictured above), a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), goes on trial in Rapid City, South Dakota, for aiding and abetting the December 1975 murder of the Canadian Mi'kmaq Indian Anna Mae Aquash. Federal prosecutors will present evidence that Graham sexually assaulted Aquash in an apartment in Rapid City.

A fuller account of the circumstances of Anna Mae Aquash's murder has been posted by Joseph and John Trimbach at AIM Myth Busters. Joseph Trimbach is a retired FBI agent who was the Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis FBI and the author of a book about the AIM called American Indian Mafia.

The Canadian Press (8-30-08) reports that federal prosecutors will present evidence that John Graham abducted Aquash in Denver, tied her up with rope, put her in the hatch of a Pinto, took her to the apartment in Rapid City, to the Rosebud Indian reservation, and finally to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Aquash's body was found in the Badlands. She had been shot in the head as she begged for her life and shoved over a cliff.

In 2004, Arlo Looking Cloud was convicted of the Aquash murder, but a number of AIM members were involved in the conspiracy.

On August 20, 2008, the authorities indicted a third man, Richard Marshall, Russell Means' body, guard for aiding and abetting Aquash's murder in the first degree.

The old AIM leadership have presented themselves as heroic advocates for Indians, but really they were more like the criminal and cult leader Charles Manson. According to Paul DeMain, the editor of News from Indian Country, Indian journalists have reportedly developed evidence that the AIM may have murdered 13 people, but I don't know the specifics of their evidence. Some of these people were reportedly killed in 1973 during the occupation of Wounded Knee and buried in the vicinity of the village.

Mr. DeMain writes:

[I]t has always been hard for me to get off the subject of justice for victims of the American Indian Movement that were murdered in the 1970s because of revolutionary fever and paranoia. Two of the thirteen victims Native investigative journalists have identified include Black civil rights worker and Martin Luther King disciple Perry Ray Robinson Jr., and Micmac mother Annie Mae Pictou Aquash.

As the federal government prepares for the trial of John Boy Patton Graham on October 6 in Rapid City, South Dakota, I note a few things. Only one other man, Arlo Looking Cloud has been convicted and is now serving a life sentence to being Party to 1st Degree Murder.

While Dennis Banks basks in the sun of his latest Longest Walk in Honor of Mother Earth and All Living Things, I often wonder if he ever thinks of the former mistress he allegedly conspired to have executed as a traitor and possible FBI pig – while some Native and non-Native media hold him up as some kind of “hero” in our community.

The trial of John Boy Graham, and other AIM leaders and affiliates like Clyde Bellecourt, Russell, Bill, and Ted Means, Lorelie DeCora, Madonna Gilbert Thunderhawk, Attorney Bruce Ellison, Troy Lynn Irving and her auntie Theda Nelson Clark that may still be indicted, can’t happen fast enough for vetting of information and transparency.

Even Leonard Peltier, the last ranking AIM security enforcer not to have a verifiable location on December 9-13, 1975 has to be concerned about what may become public, beyond his already waning claims of innocence.

But justice will not be served when just the gang of three, Arlo, John Boy and Theda Clark, those who moved against Aquash are behind bars. Justice will only be served when those in AIM leadership/security roles are brought to justice for the manipulation and orders they gave others to do their dirty work, and are forced to concede their roles. Only then will justice be served, and even then it is a hollow replacement for the Robinson, Aquash and other families watching others enjoy the freedom of major movie roles, or nice long walks.

Mr. DeMain keeps archives of stories about the Aquash murder investigation here and here.

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