LEONARD'S REACTION TO KAMOOK
AND THE ARLO LOOKING CLOUD TRIAL
First of all, I want
to thank all those who have been standing up for the American Indian
Movement and myself. The Arlo Looking
Cloud trial was nothing more than an indirect presentation of another
Myrtle Poorbear to discredit AIM and myself, and to
extradite John Graham. I am an innocent man. The government knows
that, and Kamook knows I am innocent as well.
On a personal note, Kamook's
testimony was like being stabbed in the heart while simultaneously
being told your sister just
died. I cannot convey enough, the shock and hurt that I felt. Of
all the fabrications that the government has used to keep me
imprisoned, this one hurt so deeply. I would have laid down my life
to defend Kamook and her people and I did risk it several
times. If there has ever been a time during my 28 years in this
hole that I have felt disheartened, it is now. I loved Kamook as
my own family. I can't believe the $43,000 the FBI gave her was
a determining factor for her to perjure herself on the witness
stand. There must have been some extreme threat the FBI or their
cronies put upon her.
If you want to know who
is responsible for Anna Mae's death, just look around and see who
else has been irresponsibly
pointing fingers at proven warriors. This kind of behavior is doing
the dirty work of the F.B.I. and the corporate entities that
seek to control or own Native lands and resources. All of those
who took part in this abortion of justice in Rapid City should
be ashamed. I would say more, but my emotions are overwhelming at
We as a people and a
nation need to honor those who sacrificed for the people and not
forget them as they become elders.
In every generation we must stand strong. The enemy has many masks
and the ideologies that drive it are centuries old now,
the gluttonous appetite for money and power of those addicted. I
will not give up and it's not over until it's over. Speak,
organize, demonstrate, pray, help the poor and oppressed, be a good
example, and most of all "don't ever give up!"
In The Spirit Of Crazy
RELEASE FOR RELEASE June 8, 2001 BY:
MINISTRY FOR INFORMATION AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT GRAND
June 26, 2001
Initiative to Free Leonard Peltier
AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT GRAND GOVERNING COUNCIL
American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council
Phone: (612) 721-3914
Fax: (612) 721-7826
Senator Patrick Leahy
Chairman Senate Judiciary Committee
433 Russell Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4502
Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Chairman House Judiciary Committee
2332 Rayburn House Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4909
Senator Daniel Inouye
Chairman, Senate Indian Affairs Committee
722 Hart Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1102
On behalf of
the Leonard Peltier family, we are appealing to President George
Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, the United
States Congress and the American people, and people worldwide to
respond to our appeal in a just and equitable manner.
June 26, 2001
will mark twenty-seven years since the F.B.I., utilizing agent/operatives
and recruited extremist informants,
initiated a fire fight at the Jumping Bull residence on the Pine
Ridge Reservation in South Dakota that resulted in the death of
young Oglala man, Mr. Joseph Stuntz, and two federal agents, Mr.
Ron Williams and Mr. Jack Coler. They and their loved ones
as well the loved ones of dozens of other Indian people murdered
and Leonard Peltier are the principal victims of the reign of
terror conducted by the F.B.I. and other government agencies. Subsequently,
this year will also mark the twenty-fifth year of
imprisonment for Mr. Leonard Peltier.
In light of
the recent denial by the Clinton Administration of Mr. Peltier's
petition for Executive Clemency, the American Indian
Movement in collaboration with the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
is launching a national and international effort requesting
congressional intervention and remedies to the clearly documented
F.B.I., United States Attorneys and other related government
agent's misconduct and collusion in the trial and conviction of
Mr. Leonard Peltier.
At this time
we are requesting the Honorable Members of the Senate and House
Judiciary Committees of the United States
Congress to fully and vigorously open a Congressional Investigation
regarding the following documented evidence of F.B.I. ethical
and professional misconduct as sighted below that resulted in obtaining
a guilty verdict twenty-five years ago against Leonard Peltier.
and intimidation of Ms. Myrtle Poor Bear by F.B.I. agents that resulted
in her signing false affidavits that were used in
the extradition hearing of Mr. Peltier.
2. The intentional
presentation of a false affidavit to the courts of law in the United
States and Canada in order to procure Mr.
3. The F.B.I.
presented false and distorted testimonies obtained through improper
methods of three adolescents who were forced
to testify at Mr. Peltier's trial
4. The concealment
of a firing pin test performed by F.B.I. ballistics expert, Mr.
5. The abrupt
and substantive changes in the F.B.I. description of the vehicle
pursued into the Jumping Bull residence prior to
6. F.B.I. actions
that created an improper atmosphere of fear and distrust of American
Indians, especially American Indian
Movement members, amongst the general population and jury pool during
Mr. Pelitier's trial. Such intentional actions deprived
Mr. Peltier of a fair trial.
At this time
we are also requesting the Honorable Members of the Senate and House
Judiciary Committees of the United States Congress to investigate
the blatant attempts by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents
Association to intentionally create public confusion and fear in
order to deprive Mr. Peltier a fair consideration of his request
for parole and clemency. The advertisement and Web site paid for
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association is a matter
of public record and can be furnished upon request by Mr. Peltier's
At this time
we are also requesting the Honorable Members of the Senate and House
Judiciary Committees of the United States Congress to pass an act
to declassify over 6,000 documents pertaining to the case of Mr.
Peltier, currently being withheld by the F.B.I. in part for reasons
of "national security" and "ongoing" police
investigations. With Mr. Peltier imprisoned for the past twenty-five
years what possible issues of investigation and security exist today
in the year 2001? Attached is a small sampling of the 17,722 documents
thus far released under the Freedom of Information Act, which we
have reviewed. These documents which were withheld from defense
attorneys during Mr. Peltier's trial clearly show that a covert,
illegal counter-intelligence program targeting the American Indian
Movement leaders and members was first hatched by the Nixon White
House. The conspiracy included President Nixon, Special Counsel,
John Dean III, F.B.I. directors J. Edgar Hoover and Mark Felt, the
Justice Department, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Their action
places them in violation of their own charter prohibiting spying
and targeting United States citizens. In this case members and leaders
of the American Indian Movement.
is the following documented fact. On the date of April 6, 1976 Senator
James O. Eastland, Chairman of, and Presiding convened a session
of the Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee To Investigate The Administration
Of The Internal Security Act. Sub-Committee members present were
Senators John MCLlellan of Arkansas, Birch Bayh of Indiana, Strom
Thurmond of South Carolina, and William F. Scott of Virgina. Senator
Eastland called one witness. That witness was Douglas Durham who
was exposed by the American Indian Movement as an F.B.I. Agent/Operative
and held no position in the American Indian Movement. This individual
was proven to be a pathological liar under oath, and with direction
of the F.B.I. blatantly perjured himself before the Senate Judiciary
Committee of the United States Senate.
campaign of the F.B.I. continues at the present time against efforts
to correct this injustice by freeing Mr. Peltier. Could it be that
opponents to freeing Mr. Peltier such as Majority Leader Senator
Tom Dashle of South Dakota, Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois,
William J. Clinton, and others are again being deceived? We must
ask that question. (See http://www.aimovement.org/csi/index.html
Council on Security and Intelligence, to review a sampling of the
17,722 pages of declassified documents that were released upon our
request under the Freedom of Information Act which were withheld
from defense attorneys by the F.B.I. during Mr. Peltier's trial).
At this time
we are requesting the Honorable Members of the Senate and House
Judiciary Committees of the United States Congress to implement
Congressional oversight of the Parole Commission. In 1984 the Comprehensive
Crime Control Act was passed, the act set forth the total abolition
of the U.S. Parole Commission, and made mandatory minimum sentencing
on a federal level.
Peltier is not only eligible for parole, but is long over due. In
1994 the U.S. Parole Commission examined Mr. Peltier's conduct since
his imprisonment, factored severity rate of the crime he was convicted
of, and determined to be eligible for release after 188 months (16
years) of imprisonment under Parole Commission guidelines. Since
then Mr. Peltier has undergone one full parole hearing and three
interim parole hearings and has been arbitrarily denied. Mr. Peltier's
next full hearing is scheduled for 2008. According to law, the Parole
Commission is required to justify their reasons for denying a prisoner
parole beyond what the guidelines set forth. However, the commission
has failed to articulate any rational reasoning for doing so, and
have demonstrated bias and discrimination towards Mr. Peltier. For
the above-sited reasons it is imperative that Congress follows and
implements its own legislative enactment and abolish the U.S. Parole
Commission and release Mr. Peltier.
At this time
we are requesting that the Honorable members of the United States
Congress set forth a new chapter in United States history with American
Indian people, and uphold an exemplary standard of morale, and professional
ethics for its government agencies and agents as it pertains to
constitutional law, protection, due process, rights to a fair trial,
and the twenty-five year legal battle of Mr. Peltier and his fight
for truth and freedom.
Thank you for
your consideration in this matter.
American Indian Movement
Grand Governing Council
Floyd Red Crow
Actor, Activist and Goodwill Ambassador
For the International Indian Treaty Council and
American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council
Coordinator of American Indian Movement
Task Force to Free Leonard Peltier
1. Sample Letter
from the Leonard Peltier Committee to Senator Patrick Leahy
2. Letter to Senator Orin Hatch, Chairman Judiciary Committee from
the American Indian Movement, 12/6/99
3. Letters between W. Mark Felt, Acting Director of FBI and John
Wesley Dean III, Counsel to President Nixon
4. FBI teletype, "Lock Peltier into this case," (The Resmurs)
the code name for reservation murders
5. File #1 Exemption Explanations: Reason for the censorship of
documents-typical field report on AIM activities, 8/24/73
6. File #100-462483, Volume #1, Memorandum to E.S. Miller from G.C.
Moore, re: Recruitment of Extremist Informants-Memo from FBI Director
W. Mark Felt asking, "Are you sure we should go this far?"
7. File 21, Chicago Public Broadcasting Station News Program, WTTW,
manuscript of program aired 3/12/75, televising Douglas Durham's
8. Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate, Ninety Fourth
Congress, Second Session, April 6, 1976
9. File #11, CIA requested to furnish information, and complying
with request, 12/5/73
10. File #22, the use of Special Agents of the FBI in paramilitary
law enforcement operation in Indian country in lieu of the use of
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
I want to begin
this letter by thanking you for all of your fine work in support
of civil rights and justice. Your courage and integrity are admired
by many. I also want to congratulate you on your new position in
the Judiciary Committee. I am very encouraged to see that you will
be overseeing such an important government duty.
I am writing
today to express my firm support for top to bottom investigations
of the FBI as called for by both Senator Schumer and Senator Grassley.
There is an obvious pattern of FBI misconduct involving the withholding
of evidence and obstruction of justice which must be examined and
halted. Such conduct puts in jeopardy our nation’s concepts
of democracy, open government, and equal justice.
I am especially
concerned with the FBI’s treatment of Leonard Peltier, the
Native American rights activist who Amnesty International calls
a “political prisoner” who should be “immediately
and unconditionally released.” Mr. Peltier has been imprisoned
for over twenty-five years, following his highly controversial conviction
of the 1975 murders of two FBI agents. During Mr. Peltier’s
trial, the FBI and U.S. Prosecutors emphatically swore that every
FBI document had been handed over to the defense. Yet, years later
a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit would force the release of
over 17,000 FBI documents which had in fact been withheld. Had the
jury been able to consider this evidence at trial, I have no doubt
that Mr. Peltier would be free today.
Among the documents
was a formerly concealed ballistic test, which proved that the fatal
bullets could not have come from the gun tied to Mr. Peltier at
trial. The exposure of the test prompted the U.S. Prosecutor to
admit during subsequent oral arguments, “we can’t prove
who shot those agents”. Yet, a new trial was denied on technical
grounds, even though the court found that, “There is a possibility
that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records
and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to
him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies
casting strong doubts upon the government's case.” The judge
who authored the denial now supports Mr. Peltier’s release.
To make matters
worse, the FBI continues to withhold over 6000 documents pertaining
to the Peltier case today, come twenty- six years after the incident.
We are convinced that these files contain even more critical information.
We also note
that Mr. Peltier’s conviction is deeply rooted in the Pine
Ridge “Reign of Terror.” During this period, the FBI
cooperated with vigilantes who killed over 60 members and supporters
of the American Indian Movement and terrorized, assaulted and battered
scores of others.
Given all of
the above, I am asking you to initiate a Senate investigation of
the FBI, which will include a comprehensive examination of the Peltier
case, including the subpoena of 6,000 FBI documents still withheld
Thank you for
your time and consideration to this matter.
cc. Senator Grassly
December 6, 1999
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
In the interest
of justice, human rights, and fairness, we respectfully request
that you and your office support our request that the Committee
on the Judiciary of the United States Senate hold hearings on the
Oglala Lakota Nation's Reservation at Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
We request the appointment of a Special Investigator to investigate,
not only the recent deaths of Indian people in Rapid City and Mobridge,
South Dakota, and in White Clay, Nebraska, but the many unsolved
deaths that occurred on the Pine Ridge Reservation during the violent
and turbulent 1970's that took place during and after the armed
confrontation between Indian people and U.S. Government forces at
Wounded Knee in 1973.
this letter is a sampling of the first of 17,722 pages of FBI, CIA,
White House, and other U.S. Government documents declassified under
the Freedom of Information Act. Another 6,000-plus pages have been
withdrawn from various U.S. Government files and placed under a
National Security cover following hearings before the Subcommittee
to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act,
and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate Ninety Fourth Congress, Second Session, April
Only one witness
was called. That witness was Douglas Durham, an exposed FBI agent
operative, one of several uncovered by the American Indian Movement
Council on Security and Intelligence. Many others are yet to be
exposed, some, no doubt, are still operating undercover.
on the Judiciary of the United States now must investigate what
role the FBI and their extremist agent/informants, and other U.S.
Government agencies played during the reign of terror in 1973 and
thereafter in South Dakota. The families of the victims have waited
long enough, such as the families of Anita Wilcox, Jeanette Bissonette,
Pedro Bissonette, Byron DeSersa, Anna Mae Aquash, Jancita Eagle
Deer, Frank Clearwater, and Buddy LaMont who was a Vietnam Veteran
murdered by FBI snipers at Wounded Knee, 1973. There are dozens
of other uninvestigated and unsolved murders of Indian people that
took place during this time that need to be investigated as well.
Committee on Judiciary must include in its investigation the shoot
out on June 26, 1975 at the Jumping Bull residence on the Pine Ridge
Reservation which claimed the lives of Joseph Stuntz, and FBI agents,
Ronald Williams, and Jack Coler in what appears to have been a botched
FBI operation due to the actions of their extremist agent informants.
Additionally, the Committee must review the Justice Department's
prosecution of Leonard Peltier who is still in federal prison after
National Representative of the
American Indian Movement Grand Govering Council
- President William J. Clinton
- Senator Ben Night Horse Campbell, Chairman of Senate Indian Affairs
- Senator Paul Wellstone
- Senator Orrin Hatch
- The Honorable Elsie Meeks, Commission Member, U.S. Commission
on Human Rights
- President Harold D. Salway, Oglala Lakota Nation
- The Honorable Mary Francis Berry, Chairperson U.S. Commission
on Civil Rights
- The Honorable Janet Reno, Attorney General of the United States
- Senator Patrick J. Leahy
- Senator Tom Daschle
- Senator Tim Johnson
REPRODUCED AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
WASHINGTON. D.C. 20535
Wesley Dean, III
Counsel to the President
The White House
Washington, D. C.
made to your name check request concerning Hank Adams and some other
individuals. Attached are separate memoranda concerning the following
Russell C. Means
For the Acting Director
Acting Associate Director
Original Letter 1.
AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
Wesley Dean, III
Counsel to the President
The White House
Washington, D. C.
made to your name check request concerning Dennis Banks and some
other individuals. Attached are separate memoranda concerning the
Robert R. Burnett
For the Acting Director
W. Mark Felt
Acting Associate Director
Original Letter 2.
705 PM 11-04-72
TO: WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM 0 10
ATT.: JOHN W. DEAN III
U. S. SECRET SERVICE (PID) 015
ATTORNEY GENERAL (BY MESSENGER)
DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL (BY MESSENGER)
FROM: ACTING DIRECTOR FBI
DEMONSTRATION, WASHINGTON D.C.
ON NOV. FOUR, SEVENTY TWO, SOURCE WHO HAS FURNISHED RELIABLE INFORMATION
IN THE PAST, ADVISED THAT AT APPROXIMATLY SIX THIRTY AM, TODAY,
HE RECEIVED A CALL FROM ANDY CALLONE (PHONETIC) END PAGE ONE
PAGE TWO CONFIDENTIAL
WHO ADVISED HE WAS IN BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, WASHINGTON D. C.
AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT PRESS
(AIMP). AIMP IS A LIBERAL POLITICAL SPLINTER GROUP OF DEMOCRATIC
PARTY. CALLONE HAD MET SOURCE DURING ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATION IN NEW
HAVEN APRIL, SEVENTYTWO AND GAVE CURRENT ADDRESS AS COLORADO SPRINGS,
COLORAD0 TELEPHONE NUMBER, THREE ZERO THREE -SIX EIGHT FIVE - ONE
ONE TWO NINE.
CALLONE STATED THAT INDIANS HAD BARRICADED THEMSELVES IN BUILDING
HOUSING BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS AND WERE PREPARING FOR A CONFRONTATIOI
WITH POLICE IF FORCEFULLY REMOVED. CALLONE'S PURPOSE IN CALLING
WAS TO HAVE SOURCE CONTACT MEMBERS OF VIET NAM VETERANS AGAINST
THE WAR (VVAW) AND MEMBERS OF ANTI WAR AND REVOLUTIONARY GROUPS
TO HAVE THEM CARAVAN TO WASHINGTON AND JOIN IN INDIAN PROTEST. ONCE
IN WASHINGTON ARRIVING GROUPS ARE TO CONTACT THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS
INSIDE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS WHO WILL LET THEM IN:
VERNON BELLECOURT, CLYDE BELLECOURT, SIDNEY MILLS, OR ANDY CALLONE.
CALLONE ADVISED THAT WASHINGTON D. C. VVAW IS NOT JOINING PROTEST
FOR FEAR OF REPERCUSSIONS. SOURCE ADVISED THAT CALLONE END PAGE
E.O. 12958, Sect. 3.6
By SRG NARA, Date 9/9/97
INTENDS TO CALL CONTACTS IN SURROUNDING STATES FOR SUPPORT.
SOURCE EXPECTS NO SUPPORT FROM STATE OF CONQECTICUT.
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT AND GENERAL SERVICES
FBI teletype three weeks after the shootout which indicates that
in the absense of any real knowledge of who may have killed the
the FBI was to develop information to lock Peltier into the case
DAILY SUMMARY TELETYPE
RE RAPID CITY DAILY SUMMARY TELETYPE TO BUREAU AND OTHER
OFFICES DATED JULY 16, 1975.
OSCAR BEAR RUNNER
BEAR RUNNER APPEARED AT THE FEDERAL BUILDING IN RAPID CITY ON JULY
16 1975, AND PUBLICLY TORE UP THE COPY OF THE SUBPEONA WHICH HAD
BEEN ISSUED FOR HIM. HE STATED THE SUBPOENA WAS NOT VALID AS IT
HAD BEEN SERVED ON HIS FATHER. HE WAS SERVED WITH ANOTHER SUBPOENA
BUT MADE THE STATEMENT THAT HE WOULD NOT HONOR IT AS HE HAD NOT
APPEARED AT THAT LOCATION VOLUNTARILY.
1) COMPLETELY IDENTIFING ALL OF THE SUSPECTS, ADDING NEW CASES
OR ELIMINATING THEM AS APPROPRIATE;
2) ESTABLISHING THE WHEREABOUTS OF THE SUSPECTS DURING THE PERTINENT
3) IDENTIFY AND LOCATE ALL OF THE RESIDENTS OF "TENT CITY"
WHO WERE THERE DURING ANY PERIOD OF IT'S EXSISTENCE AND/OR WHOSE
FINGER PRINTS HAVE BEEN FOUND ON MATERIAL TAKEN FROM "TENT
4) EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE AND CONNECTING IT TO THE SUSPECTS;
5) DEVELOP INFORMATION TO LOCK PELTIER AND BLACK HORSE INTO THIS
6) DEVELOP ADDITIONAL CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS AND SOURCES
7) COORDINATE WITH AUXILIARY OFFICES IN ORDER TO FULLY DEVELOP
BACKGROUND AND ACTIVITIES OF SUSPECTS WHO EITHER LIVE IN THEIR
AREA OR HAVE ASSOCIATES THERE;
8) ATTEMPTING TO DEVELOP WITNESSES AND SOURCES WHO CAN AND WILL
TESTIFY AS TO THE ACTUAL EVENTS OF THE AFTENOON OF JUNE 26, 1975.
AS THE BUREAU IS AWARE, THE GRAND JURY IS BEING USED IN AN EFFORT
TO FACILITATE THIS LATTER ASPECT WHERE WITTNESSES ARE RELUCTANT
TO FURNISH INFORMATION.
An FBI teletype three weeks after the shootout
which indicates that in the absence of any real knowledge of who
may have killed the two agents, the FBI was to "develop information
to lock Peltier into the case.
Summary FBI Teletype 7/16/75.
EXEMPTION EXPLANATIONS: REASONING FOR THE CENSORSHIP
TYPICAL FIELD REPORT ON AIM ACTIVITIES
BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION-PRIVACY ACTS SECTION
READING ROOM LIST
COMPILED AS OF 10/31/94
material is available for review in the freedom of Information-Privacy
Acts (FOIPA) Reading Room at FBI Headquarters. Appointments should
be made no later than 48 hours in advance by calling (202) 324-3477.
1. Adamic, Louis
- Pages Available 632
2. Addams, Jane
- Pages Available 188
3. Algren, Nelson
- Pages Available 687
a. Headquarters - Pages Available 325
b. Albany (Duplicates) - 0
c. Chicago - Pages Available 131
d. Indianapolis - Pages Available 178
e. New York - Pages Available 53
Ali, Noble Drew
SEE: Moorish Science Temple of America
- Pages Available 12,583
a. Headquarters Pages Available 7,175
b. New York - Pages Available 5,678
First Committee - Pages Available 2,939
Friends Service Committee - Pages Available (Main File) - 3,498
Indian Movement - Pages Available 17,722
POWs/MIAs in Southeast Asia - Pages Available 6,944
9. Ananda Marga
- Pages Available 1,510
Child Murders - Pages Available 2,825
11. Ball, Lucille
- Pages Available 46
Baker, Norma Jean
SEE: Marilyn Monroe
Arthur - Pages Available 252
Fred - Pages Available 16
WHITE HOUSE CENTRAL FILES
category contains materials pertaining to Indian affairs such as
land development and use; guidance and assistance in economic, and
social matters; educational and welfare services; resources management
in agriculture, forests, irrigation and trust property; law enforcement;
and relocation services. Primary correspondents are the President,
Vice President Spiro Agnew, Daniel Moynihan, Leonard Garment, Bradley
H. Patterson, Jr., Barbara Green Kilberg, John Ehlichman and Tod
Hullin. Related subjects may be found in the following categories:
FG 19-9 Bureau
of Indian Affairs
FG 39-6 Navajo-Hopi Indian Administration
FG 142 Indian Claims Commission
FG 173 National Council on Indian Opportunity
FG 279 Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
FG 999 Indian Trust Council Authority
file contains materials from Indian tribal officials and organizations
such as the National Congress of American Indians and the American
Indian Movement, congressmen, governors, charitable organizations,
educational institutions and the general public relating to Indian
affairs. Included are materials from the Vice President's Council
on Indian Opportunity, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office
of Economic Opportunity, and the Department of Health, Education,
and Welfare. Found in this category are materials concerning Indian
legislation, including the Taos Pueblo 'Blue Lake Bill (H.R. 471),
the restoration of Yakima Indian land (E.O. 11670), and the Indian
Education Act of 1971 (S. 659). There are also materials relating
to Indian demonstrations, including the occupations of Alcatraz
Island, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation
at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
file contains materials from school children, the general public,
Indians, Indian Tribal officials and organizations, congressmen,
governors, educational institutions and charitable organizations
concerning Indian affairs. There are many telegrams and group letters
relating to the impoundment of Indian Health Service funds by the
Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the occupations
of Alcatraz Island, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Wounded Knee,
South Dakota. The materials from Indian tribal officials, organizations
and individuals concerns Indian legislation, policy statements,
tribal politics, reservation administration and legal matters, including
previous treaties with the United States government and the tax
and draft status of Indians. Also found in this category are materials
relating to reports, meetings, studies and programs of government
agencies responsible for Indian affairs.
Copy Special Files Materials
REMOVED FROM THIS FILE FOLDER
has been removed. See document entry number I on Document Withdrawal
Record (GSA Form 7279) or NARS Withdrawal Sheet (GSA Form 7122),
located in the fron of this folder, for a description of the
item and an explanation for its removal.
and Content Note
Richard C. Tufaro
served as a staff assistant of the White House Domestic Council
from April 1972 to July 1973. During those fifteen months, he held
two principal and concurrent assignments to other organizations.
The initial detail was to the Interagency Classification Review
Committee (ICRC), in which he was concerned with the problems of
expediting the declassification of security classified documents;
and, in the second, the Cabinet Committee to Combat terrorism. Tufaro
performed his duties with the ICRC under the supervision of John
S. D. Eisenhower; and while engaged with CCCT activities, he represented
Kenneth R. Cole, Jr., Executive Director of the Domestic Council.
are arranged into two series: Subject Files and Chronological Files.
The first series is larger than the second, and covers the period
between July 1972 and June 1973. These subject files reflect in
some detail Tufaro's active participation in the working sessions
of the CCCT. The correspondence, memoranda, notes, telegrams, cables,
and reports, of the CCCT in Tufaro's files also indicate the White
House's deep concern and determined efforts to combat international
terrorism. Significant topics and 'subjects in the series consist
of highly classified and sensitive information contributed by the
members of the CCCT.
*The White House
Special Files Unit maintained files considered sensitive either
for reason of political content or security classification. This
scope and content note does not describe all the materials of Richard
. Tufaro. As other groups of his material are processed and described,
the resulting finding aids will be attached.
Copy Special Files Materials.
American Indian Movement's Council on Security
These links take you to scanned images of
declassified FBI, CIA, Justice Department and White House documents
obtained by AIM under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
Listing of original document images in directory:
Info on AIM from the FBI., 1970s
FBI DOCUMENTS-THUMBNAIL IMAGES.
on Security and Intelligence for more Information:
on Security and Intelligence.
4- -694a (Rev.
OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 552
authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be
kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy
and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive
solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency;
exempted from disclosure by statute (other than section 552b of
this title), provided that such statute
that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner
as to leave no discretion on the issue, or
(B) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers
to particular types of matters to be withheld;
secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a
person and privileged or confidential;
or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available
by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency;
and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would
constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(b)(7)records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes,
but only to the extent that the production of
such law enforcement records or information
(A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement
(B) would deprive a person of a night to a fair trial or an impartial
(C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted
invasion of personal privacy,
(D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a
confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency
or authority or any private institution which furnished information
on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information
compiled by a criminal law enforcement
authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an
agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation,
information furnished by a confidential source,
(E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement
investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for
law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure
could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law,-or
(F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life of physical
safety of any individual;
(b) (8) contained
in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared
by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the
regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or
(b) (9) geological
and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning
OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 552a
(d) (5) information
compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action proceeding;
(j) (2) material
reporting investigative efforts pertaining to the enforcement of
criminal law including efforts to prevent,
control, or reduce crime or apprehend criminals, except records
(k) (1) information
which is currently and properly classified pursuant to Executive
Order 12356 in the interest of the
national defense or foreign policy, for example, information involving
intelligence sources or methods;
(k) (2) investigatory
material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than criminal,
which did not result in loss of
a right, benefit or privilege under Federal programs, or which would
identify a source who furnished information
pursuant to a promise that his/her identity would be held in confidence;
(k) (3) material
maintained in connection with providing protective services to the
President of the United States
or any other individual pursuant to the authority of Title 18, United
States Code, Section 3056;
(k) (4) required
by statute to be maintained and used solely as statistical records;
(k) (5) investigatory
material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability
eligibility, or qualifications
for Federal civilian employment or for access to classified information,
the disclosure of which would reveal the
identity of the person who furnished information pursuant to a promise
that his identity would be held in confidence;
(k) (6) testing
or examination material used to determine individual qualifications
for appointment or promotion in
Federal Government service the release of which would compromise
the testing or examination process;
(k) (7) material
used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services,
the disclosure of which would reveal the
identity of the person who furnished the material pursuant to a
promise that his identity would be held in confidence.
FILES, CONFIDENTIAL FILES 1969-74.
House Container Files (Indian Affairs).
Withdrawal Record (Nixon Project).
Withdrawal Record (Nixon Project 2).
Withdrawal Record (Nixon Project 3).
American Indian Movement
1-Mr. E.S Miller
To: Mr. E.S.
contained herein is unclassified
of this memorandum is to secure for the sending of the attached
airtel to all offices the implementation
of an intensified effort to identify violence-prone individuals
or organizations within the American Indian movement
who may be planning future violent demonstrations or criminal activities.
dated November 21, 1972, Mr.Ralph E. Erickson, Deputy Attorney General,
to recent occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in
Washington, D. C. which resulted in
substantial destruction of the interior of the building and the
theft of government property and documents.
He indicated that the constitutional rights to assemble and protest
peacefully are recognized however, the
recent activities in Washington, D. C. have gone far beyond constitutionally
protected activities. It is of
particular concern to the Department that similar circumstances
may arise in the future without
sufficient advance information regarding the leadership, numbers
to be involved and plans -- whether
violent or nonviolent. In order to lessen the possibility of a recurrence
of such activities Mr. Erickson
requested that the Bureau intensify its efforts to identify violent-prone
individuals or organizations
within the American Indian movement who may be planning future violent
demonstrations or criminal activities.
In order to
be in a position to keep the Attorney General and Mr. Erickson advised
on a current basis in
accordance with the request, the attached airtel is being directed
to all offices for the purpose of
implementing an informant development program within the American
Indian Movement so that we will be
able to furnish the requested information on a current basis.
memorandum has been acknowledged by separate communication.
the attached airtel be approved and sent.
DEC 11, 1972
ENCLOSURE DEC 15,1972
MEMORANDUM ON EXTREMIST MATTERS.
MEMORANDUM TO E.S. MILLER.
MEMORANDUM FROM W.M. FELT TO DIRECTOR, FBI.
MEMORANDUM FROM W.M. FELT TO DIRECTOR, FBI Pg2.
To: SAC, Albany
From: For the
Acting Director, FBI
W. Mark Felt
As a result
of the recent occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building
in Washington, D.C. the Deputy Attorney
General by letter dated November 21, 1972, requested the Bureau
intensify its efforts in identifying violence-prone
individuals or organizations within the American Indian Movement
who may be planning future violent demonstrations
or criminal activities.
each SAC should have a survey conducted and following data should
be furnished to Headquarters:
number of Indians residing within the division;
of reservations including the number of Indians residing thereon;
of the tribes within the division
2- All Field
CONTAINED HEREIN IS UNCLASSIFIED, DATE, 12/29/83
MEMORANDUM FROM W.M. FELT TO SAC, Albany Pg1.
to Albany Page 2
of any known extremist organizations or extremist individuals active
the Indian community including the Bureau file number, if any.
In order to
obtain the desired information, each division having American Indians
therein should institute a program to develop informants and sources
able 'to furnish
information concerning extremists or extremist organizations operating
within the American
Indian Movement as well as advance information concerning any future
demonstrations or other
activity on the part of American Indians which could result in violence
or criminal activities.
should submit to Headquarters the identities of any current sources
which can be utilized in this program as well as specific details
of its plan to implement this
informant development program.
Intelligence Section of the Domestic Intelligence Division has assumed
of the intelligence gathering aspect of this matter. Therefore,
investigations instituted with the
aim of developing informants in this field are to be handled under
the 170 classification and in
accordance with instructions set forth in Section 130 of the Manual
of Instructions. Investigations
instituted on individual extremists or extremist organizations are
to be handled under the 157
classification and in accordance with instructions set forth in
Section 122 of the Manual of Instruction.
in conjunction with the intelligence gathering aspect of the American
must be most discreet. Nevertheless, it is imperative and essential
the Bureau earn of any indications of
advance planning or organized efforts to create disturbances and
civil unrest by extremist organizations or
individuals within the American Indian Movement.
MEMORANDUM FROM W.M. FELT TO SAC, Albany Pg2.
American Indian Movement
In this regard
it is pointed out that recent press releases have indicated that
only approximately one half
of the American Indians living in this country reside on reservations.
It is also alleged that the more will
want Indians giving leadership to the current extremist activities
within the American Indian Movement reside
in the urban areas of the country and not on reservations. Therefore,
your efforts must be directed toward
developing information of extremist nature on Indian reservations
but must, also be directed toward developing
information regarding those Indians living in the urban areas that
are promoting extremist activities within
the American Indian Movement.
is also directed to teletype dated November 24, 1972, from "for
acting Director, FBI, W.Mark Felt,
Acting Associate Director," to all SAC's except Anchorage,
Honolulu, and San Juan captioned "WASHAIRP." You
should coordinate your efforts with the investigations being conducted
in accordance with the above-referred-to
teletype with particular emphasis upon developing sources and informants
within the American Indian Movement that
may become evident as a result of the investigation currently being
conducted in the WASHAIRP case.
Results of this
survey as well as your plans for the informant program are to be
furnished to the Bureau no later
that 12/15/1972. In the future when submitting your Monthly Status
Report Extremist Informants- Extremist other
groups (White Black), you should list under the miscellaneous section
progress being made in developing informants
in the American Indian Movement. The FD-405a should list the identities
of individuals who may have participated
in or are active in planing acts of extremist violence.
The Deputy Attorney
General has requested that we keep him and the Attorney General
advised on a current basis of
our results achieved in this regard.
(Why do we have
to say this? Will SAC of the FBI not carry out an order from the
MEMORANDUM FROM W.M. FELT TO SAC, Albany Pg3.
American Indian Movement
following (type in plain text or code)
From: SAC, CHICAGO
INDIAN MOVEMENT (AIM)
Re CG teletype, 3/12/75
advised Channel 11, WTTW-TV, Chicago's Public Broadcasting Station
Program televised at 7:00 p.m., 3/12/75, a discussion of matters
relating to allegation
DOUGLAS DURHAM, Chief Security officer for AIM was a paid FBI informer.
are two copies of verbatim transcription, consisting of eight pages,
Bureau and Recipient offices, of TV news broadcast.
furnished to OM and MI in view of material set forth pertaining
to their Division.
HEREIN IS UNCLASSIFIED
Special Agent in Charge
MEMORANDUM FROM SAC, Chicago to FBI Director Pg 1.
one-half mile south of a building occupied by Wounded Knee Legal
Committee workers, as they approached BLACKED OUT residence they
noted several new gates in the pasture
leading to the home. A bunker with an American flag flying upside
down was noted on the hill behind the
home and at the gate.
One of the bunkers was made of Shell gas tanks and tires which were
filled with sand and boards.
He heard rifle
fire which he considered to be target practice coming from the direction
of BLACKED OUT residence
during the past week.
continuing to locate fugitive PELTIER and other fugitives who are
believed located in the area of
Special Agents working Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are fully aware
of the potentials for danger which they may
face in connection with their investigations and as in connection
with the foregoing , strict precautions are taken.
MEMORANDUM FROM SAC, Chicago to FBI Director Pg 2.
WITW broadcast of Durham's confession
Memo: re: Concern
over other informants from Minneapolis.
other informants out of AIM until trials are finished.
by FBI director not to pull informants, based on determination that
Durham and two other informants did
not invade the defense establishment.
Information on whereabouts of fugitive Peltier
Center, a television news show on Chicago's WTTW-TV (Channel 11)
on their 7:00 p.m. news show,
March 12, 1975, presented the following information relating to
the American Indian Movement (AIM).
JOHN CALLAWAY, WTTW-TV News Editor and News Show Moderator, commenced
news program, Introducing Joel Wiesman, WTTW-TV Political Editor.
on news program as indicated below are SCOTT SIMON, WTTW-TV news
reporter and Sanford
Unger, Washington Editor of the "Atlantic Monthly".
Set forth is
a verbatim transcription of WTTW-TV news show relating to AIM.
following (type in plain text or code)
Via Airtel Airmail
FBI (ATTENTION: INTELLIGENCE DIVISION)
From: SAC, MINNEAPOLIS
INDIAN MOVEMENT (AIM)
This is to advise
FBIHQ that in our view the operation of informants in the American
Indian Movement at this time has
more disadvantage than advantages and, therefore, for the time being
this practice should be discontinued.
Ever since the
disclosure of DOUGLAS DURHAM as an FBI source, we have been deluged
with motions, hearings, etc., and,
most particularly, with unfavorable comments by the media concerning
the issue of an FBI informant penetrating the
defense establishment. Regardless of what we in the FBI may think,
we must take cognizance of the generally unfavorable
reaction that this disclosure has precipitated.
At the present
time, in the area covered by the Minneapolis Division, many AIM
leaders are under indictment for Federal
and/ or State offenses. Some of the individuals involved include
DENNIS BANKS, RUSSELL MEANS, VERNON BELLECOURT,
CLYDE BELLECOURT, CARTER CAMP, STANLEY HOLDER, AND LEONARD CROW
DOG. All of these individuals will be in
court sometime during 1975 to face an assortment of charges, some
of which stem from Wounded Knee and some pertain
to other situations. At the present time, a trial is underway in
state court involving AIM personnel causing damage at the
Minnehaha Courthouse in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Trials will be
held in state court in Custer, South Dakota, in the
near future for the Custer riots that occurred in early February,
1973. We will have further non-leadership Wounded
Knee trials in Sioux City, Iowa, including the very important case
of the individuals charged with shooting an FBI Agent
during the Wounded Knee Occupation. It is expected that soon a new
trial date will be set in Federal Court for the
Wounded Knee Leadership Cases.
All of the above
criminal charges will be unnecessarily placed in jeopardy by operating
FBI informants or sources until
all of these trials are complete. It is simply not enough for us
to say that we have no way of assuring that the informant
will not in fact, be privy to defense strategy in these cases. Of
particular significance is the fact that a low echelon
informant can seldom furnish meaningful information. The higher
the informant is in an organization such as AIM, the
more vulnerable we are to having a case dismissed and severe criticism
directed at us because of the operation of an
informant who may have been privy to defense strategy.
of this issue is the fact that the violent activities of the AIM
movement appears to be spontaneous; and,
thus far at least, FBI informants have been unable to advise us
in advance of these situations; thus we can say that
operating these informants has not so far at least prevented any
of their violent activities.
I am instructing
in this office that all AIM informants be immediately closed, and
that we have no further contact with
them until after the trials are completed. Furthermore, we do not
want informants coming into this territory from other
At the completion
of the trials mentioned above, we will reassess our position in
this matter and submit an appropriate
recommendation to FBIHQ.
HEREIN IS UNCLASSIFIED
(Special Agent in Charge)
REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES-THE AMERICAN INDIAN
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE
INTERNAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERNAL SECURITY LAWS OF THE COMMITTEE
ON THE JUDICIARY UNITED STATES SENATE
ON THE JUDICIARY
James O. Eastland, Mississippi, Chairman
John H. McClellan, Arkansas
Roman L. Hruska, Nebraska
Philip A. Hart, Michigan
Hiram L. Fong, Hawaii
Edward M. Kennedy, Massachussetts
Hugh Scott, Pennsylvania
Burch Bayu, Indiana
Strom Thurmond, South Carolina
Quentin N. Burdick, North Dakota
Charles McMathias, Jr., Maryland
Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia
William L. Scott, Virginia
John V. Tunney, California
James Abourezk, South Dakota
Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security
Act and Other Internal Security Laws
James O. Eastland, Mississippi, Chairman
John L. McClellan,
Birch Bayh, Indiana
Strom Thurmond, South Carolina
William L. Scott
Richard L. Schultz,
Alfonso L. Tarabochia, Chief Investigator
Robert J. Short, Senior Investigator
Mary E. Dooley, Research Director
David Martin, Senior Analyst
by the Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on
the Judiciary, That the testimony of
Douglas Frank Durham, taken in executive session on April 6, 1976,
be printed and made public.
James C. Eastland, Chairman
Approved, August 9, 1976
met, pursuant to notice at 10:10 a.m. in the Russell Senate Office
James O. Eastland, chairman presiding.
Richard L. Schultz, chief counsel; Robert J. Short, senior investigator;
The subcommittee will come to order.
We are here
today to receive testimony concerning the American Indian Movement.
There is no question in the
minds of the great majority of Americans that our Indian citizens
have many legitimate grievances and that there
is much that must be done to eliminate the inequities and improve
the quality of their lives. Many people an
organizations are working to bring about the needed reforms, including
the various tribal councils, the American
Indian Association, church groups which have a strong interest in
the problem, and dedicated members of the Bureau
of Indian Affairs who realize that our treatment of our Indian minority
over the years leaves much to be desired.
Several years ago there appeared on the scene a new organization,
the American Indian Movement, which claimed to
speak for the majority of the American Indians. It attracted a lot
of public attention, primarily as a result of
its violent occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Building
in Washington in the month of November 1972 and
its occupation of the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota for a period
of 11 weeks beginning in February of 1973.
In the case of the occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the
American Indian Movement militants did $2 million
dollars worth of damage and made off with entire file cabinets of
records-despite the fact that they had been given
assurance that there would be no prosecution and the participants
would be given return fare to their reservations
or home addresses. The occupation of Wounded Knee, similarly, resulted
in major damage to buildings in the town as
well as the death of two Indians and the wounding of three Federal
As a result
of the extensive publicity the American Indian Movement received
from these episodes, the public
impression was that the American Indian Movement spoke for the masses
of the Indian people. This, of course, is
simply not true. The elected tribal councils speak for the masses
of the Indian people - and the record is clear
that the elected tribal councils look upon the American Indian Movement
as a radical and subversive organization.
of today's hearing is to try to establish whether there is, in fact,
reason for believing that the
American Indian Movement is a radical subversive organization rather
than an organization committed to improving
the lot of the American Indians. One of the questions that has to
be answered is whether there are any demonstrable
ties between the American Indian Movement and the various Communist
movements that exist in our country.
presented to the Subcommittee, which was supported by extensive
documentation, established the following basic facts about the movement:
TRUE DIMENSIONS OF AIM:
The American Indian Movement does not speak for the Americans Indians.
It is a minority which, at the most, number several thousand followers.
It is noteworthy that its most spectacular and most publicized activities
have never involved more than several hundred people.
IS A REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION:
It is a frankly revolutionary organization which is committed to
violence, calls for the arming American Indians, has cached explosives
and illegally purchased arms, plans kidnappings, and whose opponents
have been eliminated in the manner of the Mafia. Some of AIM's leaders
and associated have visited Castro Cuba and/or openly consider themselves
It has many foreign ties, direct and indirect - with Castro Cuba,
with China, with the IRA, with the Palestine Liberation Organization,
and with support organizations in various European countries.
In the United States, it has maintained contact with and has received
propaganda and other support from a large number of left extremist
organizations, including the Weather Underground, the Communist
Party, the Trotskyists, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Black
Panther Party, Youth Against War and Fascism, the Indo-China Solidarity
Committee, the Prisoners Solidarity Committee, etc.
AND THE MEDIA:
AIM's commitment to spectacular actions has resulted in massive
media coverage. This coverage, while not always uncritical, has
generally been sympathetic - perhaps because of the widespread tendency
to convert sympathy for the plight of Indian people into sympathy
for AIM, without asking certain essential questions. The sheer mass
of the media coverage, moreover, has served to foster a widespread
impression in government circles as well as among the general public
- that AIM speaks for the great mass of the Indian people.
Regrettably, with rare exceptions, the media have not sought to
moderate this impression by seeking out the views of the tribal
leaders and the other legitimate leaders of the American Indian
FROM FEDERAL, CHURCH AND OTHER SOURCES:
Taking advantage of the massive public relations build-up they have
received from the media, the American Indian Movement has been able
to obtain many hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of support
from various offices of the Federal government and from a variety
of religious organizations, Catholic and Protestant. Threats and
the physical occupation of buildings have also been used as instruments
of persuasion in promoting Federal and religious funding. AIM has
also received substantial sums of money from business, from labor
groups, and from private individuals.
The bulk of the money given to AIM by the United States government
and by the churches has been used to radicalize the Indians, to
stage confrontations like the occupation of Wounded Knee and the
occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.,
and to take care of the personal financial needs of the AIM leaders.
Contrary to the representations of AIM in soliciting these funds,
they have not been used, except to a very minor extent, to improve
the lot of the American Indians.
In a postscript to his testimony, the witness informed the Subcommittee
that, to his knowledge AIM has never published a financial statement.
UNDERCUTTING OF LEGALLY CONSTITUTED INDIAN AUTHORITY:
The supine attitude of government officials in
dealing with manifestations like the occupation of the Bureau of
Indian Affairs, the many hundreds of thousands
of dollars they have lavished on AIM for social programs that were
never implemented, and the deferential - indeed,
almost obsequious - manner in which they have conducted their negotiations
with representatives of AIM, have not
only strengthened AIM enormously, but have also served to undercut
the prestige and authority of the tribal
chairmen and of the National Tribal Chairman's Association. This
was thesubject of a bitter complaint to
Secretary of the Interior, Roger Morton, from the National Tribal
Chairmen's Association on November 12, 1973.
CASE OF JUDGE NICHOL:
Important testimony was given concerning the prejudicial attitude
of Federal Judge
Fred Nichol, who on September 19, 1974, dismissed the charges against
American Indian Movement leaders Dennis
Banks and Russell Means. In March 1975, the U.S. Attorney's office
in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, had filed a
strongly worded motion of prejudice against Judge Nichol, asking
that he disqualify himself from the remaining
Wounded Knee leadership trials. In the supporting affidavit, the
U.S. attorney claimed that Judge Nichol often
expressed respect for the people who were involved in the Wounded
Knee takeover, and that during the trial he
had attended a luncheon addressed by defense counsel William Kuntsler
and had led a standing ovation for Kunstler
at the conclusion of his speech. The witness testified that in October
1973, Judge Nichol had driven Dennis Banks
and his attorney to his residence, where Judge Nichol and Mrs. Nichol
entertained the guests with coffee and
cookies, and Mrs. Nichol was made any honorary member of the American
at this hearing, Mr. Douglas Durham, infiltrated the American Indian
Movement under the instructions
of the FBI, won the confidence of Dennis Banks and Russell Means
and the other leaders of the movement, and occupied
a series of high level positions in the organization. When Dennis
Banks, after being indicted in connection with his
role in the Wounded Knee events, went into hiding in Canada, Mr.
Durham was instructed to come to yellow Knife in
the Canadian Northwest Territories, "to get get a small plane
and bring a lot of guns ammunition, and money." An
experienced pilot, Durham flew Banks all over the United States
in rented plans - that were never paid for,
according to the knowledge of the witness.
relationship with the American Indian Movement, Mr. Durham - a non-Indian
who looks remarkably
like an Indian - said the following:
in the American Indian Movement began in March 1973, after visiting
Wounded Knee for 1 day as a
photographer for a newspaper, 'Pax Today.' The trip to Wounded Knee
was made with the knowledge and assistance
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, Larry Bastocky, asked
me to become familiar with the Des Moines,
Iowa chapter; assistant director of the Des Moines, Iowa, chapter
of the American Indian Movement, and, if possible,
joint it. I was a member of the American Indian Movement for approximately
2 years and achieved the titles of public
relations director of the Des Moines, Iowa chapter; assistant director
of the Des Moines chapter; National AIM pilot;
national security director; administrator of U.S. national offices
of the American Indian Movement; personal bodyguard
to Dennis Banks; international charge d'affaires. During my 2 year
tenure with the American Indian Movement, I collected
considerable information regarding its revolutionary activities,
its financing, its association with other groups, its
plans for the bicentennial, the operational goals of National AIM
and the personalities and methods of operation of the
national leaders of AIM. I organized and established the national
office in St. Paul, Minnesota and traveled around the
United States with national leaders of the American Indian Movement
as a national figure."
Mr. Durham testified
that, as a paid operative of the FBI, he received approximately
$20,000 over a two-year period,
from March 1973 to March 1975 in expense money. The FBI had publicly
acknowledged that Durham was a paid operative - and
they have also stated that threats against Durham's life were made
in the summer of 1975, based on his involvement with
the American Indian Movement. Mr. Durham has since testified publicly
on behalf of the Department of Justice, in a trial
involving the leaders of AIM.
Mr. Durham was
repeatedly and rigorously instructed by the FBI during the period
of his association with AIM to avoid
putting himself in the posture of transmitting an confidential information
relating to the legal defense of the AIM
THE ORIGINS OF AIM
Indian Movement was launched in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1968
by Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks, and
George Mitchell, all Chippewa Indians from Minnesota. The witness
confirmed AIM's claim that a catalyst to its
formation was the inordinate number of Indian Americans in jail
in the Minneapolis area - a number completely out
of proportion to the number of Indian residing in the area. Initially,
according to the witness, AIM concerned
themselves primarily with the problem of getting Indians out of
jail. As Mr. Durham put the matter: "They established
an AIM patrol that attempted to reach the scenes of disturbances
in Indian areas prior to the police, or at least at
the same time the police arrived, to act as a mediator in negotiating
the release on the scene of Indians being arrested
by the Minneapolis police."
Mr. Durham, AIM "was involved in taking over the operation
of the CCC program, funded by the OEO, in
Minneapolis, Minnesota. The assistance of the Attorney Douglas Hall
and the Reverend Dr. Paul Boe was used to gain the
support within the CCC program (CCC stands for Citizens Community
Center, a Minneapolis anti-poverty program set up in
1967) to operate the American Indian Movement..."
A fact sheet
distributed by AIM in early 1974 claimed that AIM had played a role
in more than 150 demonstrations prior
to November 1972. The first demonstration referred to was a "nationwide
protest in 7 major cities in early 1970 against
BIA treatment of urban Indian people who leave the reservations
under the Relocation Program, secured menial jobs
in the city, and then abandoned them." The final paragraph
in this leaflet describes AIM's relationship with other
Indian groups and with the radical left. The paragraph reads:
to represent ALL Indians as a fact of Indian life in a free world."
regarded as a radical leftist movement; however, AIM's goals are
to represent itself as a peaceful movement trying
to get these things which have been promised to them. Historically
it has been proven that the American Indian has been
treated inhumanely and now, because of AIM's thrust for equality,
the Indian is fighting for honor, ignored until Wounded
Knee. AIM is now looked to for direction by Left and Third World
groups. In the words of Russell Means, 'AIM represents
the only true revolutionary group, a sovereign people with a land
base backed by treaties with the federal government.
The Indian people have 24,000-40,000 years experience on the Western
Hemisphere. We should be able to tell people
with 250 years experience...'"
As Mr. Durham
pointed out, the short range objectives publicized by AIM sound
high-minded and reasonable. They
call for a program to better the Indian housing situation; another
program directed toward the Indian youth; a
third program to encourage the employment of Indian Americans; a
fourth program to educate industry in the area
of Indian culture and its effect on the Indians; a fifth program
to improve the communcations between the Indian
people and the community; and finally, a program to educate the
Indian citizen in his responsibility to the community.
When he was
asked whether in his association with AIM he had seen any of these
objective achieved, Mr Durham replied:
I can recall...I saw quite the contrary. I saw the Indian housing
program which was number one, stopped on the
Wounded Knee Reservation when AIM took over Wounded Knee. The Indian
youth program could be interpreted two ways. However,
the Indian youth gathered together in a militant manner and talked
about passing out rifles and revolution. The positive
program for employment of Indian Americans is a definite farce.
I heard Dennis Banks say that if you were striving for
employment, you had no business being in AIM."
programmatic document distributed within AIM spoke more ambitiously
about freeing "Indian people
throughout the Americas from white man's oppression and racism,
so as to create free Indian states that reflect
self-determination of free peoples..." The document called
of the BIA;
(b) establishment of the free Indian congress;
(c) re-establishment of reservation sovereignty and self-determination;
(d) establish and conduct negotiations with all nations of world
for free trade and economic relations;
(e) establish of trade tariffs and interface with surrounding countries
in the world."
AIM program also placed its major emphasis on the education of the
very young and the establishment of
AIM control over Indian schools. The program said under this heading:
objective of the movement is to regain the young. Once the BIA is
eliminated and individual tribal states are
created, schools will not be a major problem. However, until such
time as this goal is realized, AIM must plan, support
and execute the following school activities:
and release to local AIM chapters a 'how-to-manual' for founding
(2) Since most behavior characteristics are learned from the first
5 years, AIM should begin with pre-school elementary
(f) AIM national
center to provide basic teaching aids such as reading, cultural
materials and lore."
TURN TOWARD MAJOR VIOLENCE
Asked about the series of violent actions in which AIM has been
involved over the past four years, Mr. Durham replied:
the leadership condones this type of action. During Wounded Knee,
as an example of their violence, they
hung a man from a cross to celebrate Easter Sunday."
been involved in the destruction of Custer, South Dakota, where
the courthouse was fire-bombed and the
chamber of commerce was burned to the ground."
Bureau of Indian Affairs, it was an extremely violent situation
with clubs and threats."
Ontario, Canada, there was shooting and threats of extreme violence."
in Des Moines, Iowa, they attempted and planned the kidnapping of
Iowa Governor Robert Ray, which has to be
a little violent."
was a murder in Los Angeles, California, in the fall of 1974 where
a man was dragged from a cab in an AIM
guerrilla camp in Box Canyon, scalped, dismembered, and stuffed
down a drain pipe; and the reaction of AIM was,
'They should have shoved grass down the throat of that body.' There
were very grisly and mean events that transpired
since then; the assassination, or execution of the two FBI agents.
Of those four indicted (in connection with the
shooting of the FBI agents) I personally knew three to be members
of the American Indian Movement."
In his testimony
Mr.Durham elaborated on the violent actions and occupations in which
the American Indian
Movement has been involved.
SEIZURE OF THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
Mr. Durham said
that "a plethora of funds was established for the 'Trail of
Broken Treaties' caravans to Washington,
which culminated in the seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
in November of 1972. Despite the almost unbelievable
destruction they wrought within the building, (the total cost to
the government of this incident, including both the
destruction and the cost of special police personnel and law enforcement
officers, was estimated at two million dollars),
Mr. Durham said "the White House gave the occupants a letter
recommending no prosecution for the actions and
$66,000 in cash - approximately six times the bus fare home."
The Chairman, in his opening remarks, made
reference to "entire file cabinets of records" which AIM
removed from the Bureau of Indian Affairs - "despite
the fact that they had been given assurance that there would be
no prosecution." File cabinets are highly visible
items. They could not have been removed from the building without
having been spotted by one or more of the numerous
law enforcement officers concentrated in the area. The question
therefore arises whether someone in authority had
given the instruction that there was to be no police interference
with members of AIM leaving the building, no
matter what they carried with them. This is a mystery that can and
should be cleaned up.
CUSTER, SOUTH DAKOTA
A whole series
of violent actions followed in the wake of the supine capitulation
to AIM in its seizure of the Bureau
of Indian Affairs.
The first of
these actions was the AIM-organized rioting in Custer, South Dakota,
on February 6, 1973. Describing this
event and some of the things that happened inconsequence of it,
Mr. Durham said:
of Commerce building was burned to the ground; the court house was
firebombed and numbers of people
injured in the riot, including police officers."
latter part of August 1973, Banks was indicted by the Custer County
grand jury for his involvement in the riot
of February 6. (Banks was already a fugitive in connection with
his Wounded Knee indictment). He and Ron Petite; Ron's
wife, Cheryl; Dennis' wife, Kamook; Dennis' son by a previous wife,
D.J. Junior; Ron Petite's infant child; Ray Slick;
and Linda Thomas drove to Yellowknife in Northwest Territory in
Canada. I was contacted by both Ron Petite and Dennis
Banks, asking me to fly up north, provide them with money and a
means of communication between their planned hideout
and the officers and attorneys of the American Indian Movement.
I was given written communiques by Banks ordering me
to establish an underground railroad, ordering George Roberts in
Los Angeles, California, to issue the press
communiques over his signature, and other orders. I assisted in
flying Dennis Banks to a remote island where he remained
approximately 1 month. I was told to return to the United States
and help in gathering his bond, which I did with the
assistance of Reverend John P. Adams, an important figure in the
operation of AIM. In the early part of October 1973,
I was called upon to return Dennis Banks to the United States, after
having raised his bond. This was accomplished with
a rented plane for which AIM later refused to pay the rental due.
was convicted in the summer of 1975 and failed to appear for sentencing
August 5, 1975, becoming a
fugitive from justice. During the time he was a fugitive, he was
indicted by a Federal grand jury for a shootout
allegedly occurring in Ontario, Oregon, where he and Leonard Peltier,
another fugitive, was allegedly stopped.
Banks was arrested January 24, 1976, in San Francisco and is there
now fighting extradition. He was released on
$100,000 bond. The judge allowed 2 percent cash bond to be posted
by actor Marlon Brando."
Hard on the
heels of the incident at Custer, South Dakota, there took place
what was probably AIM'S most publicized
action, the occupation of the village of Wounded Knee.
Mr. Durham was
ale to gain access to Wounded Knee as a photographer and correspondent
for a small newspaper, 'Pax
Today.' After spending approximately five hours in Wounded Knee
taking photographs, Durham returned to Des Moines,
Iowa, submitted the pictures and the report to the FBI. The FBI
then asked him to join the local Des Moines chapter
of the American Indian Movement. This he did. Durham pointed out
there was, at that time, considerable concern in
the FBI regarding potential violent activities in which the Des
Moines chapter of AIM might become engaged. Statements
had reportedly been made regarding bombings, running guns, and other
supplies into Wounded Knee by the Des Moines
chapter chairman, Harvey Major.
of the highlights of the Wounded Knee occupation, Durham testified:
of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and
the Nation's second largest
reservation was occupied on February 27, 1973, by members of the
American Indian Movement - approximately
258 in total. Of the 258 AIM members and sympathizers occupying
Wounded Knee, approximately half had been
employees of social welfare programs financed primarily by government
grants. Present during the Wounded Knee
occupation were: Dr. Paul Boe and Reverend, John Adams, as well
as members of the foreign press, including
Moscow. On Easter Sunday, during the occupation of Wounded Knee,
AIM members hung a man from the cross in
full view of marshals and some members of the press. For approximately
6 hours the body was pummeled by
some of the occupants. During this time, churches had been defiled
and the Reverend Ray McHue had been
beaten and his ribs broken. The Reverend Lansbury and his wife spent
the night in trenches outside of
Wounded Knee with shots being fired over their heads. The Wounded
Knee occupation lasted 71 days, after
which Dennis Banks became a fugitive and did not appear publicly
until his $105,000 bond was obtained;
$85,000 of this bond came from the Iowa Methodist Conference. As
a member of the American Indian Movement,
I was present and somewhat involved in obtaining this bond money."
that of the 258 AIM member and sympathizers participating in the
occupation, approximately 75% were
Indian and probably 25% non-Indian. He identified Vietnam Veterans
Against the War as one of the non-Indian groups
participating in the occupation. One of the reasons given by the
AIM occupiers for seizing the reservation, said
Durham, was they wanted to topple the elected government of tribal
chairman, Richard Wilson. They were prepared
to use force to do so. They were will-armed, with M-16's and AK-47's.
"They had erected bunkers and were building
Molotov cocktails, and dynamite bombs," said Durham. "They
had also constructed what appeared to be a large
anti-aircraft weapon that was really fake...even a child as young
as, I was told, 12 years old, was running around
with a rifle taunting members of the press and attempting to intimidate
the leaders of the Wounded Knee action as "Carter Augustus
Camp, a Pawnee Indian from Oklahoma;
Russell Charles Means, a part Sioux Indian from the Pine Ridge Reservation;
Dennis James Banks, a Chippewa Indian from
'Leech Lake', Minnesota; Clyde Bellecourt, a Chippewa Indian from
the White Earth Reservation; Pedro Bissonette, a
Sioux Indian from the Pine Ridge Reservation."
As Mr. Durham
pointed out, AIM admitted only a limited number of correspondents
to Wounded Knee, and he himself
had to pull a few strings in order to get himself admitted as a
photographer. One of the correspondents accepted
by the AIM directorate at Wounded Knee was Iona Andronov, of the
'New Times' in Moscow. Andronov wrote several
articles for 'New Times', (One of which is reprinted in the appendix
to the record), making it clear that the
Soviet Union sided with the occupiers of Wounded Knee against the
United States government. Subsequently, Mr.
Andronov sent a handwritten letter to the American Indian Movement
(also reproduced in the appendix). The letter
began with the words: "Dear friends, I hope to see you again
and write a few articles for the Soviet press about
your struggle." It concluded, "I believe in your success
and victory. With best wishes, Iona Andronov."
Far more disturbing
than the Soviet propaganda exploitation of the Wounded Knee incident
- which was certainly
something to be expected - is the fact that AIM's occupation of
Wounded Knee was, for all practical purposes,
financed by a series of grants of federal money. This was the subject
of a carefully researched article in the
'Detroit News' of March 25, 1973, which is worth quoting in full:
Revolt Financed by Government Grant"
(By John E. Peterson)
Minneapolis - The Indian occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D., has been
financed almost exclusively by federal money.
who took over the small reservation town have depicted themselves
as an oppressed minority group seeking
to focus national attention on a long list of grievances."
of fact, however, their actions appear to be the latest act in a
play staged by a handful of militants and
paid for by public money."
by the Detroit News shows:
More than half of the 258 American Indian Movement members and sympathizers
at Wounded Knee have been
employees of social welfare agencies financed primarily by federal
AIM, far from
being repressed by the Government, has been granted directly and
indirectly more than $400,000
in federal funds since its founding in 1968. The bulk of that money,
federal investigators say, has been used
in efforts to radicalize the American Indian, not improve his lot.
AIM leaders, federal investigations reveal,
spent huge amounts of federal funds to stage the takeover of the
Bureau of Indian Affairs last fall and the
current confrontation at Wounded Knee.
of AIM have histories of convictions for such crimes as burglary,
strong-arm robberies and assaults.
Fewer than 20
of the Indian who took over Wounded Knee are Oglala Sioux, the tribe
on whose reservation the
confrontation took place. An the tribal council - by 14-2 votes
- repeatedly has asked the Federal Government to evict
the AIM group.
'When AIM took over Wounded Knee, the Justice Department was all
set to move in and make arrests, a highly placed
federal official said. But then AIM leaders threatened to call a
press conference and disclosed exactly how much
financing they've had from the Government in recent months. That's
when the Justice Department backed off and tried
to play for standoff, hoping AIM would tire and leave voluntarily.
is that AIM leaders have just dusted off and updated the old militant
tactic of intimidating
government officials until they come through with grants. So far,
it's worked like a charm.'
21, Government files show, AIM received a $113,000 grant from the
Office of Economic Opportunity. Of that
amount, $60,000 was for 'survival' schools in Minneapolis, St. Paul,
and Milwaukee to 'instill American Indian culture'
in Indian children of grade school age. The other $53,000 was for
an Indian community center in Milwaukee.
Early last fall,
OEO investigators were sent to investigate numerous complaints from
local education officials in all
"What was found was 'an almost total absence of any academic
standards,' and 'a sustained effort to brainwash the
students into hating all non-Indian Americans, black as well as
white,' investigators said.
the report noted, refused to provide any audit information on how
the $113,000 has been spent.
also received $66,000 in 'transportation money from the OEO as an
inducement to leave the Bureau of Indian
Affairs which their followers systematically pillaged during a six-day
takeover last fall in Washington.
'That was about
six times the amount required to buy them all bus tickets back home,'
said an OEO official, who said
he disagreed with the decision. 'They were just handed the money
in cash and no accounting was required.'
An OEO grant
for an additional $67,000 - approved before the BIA takeover - was
ordered frozen in a Minneapolis bank
before AIM leaders arrived back from Washington.
"AIM leaders Clyde Bellecourt and Dennis J. Banks, both Chippewas,
used the announcement of that grant's approval to
persuade the Upper Midwest American Indian Center (UMAIC) in Minneapolis
to lend them nearly $30,000.
'We lent them
the money only because they offered the $67,000 grant as collateral,
and we assumed they had it in
their pockets,' said Mrs. Emily Peake, UMAIC'S director, a Chippewa
and an spokeswoman for most the 22,000 American
Indians living in the Twin Cities area.
'Of all the
money AIM has conned out of the Federal Government, I'd be surprised
if even a minute fraction ever
trickled down to our people who really need it,' she said.
END OF ARTICLE FROM THE 'DETROIT NEWS'
THE OCCUPATION OF THE FIRST CHURCH OF THE
OPEN BIBLE AND OF THE UNITED METHODIST
CHURCH CONFERENCE HEADQUARTERS IN DES MOINES
Some of the
methods used by AIM to raise money from church organizations were
described in detail by Mr. Durham.
One day in March
1973, Durham visited Harvey Major, head of the Des Moines AIM Movement
at his home. Major, he said,
was in his garage, painting signs saying, "AIM demands $50,000
reparations from the Church of the Open Bible." He
informed Durham that AIM was going to occupy the First Church of
the Open Bible and demand this $50,000 reparation
within 24 hours. The church had been selected, he said, first because
it was wealthy, and second, because it had
give no money to AIM. Harvey had attended several church sessions,
trying to obtain money from the church - but
prior to Easter Sunday, a small group of AIM members and supporters
occupied the lawn of the First
Church of the Open Bible, constructed tents, erected their signs
demanding $50,000 reparations, and refused to
leave when asked by the police to do so. The leaders of the demonstration
were Harvey Major and Aaron Two Elk.
Durham, who took part in the occupation, estimated that there were
no more than about 12 individuals involved,
of whom only 3 or 4 were Indians. He said, however, that the papers
were told that there were many more people
inside the tents and that the press dutifully reported it in this
for $50,000 in reparations were then submitted to the officials
of the church. The Reverend Frank
Smith, one the church's ministers, issued a statement refusing to
meet the demands and saying he would not be
blackmailed. He complained bitterly that officials of the Community
Relations Service of the Department of Justice,
who were then in Des Moines, had suggested that he accede to some
of the demands.
the Subcommittee that the Community Relations official in question,
Mr. Jesse Taylor of Chicago, then went
to other church officials in Des Moines and arranged a meeting between
the heads, bishops and ministers of large
churches in Des Moines and the occupants of the American Indian
Movement campsite on the Open Bible Church grounds.
This meeting was held several days later at the Young Women's Christian
Association in Des Moines. As a result of this
meeting, AIM received an initial grant of $3,000 toward the establishment
of an American Indian Development Center in
Des Moines. The $3,000 was to be a down payment on a proposal calling
for an annual expenditure of $36,000. In fact,
funding was finally granted for several months.
the proposals submitted and what was done to implement these proposals,
Mr. Durham said:
submitted to the various church leaders and authorities indicated
a desire to create development centers
for counseling, training Indians to become better able to cope with
the non-Indian society in an urban area, when in
fact I know of no one, absolutely no one who was counseled to cope
with the non-Indian society in the Des Moines, Iowa
branch, other than to increase their hatred and mistrust on non-Indian
people, blacks as well as whites. They were
self-aggrandizing actions. The money was used to maintain the individual
leaders in a manner far from that of
Mr. Durham made
the point that as a result of the conference at the YMCA in Des
Moines, the local Catholic charities
program provided the office space for the newly established American
Indian Development Center, but that most of the
funding was provided by the Iowa Conference of United Methodist
Church. He said that it appeared to him at the time
that the Methodist representatives had acceded to this donation
voluntarily, because of their desire to identify
with what they apparently considered a civil rights problem.
this incident, Mr. Ron Petite, a national office of the American
Indian Movement, arrived in Des Moines.
Mr. Petite, a long-time friends of Dennis Banks, embarked on a dialogue
with the Methodist churches in the Des Moines
area which, according to Durham, "resulted in some very ill
feelings." Durham said that on one occasion, Petite had
engaged in "a screaming debate over the phone with a Dr. Baskerville,
the assistant to Bishop Thomas. After this debate,
Dr. Baskerville, said that at one point Petite "threatened
to come over and work him over because he was not proving
enough money... At subsequent meetings held at Des Moines, Ron Petite
issued threats and denouncements to many
of the religious leaders in the Des Moines, Iowa area, and in some
instances, one instance in particular, it appeared
almost like a robbery. The door was guarded and the men, the officials
representing the churches, were told they were
not going to leave until they had contributed, out of their pockets,
directly, to a fund.
was some coercion."
The goals of
the American Indian Movement as a result of this experience became
much more ambitious in terms of
wheedling or coercing large sums of money from church organizations.
In June of 1973, Durham attended a meeting
in Ron Petite's apartment in Des Moines at which Petite said that
the Methodist Church had not provided enough
money for the American Indian Development Center and that AIM should
therefore go to the Methodist Church - the
church that is, that had provided the most money to date - and "create
a scene." An annual conference was
scheduled to take place at the Methodist Church headquarters. A
few days prior to the conference, the American
Indian Movement occupied the lawns around the headquarters, pitched
their tents and erected their signs. They
demanded $85,000 in bond money for Dennis Banks, and they said they
would not leave until this request was granted.
The initial reaction of the church officials was to lock their doors
against the demonstrators. However, after
some militant representations from Harvey Major and Ron Petite,
the building was left open for the use of the
washroom facilities. Dr. M. Ellsworth Walker, Treasurer of the Iowa
Annual Conference of the Methodist Church,
then sent out the following letter to the members of the encampment:
To the members
of the Indian Encampment:
did not issue you an engraved invitation, we welcome you to the
area surrounding the United Methodist
Headquarters building. Our facilities are your facilities.
which was delivered to the encampment within 20 minutes of the occupation,
moved Ron Petite
to say: "We've got them running, I know we'll get our money
from them for Dennis Banks now."
The church began
then to send out fried chicken and other meals to the demonstrators.
Before the conference
was over, the United Methodist Church voted to advance $85,000 in
bond money for Dennis Banks.
THE OCCUPATION OF THE GRIMES STATE OFFICE
The occupation of the Grimes State Office building in Des Moines
on August 22, 1973, was in reality a compromise,
engineered by Doug Durham, as an alternative to Ron Petite's proposal
that they kidnap the Governor of the State
of Iowa, Robert D. Ray. Mr. Durham told the story in these words:
had become increasingly upset due to the lack of funding that was
submitted by the churches. He
advocated bombing a church on the south side of Des Moines. He had
had some confrontations with the Governor
of the State of Iowa, Robert D. Ray, and had advocated kidnapping
the Governor to create sympathy for his
demands. He had had a public confrontation with the Governor at
the State fair grounds in Des Moines, Iowa, and
it was carried in the papers, showing the Governor with an excessive
number of State highway patrolmen as
bodyguards because of the threats he had received from Mr. Petite.
Ron Petite called Harvey Major and myself over to his apartment
at 253 Franklin and said the next
morning we are going to kidnap the Governor and hold him right in
his office at the State capitol.
said, 'Doug, you are going to lead it,' and he said, 'I'll be in
Newton, Iowa, at the River View Prison
Release Center, and after you have the Governor kidnapped you will
call me.' I knew that nobody would go along
with this, so, the only other choice I had at the instant was to
convince him that it would be counterproductive,
and instead to hold an armed press conference in the Grimes State
Office Building, occupying the superintendent
of public instruction's office. He finally relented, and it was
agreed the next day that we would seize and empty
the Grimes State Office Building, and hold an armed press conference,
and forego the plan for kidnapping the
that by "armed press conference" he meant a conference
in which the American Indian Movement
participants would present themselves with loaded weapons and bullets
and say they were prepared to die for
the occupation of the building until their demands were met - this,
in order to portray to the public an armed
occupation that, by its very nature, would result in more press
coverage for AIM.
The Grimes State
Office Building is a two-story building having two wings, with approximately
15,000 to 20,000
square feet on each floor. It is located in downtown Des Moines,
near the Capitol. At approximately 11:00 a.m.
on August 22, 1973, ten AIM members bearing arms, among them Doug
Durham, occupied the Grimes State Office
Building and ordered people out of it. A set of 12 demands to Govenor
Ray, dealing largely with prison
conditions, were given to the press. The demands were immediately
transmitted to Governor Ray, who responded
in a letter stating that "some of them were ridiculous, some
of them more reasonable and had been met prior to
demands being made, and that they were working on other programs
along these lines."
after the occupation began, it was all over, and the 10 armed occupiers
had all submitted peacefully
to the arrest. Mr. Durham told the Subcommittee that the decision
to submit to arrest was a collective decision,
made after being approached by Captain E. J. Dickenson, of the Iowa
state patrol, who told the demonstrators
that if they would not submit to arrest, the police would come in
to get them. As Durham told the story:
a rollcall vote, and twice received indications that they would
not give up. I went back into
conference with them and expressed the opinion to them that we did
not have the operational advantage, and
that we had obtained our goals.
a little concerned at that point. They finally agreed to submit
to arrest, and we all were arrested and
released on bond within hours afterwards."
who was in South Dakota when the occupation commenced, immediately
boarded a plane for Des Moines.
He arrived after the occupation was ended and the 10 arrested AIM
members had been bonded out. When met Doug
Durham, he said to him, "Good job, Doug. Great job. You put
us on the map here. Your proved you can pick up
a rifle. You are a leader."
A few days after
his arrival, Dennis Banks had a meeting with Governor Ray, arranged
by Ron Petite. Durham,
who was present for part of the meeting, said its true purpose:
create the impression that Dennis Banks was the peace-bringing mediator
who would solve these types
of problems, if needed, in any future situations. It was a program
and plan that I saw used and employed by
Banks throughout the rest of my tenure with the American Indian
Movement. The newspapers portrayed Banks then
as the peacemaker, a reasonable, peace-loving man."
guaranteed that there would be no violent actions or seizures. The
Govenor, for his part,
indicated that he would work with AIM as much as possible. As Mr.
Durham put it, "it set Dennis Banks up as
a state recognized mediator in Indian problems, with much adulation
by the press."
THE SEIZURE OF ANISHINABE PARK
In the early
summer of 1974, AIM jumped the American-Canadian border to stage
a spectacular seizure of
Anishinabe Park in Kenora, Ontario, and later to occupy a government
building and stage a riot on the stairs
of the Canadian parliament in Ottawa, Canada.
The trial of
Dennis Banks and Russell Means for their involvement in the Wounded
Knee occupation began in
January 1974 and dragged on for a number of months. While the trial
was still going on, Dennis Banks
traveled to Kenora, Ontario to meet with Louis Cameron, another
member of the American Indian Movement in
that area. Two weeks after Banks had traveled to Ontario, Anishinabe
Park in Kenora was seized by a group
calling themselves the Ojibway Warriors Society. The Society was,
in reality, mostly members of the Amerian
Indian Movement - some, in fact, were Wounded Knee veterans. The
Ojibway Warriors Society claimed that the
park should have been returned to them under the benefits of Treaty
3 of 1873, that it was their property
and was taken illegally, any by way of reinforcing their demand,
they began to build Molotov cocktails in
a very demonstrative manner.
was attended by members of the Communist Party of Canada, Marxixt-Leninist,
leader of the CPC, Vern Harper. The CPC openly boasted in a statement
to the "Toronto Globe and Mail" that
they had been involved in the occupation and had helped to fund
it. (The Communist Pary to Canada, Marxist-
Leninist is a Maoist organization - one of the stronger Maoist organizations
in the Western world - whose
members openly wear Mao buttons. It is not to be confused with the
Communist Party of Canada, which follows
the Moscow line. In his testimony, Mr. Durham, on page 65, spoke
of the Communist party of Canada,
Marxist-Leninist. However, on page 7 he referred to it simply as
the Communist Party of Canada. In the
interest of accuracy, the corrections is made here).
As Mr. Durham
put the matter, the Anishinabe occupation was another one of those
instances where Banks
initiated actions - and then arranged to be called to act as a mediator
in achieving a peaceful settlement.
accompanied by Doug Durham, were summoned to Kenora by the Crown
Attorney of Canada, Mr. Ted
Burton, to mediate or negotiate a peacefull settlement with the
Ojibway Warriors Society. As Mr. Durham
observed, "in reality, this was AIM negotiating with AIM."
Mr. Burton provided transportation from the
international border to Kenora in a government aircraft and paid
Banks and Durham $928.00 for their help.
This included food for the warriors in the park.
was reached that the arms would be turned over to responsible government
that there would be negotiations concerning the problem of the transfer
of title. Mr. Durham related that
during the negotiation in Kenora with government officials, he had
nudged Banks and whispered to him,
"Dennis, what are you going to do about the guns? You're not
going to hand them over?" In reply, Banks
had given Durham a handwritten note reading, "The arms will
be hidden and kept inside the park." (This
handwritten note is reproduced in the appendix to the record.) The
weapons were, accordingly, buried,
together with the bulk of the Molotov cocktails. "Approximately
four old rusty rifles and shotguns were
turned over in front of the press," said Durham, "and
I received the honor of throwing in approximately
3 or 4 of at least 30 Molotov cocktails that has been assembled
in the park.
At a point where
negotiations were concluded, the principals in the occupation decided
to organize a
caravan and move to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. There they
occupied a government building and
staged a riot on the steps of Parliament. Officials of the Communist
Party of Canada, Marxist-Leninist,
were present at both the occupation and the riot. Durham informed
the Subcommittee that he was present
during the occupation of the building in Ottawa and that "met
with members of the Canadian Mounted
Police and Ottawa Police in an attempt to establish better communications
between the occupants of
the government building and law enforcement officials so as to help
prevent any recurrence of violence."
of the members of the Canadian AIM were disturbed by the adverse
from the open identification of the Communist Party of Canada, Marxist-Leninist,
with AIM's actions.
Mr. Durham testified:
Burnstick, the national director of Canadian AIM, issued a statement
identification of Communist Party causes with the Indian causes.
He said, 'We deplore any identification
of Indian causes with the Communists.' This was in the summer of
1974 and in response to some dissension
from the Indian people because of the presence of the Communist
Party of Canada. Less than a year later,
as evidence in the May 25 issue of the Berkeley Barb, Ed Burnstick
met with the Provisional Revolutionary
Government of Vietnam to celebrate their common victory over imperialism
and the United States Government."
AIM AND THE ARMING OF AMERICAN INDIANS
had repeatedly borne arms - and sometimes used them - in their demonstrations
In a statement
issued in 1973, AIM official Ron Petite urged Indians across the
nation to take up arms,
and to carry them at all times. The statement was covered in the
following item which appeared in the
"Des Moines Tribune" of August 28, 1973:
Indians to Carry Arms
of the militant American Indian Movement (AIM) here has urged Indians
across the nation to
take up arms.
Saying he was
instructed to speak on AIM's behalf, Ron Petite of Des Moines called
on American Indians
to bear firearms 'at all times to protect ourselves and our families.'
Midwest national field director, spoke to newsmen only hours after
the wounding of AIM
leader Clyde Bellecourt in a shooting on the Rosebud Indian Reservation
in South Dakota.
report that Carter Camp, AIM's president, allegedly shot Bellecourt
during a meeting
a meeting on the Sioux reservation.
Camp was arrested
Monday night in Valentine, Neb., and charged with assault with a
deadly weapon on an
Indian reservation. The same charge was filed against Camp's brother,
Craig, and Leroy Cassodes. They
were being sought.
shooting on Carter Camp is a conspiracy by outside sources to kill
two birds with one
stone,' Petite said.
* * *
he received authorization by telephone from Banks to speak for AIM
and to urge Indians to
carry weapons. Under questioning, Petite failed to offer specifics
about the call to arms."
that a "social understanding" grant of $6,250 had been
used to illegally purchase a
quantity of high-powered semi-automatic rifles, some of them of
Czechoslovak manufacture. These weapons,
he said, and been purchased on the West Coast of Canada by AIM member
Nogeeghick Aquash, carried across
Canada by sympathetic groups, and them smuggled across the border
near Benton Harbor. Durham said that
he had personally seen some 15 of the rifles purchased in Dennis
Banks' apartment in Magnolia Court,
East St. Paul, "and later, supposedly, used at the occupation
of the Alexian Brothers Novitiate in
Mr. Durham also
described in detail, with supporting documents, AIM's plans for
an underground railroad
for transporting weapons and supplies across country, into Canada,
and various places in the United
AIM programmatic documents Durham submitted for the record carried
As AIM matures
the need for a realistic 'railroad' system will come more to the
fore. Until such time
as the reservations revert to sovereign states, there will be increasing
difficulty for Indian warriors
to freely move in the execution of their appointed tasks. To alleviate
this problem it is suggested
that each AIM chapter of 20 or more members maintain a 'safe place'
* * *
In order to
effect movements of material and peoples at minimum risk, it is
suggested that chapters
meet visitors halfway between the nearest chapter that the visitors
are coming from. In that way,
'long haul' out-of-state vehicles etc. will not be observed, thus
lowering visibility of movement."
Mr. Durham also
submitted for the record a handwritten instruction from Dennis Banks
dealing with the
question of the railroad. The instruction read:
Roberts, Doug Durham. It will be the combined responsibilities of
both of you to maintain the
railroad. You will assume certain risk responsibility that may endanger
your life. Under no circumstances
are you allowed to transmit information to uncleared personnel.
Clearance will be granted only by D.J.
Banks and Ron Petite. Personnel that you clear must be cleared jointly
by Ron and myself. This pertains
to whereabouts. To bring personnel without clearance will constitute
a violation of our trust."
the Subcommittee that George Roberts had actually done most of the
work in the establishment
of the underground railroad, but that he (Durham) had also participated
in this operation in a minor
degree. Later, he said, when the railroad was established, he was
provided with names and places to
hide out. He named specifically the Reverend Martin L. Deppe of
Chicago, Illinois, who is associated
with the Alliance to End Repression. He said that he had visited
Reverend Deppe in his church, and
that Reverend Deppe personally offered to hide him if he was ever
running from the government.
PLANS AGAINST THE ALASKA PIPELINE
1973, Dennis Banks prepared and gave to the press a statement attacking
the plans for the
Alaska Pipeline and threatening action "that could make Wounded
Knee look like a boy scout picnic."
Among other things, the press released said:
"...AIM is considering the adoption of the following plans:
A. To physically
stop the planned aggression in Indian country.
B. To encourage Indian tribes to resist, by arms if necessary, all
attempts to further dispossess them
of sovereign titles.
C. To appeal to the Arab states for financial assistance to aid
said that it is his understanding that Dennis Banks had subsequently
denied on several
occasions that he had ever made such statements. However, Mr. Durham
testified, he had sat with Dennis
Banks while he wrote the press release, using Durham's pad for the
purpose. He submitted for the record
the full text of the original release in Dennis Banks' handwriting.
AIM'S INTERNATIONAL CONTACTS
AIM's extensive international contacts. He said that AIM had funding
in England, France, Germany, Ireland, and South America, and that
AIM had held an international treaty
convention in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in the summer of 1974, which
was attended by representatives
from many foreign countries. "The idea" said Durham, "was
to get all the treaty issues taken out of
the hands of the United States and put here before the World Court
or the United Nations.
He said that
he knew as a fact that representatives of the Irish Republican Army
committee had met
with AIM during the trial in St. Paul and that at a later date,
Sean O'Connaith, one of the IRA
leaders, had invited the AIM leaders to Dublin.
He also testified
that Dennis Banks, after his return from a meeting sponsored by
the World Council
of Churches in Vienna in the fall of 1974, had reported to him that
he had met with officials of the
Palestine Liberation Organization and they had offered their support
to him. Durham named a Mr. George
Roberts, owner of the Inca Manufacturing Company in Santa Monica,
California, as one of the principal
vehicles for AIM's international contacts. He said that he had first
met with Roberts after returning
to the United States from his meeting with Dennis Banks in Yellowknife,
Canadian Northwest Territories,
in September of 1973. Roberts, a non-Indian, indicated to Durham
that he had traveled to Wounded Knee
during he occupation and had become friendly with Dennis Banks there,
and that he had offered to
utilize his contacts with embassies around the world to build the
American Indian Movement's
When he was
asked whether he had any reason to believe that Mr. Roberts actually
had contacts with
embassies around the world, Durham replied:
in his house while he called Dr. Faustino Perez, in Mexico City
and the other embassies, and
spoke in various tongues to these other embassies. He seemed on
a first name basis with embassy
personnel, people from the Irish Republican Army, Mexico, Cuba,
Germany, East Germany, and various
other parts of the world."
He said the
purpose of Roberts' call to Dr. Faustino Perez was to explore the
possibility of arranging
for Dennis Banks to go into hiding in Cuba.
that Dennis Banks had advised him, orally and in writing, that there
would be a
meeting with representatives of the Peoples Republic of China in
Ottawa, Canada, during the last week
of September, and that Banks wanted George Roberts, Durham, Russell
Means, and John Trudell to go to
this meeting. Durham said that he personally had not been able to
attend the meeting because it had
been postponed, and by the time it took place, Dennis Banks and
he were in the southern United States.
It was his understanding that George Roberts and John Trudell had
attended it; and he said that he had
heard the conversations had to do with some measure of technical
and financial support from the Peoples
Republic of China for AIM.
SUPPORT FROM EXTREMIST DOMESTIC GROUPS
Mr. Durham summarized in the following words the support which AIM
has received from a broad array of
extremist domestic organizations, many of which have international
Underground published a full page in the back of their Osawatomie
fall 1975 issue, stating
'support the Indian resistance.' The Irish Republican Army, as mentioned
earlier, met with the leaders
of AIM during the trial in St. Paul. Banks claimed to have met with
the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The Iranian Student Association has demonstrated on AIM's behalf
and they do have a history of violence.
The Revolutionary Student Brigade had demonstrated on AIM's behalf
as have the Puerto Rican Solidarity
Committee and Puerto Rican groups hosted by Fidel Castro in Cuba
in 1975. The Militant (The Militant is
the organ of the Socialist Workers' Party, the American Trotskyite
organization) has written many articles
supportive of AIM and revolution, and they are a strong defender
of AIM's 'rights.' The New World
Liberation Front has bombed some buildings in support of AIM's actions,
two houses in Piedmont, Calif.,
were firebombed in this reaction. The Symbionese Liberation Army
did name AIM as one of the five groups
to distribute their 'People in Need' program money in 1974. The
large amount of support contributed
by the National Lawyers Guild, a group that seems to condone violence,
is also indicative of the type
of groups supporting AIM."
When he was
asked whether AIM readily accepted such support and encouragement,
Mr. Durham replied that
in some instances, this support is accepted cheerfully but that
AIM was not too happy about SLA name them
in 1974 as one of the five groups to distribute the food contributed
to them as part of the Patty Hearst
AIM also received
support from a number of American labor organizations. Durham testified
DeMaio, of the United Electrical and Radio and Machine Workers of
America, and invited one of the
defendants to address his organization and had pledged funds and
support. He said that in a telephone
conversation DeMaio had invited Mark Banks, Dennis' brother, and
Durham to address the meeting as
alternate speakers, and they had done so. It is noteworthy that
Ernest DeMaio has repeatedly been
identified in sworn testimony before Congressional committees as
a member of the Communist Party, U.S.A.,
and that he serves today as representative of the Moscow-dominated
World Federation of Trade Unions
at the United Nations.
in Minnesota, at its 17th Constitutional Convention, passed a resolution
25, 1974, which fully supported AIM and criticized the police and
the courts. Durham testified that
Paula Giese, non-Indian who worked for the AIM national office,
and who openly told him (Durham) that
she was a Trotskyite, claimed that she had authored the main points
of this resolution.
AIM'S MYSTERIOUS FINANCES
It was Mr. Durham's
estimate that during the two years he was with AIM, AIM received
far in excess
of one million dollars from various sources - governmental, church,
The Senate Subcommittee
on Internal Security is currently attempting to piece together a
statement covering all federal funds given to AIM, but because of
the complete absence of records, it
is virtually impossible to come up with an accurate aggregate figure
for the contributions received
by AIM from all sources, private as well as governmental, or of
how these funds were dispersed.
from the "Detroit News" of March 25, 1973, which was quoted
in the section on the Wounded
Knee uprising, reported that as of that date, AIM had received from
governmental sources, directly
and indirectly, more than $400,000 in federal funds. This included
a single $113,000 grant from the
Office of Economic Opportunity on June 21, 1972, for which AIM leaders
had refused to provide any
audit information. It also included the $66,000 in "transportation"
from the OEO, as an inducement
to AIM to vacate the premises of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
As for church
support for AIM, an article which appeared in the "Omaha World
Herald" on March 14,
1973, reported that as of that date, three national church organizations
had given a total of
$284,000 to various AIM programs. This article is worth quoting
briefly, because it represents one
of the few efforts to date to bring together in one place the facts
about religious contributions
to the American Indian Movement:
CHURCHES FURNISH $284,000 FOR AIM
church organizations have given a total of $284,000 to programs
militant American Indian Movement (AIM) in the last two years, a
World-Herald check showed.
The total doesn't
include contributions state or local church groups may have made
Nor does it
include the $20,000 four denominations gave to last year's 'trail
of broken treaties'
caravan, which involved AIM and other Indian groups.
None of the
money was given for activities promoting violence, church officials
are the biggest church financial backers of AIM, which led the takeover
Wounded Knee, S.D., and has been involved in incidents at Fort Robinson,
Gordon and Scottsbluff,
Neb., Custer, S.D., Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, the check showed.
about $238,000 to AIM in 1971 and 1972 through the National Indian
a national church spokesman said.
FOR YOUTH PROGRAM
The money went
to Indian self-help programs in different state and included $1,500
to a youth
program in Lincoln, a spokesman said.
The U.S. Catholic
Conference said in Washington it gave $40,000 last August to an
school 'to meet special education needs of disenfranchised native
American youth' in Minneapolis.
The World Council
of Churches recently gave AIM $6,000, a spokesman said in a telephone
interview from New York City.
of five other major denominations - United Methodist, Presbyterians,
Episcopalian, Baptist and United Church of Christ - said in New
York City that they haven't
helped finance AIM. The National Council of Churches in New York
also said it hasn't given
money to AIM.
office said that local churches and state conferences spend for
projects of their
own choosing, and some may have assisted AIM. Reports of such spending
aren't given to national
offices, spokesman said."
In referring to this article, Mr. Durham made the point that to
total of $284,000 did not
include the $85,000 (in bond money) for Dennis Banks put up by the
Methodist Church or $500,000
voted by the National Council of Churches in the summer of 1973.
(Mr. Durham subsequently
informed the Subcommittee that, to his knowledge, not all of the
$500,000 has actually been
turned over to AIM).
In August 1973,
roughly at the time that Ron Petite issued his call to arms to the
he told Doug Durham that he had been asked to submit a request for
funds from the Office of
Economic Opportunity to assist in finding employment for Indians
in the Des Moines area. The
request was submitted; OEO made a grant in the amount of $4,060;
and then, according to Durham's
testimony, Ron Petite and his wife absconded with it. Mr. Durham
submitted photostats of 26 checks
for the record, which together completely depleted the grant from
the Office of Economic
Opportunity. None of these checks, he said, had to do with the operation
of the employment
program. The total of the checks came to $4,058.21 - against the
deposit of $4,060.
Mr. Durham mentioned
several other sources of income. For example, Dennis Banks and Russell
received $25,000 from Columbia Studios for their advice on the script
of a film about Wounded
Knee. This, testified Durham, had been at the instigation of Marlon
Brando. He said that Brando
himself had been a generous contributor to the American Indian Movement,
and that he had in
September of 1974, given him a $10,000 check and a handful of money
out of his pocket for AIM.
In addition, Brando had provided $25,000 during the Wounded Knee
occupation and contributed
substantial property on the West Coast to AIM. He had provided funds
for Russell Means and
Mr. Durham testified that for a long period of time, Dennis Banks
was drawing approximately
$300 a month worth of food stamps, despite the fact that he owned
approximately $15,000 in trust
property in northern Minnesota, according to a statement he had
made to the "Los Angeles Times,"
and despite a fairly substantial income from his participation in
the Native American Speakers
Bureau. Durham said that not only did Banks draw the food stamps
from the St. Paul offices but
he sometimes sent Durham down to the food stamp office to pick them
up for him. He submitted in
evidence a copy of Dennis Banks' food stamp card, bearing the name
of Douglas Durham as the
authorized alternative recipient. At one point, he said, "the
food stamp office in St. Paul
moved for one week into the national offices of the American Indian
Movement, and signed up
everybody they could find for food stamps." Sometimes the food
stamps were sold to others at a
discount, and the proceeds were used to purchase arms for members
THE CASE OF JUDGE NICHOL
The sworn testimony
of Mr. Durham adds important new evidence to the items listed in
affidavit filed by the U.S. attorney's office in Sioux Falls, South
Dakota, in March 1975,
asking federal judge Fred Nichol to disqualify himself from the
remaining Wounded Knee
leadership trials. The events leading up to the motion of prejudice
and the contents of the
affidavit filed in support were described in the following works
in an article which appeared
in the March 4, 1975, issue of the "St. Paul Pioneer Press":
NICHOL ROLE IN TRIALS
(By Jim George)
The U.S. Attorney's
office in Sioux Falls, S.D., has filed a strongly worded motion
prejudice against Federal Judge Fred Nichol asking the jurist to
disqualify himself from the
remaining Wounded Knee leadership trials.
September dismissed charges here against American Indian Movement
Dennis Banks and Russell Means after the government refused to allow
a verdict from 11 jurors.
(The 12th had become ill.)
Nichol, in a
scathing commentary on the U.S. Justice Department, chastised the
exercising this right and for improper government conduct during
the lengthy trial.
accompanying the motion, R.D. Hurd, chief prosecutor here at the
David Gienapp, his aide, cite a list of incidents to back their
claim of prejudice against
The motion asked
the judge to remove himself from the coming cases of Stanley Holder,
Camp, Leonard Crow Dog and Clyde Bellecourt because he has 'personal
bias or prejudice against
the plaintiff (the government').
The motion added
that from prior conduct, the judge's impartiality might be questioned.
In their affidavits,
Hurd and Gienapp claim Nichol often expressed respect for the people
involved in the 71-day takeover of Wounded Knee, S.D., in February
of 1973 and sympathy for
what they were trying to accomplish.
They noted that
at a luncheon during the trial here, Nichol led a standing ovation
William Kuntsler and later commented he 'didn't give a damn what
people said' about it.
for the FBI was lightly masked during the trial, and the affidavits
recall out-of-court distaste by the judge.
to the affidavits, made no secret he thought the FBI had greatly
deteriorated in recent years and singled out Jospeh Trimbach, head
of the FBI's Twin Cities
office, for special contempt.
Out of court,
the affidavits say, Nichol referred to Trimbach as 'a liar' and
And at one point
in April 1974, according to Gienapp's affidavit, Nichol said that,
government didn't dismiss charges against Banks and Means 'the FBI
is going to be bloodied
all over the courtroom.'
his statement, attests that the prosecution considered that a threat
by the judge.
claim Nichol expressed the opinion out of court that Trimbach had
and would again if it helped the FBI.
At another point,
the jurist expressed the opinion that the Justice Department was
interested in convicitons than it was in justice, the affidavits
of charges against Means and Banks has been appealed to the 8th
Circuit Court of Appeals, and arguments on the matter will be heard
March 12 in St. Louis."
Durham testified that in October 1973 he was called to a meeting
in Minneapolis by Dennis
Banks after a man named Pedro Bissonett, the leader of the Oglala-Sioux
Organization, was killed in the Pine Ridge Reservation.
had been a fugitive and was shot allegedly while resisting arrest.
at the meeting were Reverend John Adams of the United Methodist
Church; Dennis Banks;
and leaders of the American Indian Movement from around the country.
Leonard Crow Dog
reported to the meeting that he and Russell Means and Dennis Banks
had been restrained
from entering the Pine Ridge Reservation for the funeral by a tribal
order signed by
tribal judge Tibbet, of the Pine Ridge Reservation. This order was
to be appealed at a
hearing in from of Federal Judge Fred Nichol of Sioux Falls, South
Dakota. So Durham and
Banks and the others drove to Sioux Falls for the hearing. The outcome
of the hearing was
that Russell Means was allowed to enter the reservation but that
Dennis Banks was still
restrained from doing so.
Mr. Durham then
gave the following eyewitness testimony concerning events involving
Nichol, Mrs. Nichol, Dennis Banks and his attorney, which occurred
in October 1973:
after the hearing Dennis Banks came to me and asked me to go around
the car and follow he and Judge Nichol to Judge Nichol's home as
he had been invited there
by Judge Nichol to meet his wife. I asked him what the occasion
was and he said, 'It's
because Mrs. Nichol is a fan of mine.'
I waited in
back in the car, and Judge Nichol drove by in his car with Dennis
his attorney in the front seat, and Dennis Banks' wife Kaamook in
the back seat. We went
to Judge Nichol's home, where we were entertained with coffee and
cookies, and shown Mrs.
At this time,
after some conversation, Judge Nichol informed us that he had decided
grant the motion to move the trial for Banks and Means to St. Paul,
Minn., the change of
* * *
asked me to get a blank membership card of the American Indian Movement
of my pocket. I removed one - such as this - from my pocket. I will
submit to the
subcommittee a sample of the type of card.
made one out for Mrs. Nichol, and across the upper right-hand corner
'Honorary Member,' and presented it to her.
I would like to add that Mrs. Nichol did not ask for the membership
but she did not refuse it either. She accepted it and placed her
arm around the judge's
waist and said, 'Don't worry, boys, if Fred gets too stuffy in the
courtroom, I'll be
there to keep him line.'"
THIS ENDS THE TESTIMONY, TO THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE
OF THE INTERNAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERNAL SECURITY LAWS, OF
DOUGLAS DURHAM WHO
INFILTRATED THE AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT UNDER THE INSTRUCTIONS
OF THE F.B.I.
American Indian Movement
Council on Security and Intelligence
These links take you to scanned images of declassified FBI,
CIA, Justice Department and White House documents obtained by AIM
under the U.S.
Freedom of Information Act.
Listing of original document images in directory:
FBI ImagesInfo on AIM from the FBI., 1970s
FBI DOCUMENTS-THUMBNAIL IMAGES.
Council on Security and Intelligence for more Information:
on Security and Intelligence.
statement given Friday, 14 december 2000, at the National
Press Club in Washington DC, by former Rep. Don Edwards
of California, to the FBI's statements against clemency for
Rep. Edwards served 16 terms in the House of Representatives,
is a former FBI agent himself, and was the longtime chairman
at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional
Rights which oversaw the Bureau.
As a former Congressman
from California for over thirty years, a former FBI agent and a
citizen committed to justice, I wish to speak out strongly against
the FBI's efforts in opposing the clemency appeal of Leonard Peltier.
I served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional
Rights in the U.S. House of Representatives. I took a personal interest
in Mr. Peltier's case and became convinced that he never received
a fair trial. Even the government now admits that the theory it
presented againstMr. Peltier at trial was not true. After 24 years
in prison, Leonard Peltier has served an inordinate amount of time
and deserves the right to consideration of his clemency request
on the facts and the merits. The FBI continues to deny its improper
conduct on Pine Ridge during the 1970's anin the trial of Leonard
Peltier. The FBI used Mr. Peltier as a scapegoat and they continue
to do so today. At every step of the way, FBI agents and leadership
have opposed any admission of wrongdoing by the government, and
they have sought to misrepresent and politicize the meaning of clemencyfor
Leonard Peltier. The killing of FBI agents at Pine Ridge was reprehensible,
but the government now admits that it cannot prove that Mr. Peltier
killed the agents. Granting clemency to Mr. Peltier should not be
viewed as expressing any disrespect for the current agents or leadership
of the FBI, nor would it represent any condoning of the killings
that took place on Pine Ridge. Instead, clemency for Mr. Peltier
would recognize past wrongdoing and the undermining of the government's
case since trial. Finally, it would serve as a crucial step in the
reconciliation and healing between the U.S. Government and NativeAmericans,
on the Pine Ridge Reservation and throughout the country. [signature]
Don Edwards (D-CA), ret. Member of Congress, 1963-1995 Hon. Don
Edwards PO Box 7151 Carmel CA 93921
Dear Senators Smith and
Gregg, Representatives Sununu and Bass, Governor Shaheen, Executive
Council, all members of the New Hampshire House and Senate:
Frank Clearwater, Buddy Lamont, Clarence Cross, Priscilla White
Plume, Julius Badheart Bull, Melvin Spider, Philip Black Elk, Aloysius
Long Soldier, Philip Little Crow, Allison Fast Horse, Edward Means
Jr., Edward Standing Soldier, Roxeine Roark, Dennis Lecompte, Jackson
Washington Cutt, Robert Reddy, Delpheine Crow Dog, Jack R. Coler,
Elaine Wagner, Floyd S. Binais, Yvette Lorraine Lone Hill, Leon
L. Swift Bird, Martin Montileaux, Stacy Cotter, Edith Eagle Hawk,
Jeannette Bissonette, Richard Eagle, Hilda R. Good Buffalo, Jancita
Eagle Deer, Ben Sitting Up, Kenneth Little, Leah Spotted Elk, Joseph
Stuntz Killsright, James Briggs Yellow, Andrew Paul Stewart, Randy
Hunter, Howard Blue Bird, Jim Little, Olivia Binais, Janice Black
Bear, Michelle Tobacco, Carl Plenty, Frank Lapointe, Anna Mae Pictou
Aquash, Ronald A. Williams, Lydia Cut Glass, Byron Desersa, Lena
R. Slow Bear, Hobart Horse, Cleveland Reddest, Betty Jo Dubray,
Marvin Two Two, Julia Pretty Hips, Sam Afraid of Bear, Kevin Hill,
Betty Means, Sandra Wounded Foot.
The wounded number many many more. These are the dead ... all murdered.
Only two of the above murders were ever seriously investigated ...
those of Williams and Coler. The recent articles about this story
flooding the national news this week are inaccurate and very incomplete;
intended, I fear, to mislead the public.
Some of the missing elements are: intimidation of a targeted population
by the use of terrorist tactics, murder by death squads, energy
policy/mineral corporation interests, squashing of dissident groups
by unlawful means, misuse of police power, corruption of the judicial
process including: coercion of witnesses through terrorization,
knowing use of fraudulent documents, suppression of evidence, manufacture
of evidence and the denial of constitutional rights.
I am a New Hampshire citizen, born and raised here. I come from
a large, ordinary middle class family; none of us has ever been
in prison, thank God. My Dad, who died this summer, was twice wounded
at the Battle of the Bulge. My brother captained river boats in
Viet Nam. We are hardworking people; we lead quiet lives; we care
about our nation. We are all very concerned about the story I am
alluding to above, that of U.S. prisoner, Leonard Peltier--the one
Amnesty International calls a political prisoner of the U.S. government.
When the U.S. prosecutor says on the record, and I quote, we do
not know who shot those agents, unquote...and a man remains in prison.
When the key witness for extradition goes before a Canadian tribunal
and recants her affidavit and testifies to being held incommunicado
for weeks by the F.B.I. while coached on the testimony to be given
and threatened that she will be killed and/or have her children
taken away. When teen-age witnesses are tied to chairs and terrorized
by grown men in order to gain the desired testimony. When in an
earlier, fair trial, two co-defendants are acquitted by an all white
jury by reason of self-defense. When exculpatory ballistics evidence
is intentionally withheld from the jury. When (evidence of) a red
pick-up truck is transformed to an orange and white van from the
first trial to the second. When a book exposing the truth of the
incident and trials is kept from the public by government officials
via frivolous lawsuits for the better part of a decade during (all)
When the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reports findings of: ..."spurious
actions by the FBI". " An unprecedented climate of fear
and terror gripped the Pine Ridge Reservation for the next three
years... " " These tensions were exacerbated during the
regime of tribal president Dick Wilson and his vigilante, self-termed
"goon squad." "During this period there were over
60 unsolved murders on the reservation for which the investigatory
responsibility lay with the FBI."
"In memoranda to the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. Commission
on Civil Rights reported that the FBI was an extraneous force on
the reservation whose agents often lacked any comprehensive understanding
of Indian culture or traditions. It was noted that the FBI's actions
and investigations were seen as biased, and were the source of much
tension and controversy. The Commission recommended that the FBI
be relieved of its responsibility to investigate felonies on the
reservation. This recommendation was never implemented."
(excerpts from: 11/01/99, Statement About FBI Involvements On Pine
Ridge Reservation : by William F.Muldrow, Former Director (Retired)
Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights)
When we subsequently see an unprecedented public display by the
nation's formerly prestigious national police force in an unethical
effort to persuade the president and perpetuate half truths at best.
When I consider these elements, then I conclude that something surely
is very wrong. And then I have to wonder, what country is this?
Is this my country? And I ask, where are my elected leaders?
There is no question that two young special agents were murdered...and
that is very sad and unfortunate. There is no question either that
60+ Lakota people, including women and children, were murdered...and
that is also very sad and equally unfortunate. There is a long trail
of ruthlessness and blood winding through this nasty story. Many
families still anguish and suffer over the violent deaths of loved
ones in 1972-75. I have researched the story extensively. There
is not much doubt in my mind that Leonard Peltier was vengefully
railroaded, his trial not even remotely fair.
What concerns me is that his incarceration still continues.... 25
years later, after ample evidence of misconduct and illegal shennanigans
has been pulled from government files through the Freedom of Information
Act. After millions of people have signed petitions and contacted
their government pleading for intercession. After human rights organizations
and church groups all over the world have contacted our government.
After political and spiritual leaders both here and abroad have
contacted our government. After even a federal judge who sat on
one of the appeals has written the government recommending both
clemency and acknowledgment of the government's responsibility in
this tragedy. Still, it is an ongoing national disgrace, a sad and
shameful chapter in modern history.
What also greatly alarms me, though, is the implication for the
future of the nation, the precedent that is set by this story. Leonard
Peltier was denied by our government the fundamental constitutional
rights guaranteed to every citizen. When an agency of the government
takes the law into its own hands, and abuses and misuses its powers,
an inevitable erosion of public trust ensues. When the government
sets aside the Constitution, there is no foundation, there is no
democracy, there are no freedoms. When no one speaks up, every citizen
is in grave peril, every single one of us is impacted.
This is not the kind of legacy I wish to leave for the children
in my family, and for the generations yet unborn.
I am writing to those of you in leadership, because I want you to
speak up for me and everyone in this matter. I am willing to send
you information about this story and/or to meet with you about it.
We do not get much news about it...except when the F.B.I. puts out
the very erroneous version they want us to believe. The story is
very famous abroad, in Europe and elsewhere...and certainly does
not represent our finest hour, nor does it win us many friends among
I hereby request that you, each of you, contact the president about
Mr. Peltier's clemency petition which is now under consideration.
Not to speak up about this matter is complicity in a whole collection
of horrible crimes--crimes and cover-up at the highest levels of
government. Time is of the essence. The time for decency is long
over; this man should be immediately freed and returned to his people.
Please urge President Clinton to release Leonard Peltier.
Bonnie Winona Whittemore
White House Citizen's Comments Line:
Tel.: 202-456-1111 President's Fax Number: 202-456-2461
LEONARD PELTIER !!!!!
Call the white house today 202-456-1111 OR 1-877-561-1364
Ask that the President release Leonard Peltier.
Urge him to do it now.
out the FBI documents about Leonard Peltier at AIM's Council
on Security and Intellegence
Hundreds march for Peltier's release
BY JODI RAVE LEE Lincoln
11 december 2000 NEW YORK
The theft of a pair of cowboy
boots led two FBI agents to South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
- and their death - a quarter century ago. On Sunday, hundreds from
across the country rallied here for the release of the Native activist
found guilty of those murders.
Last month, President Clinton ignited hope among Leonard Peltier
supporters after announcing he would review the American Indian
Movement leader's clemency application. Clinton has less than 40
days to make a decision before leaving office.
"This could be a very human act for which he will be remembered,"
said Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers
Guild. "It's a small window of opportunity."
Boghosian united with hundreds in a march from New York's Union
Square to the United Nations building as the momentum for clemency
swept people of all nations to the city streets, some joining a
chorus of: "Freedom is in the air. Clemency for Peltier."
Scores more carried signs bearing messages such as, "Begin
Native Reconciliation, Free Peltier."
Forty-four New York police officers looked on as a contingent of
Pine Ridge, S.D., residents led the march.
The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee organized Sunday's march to
coincide with the United Nation's 52nd anniversary of Human Rights
Day. Similar marches were held in San Francisco and Minneapolis
Sunday in support of Peltier, who has been imprisoned for nearly
24 years. He is serving two consecutive life sentences for the deaths
of two FBI agents shot in 1975.
Peltier, 56, is arguably the only person convicted of murder during
a "reign of terror" described by residents of the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation. Between 1973 and 1976, more than 60 AIM
members and supporters were killed there.
"We want a Congressional committee with subpoena power that
can subpoena 1,000 pages of documents that would tell what the FBI
was doing on Pine Ridge," said Bruce Ellison, involved with
AIM court proceedings since 1975.
On the 25th anniversary of the slaying this summer, FBI Director
Louis Freeh praised a recommendation against parole for Peltier,
saying: "The FBI cannot forget this cold-blooded crime, nor
should the American people. ... The rule of law has continued to
prevail over the emotion of the moment."
Freeh said the two agents were shot first from 250 yards away and
then through the face at close range as they lay wounded.
Meanwhile, Peltier supporters have said he never received a fair
trial. He has since become an international symbol of America's
perceived unjust treatment of Native people.
"It's easy to say America slaughtered Native people 200 years
ago," said Jennifer Harbury, a Peltier attorney, "but
it's very embarrassing to say our generation slaughtered Native
" Peltier, a member of North Dakota's Turtle Mountain Chippewa
Tribe, has gained the support of world leaders, such as the late
Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond
Tutu. Other supporting organizations include Amnesty International,
European, Italian and Belgium parliaments, National Council of Churches,
UNITY: Journalists of Color and the National Congress of American
The turbulent years at Pine Ridge are recounted in Peter Matthiessen's
bestseller, "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse." After its
publication in 1983, the book was kept off shelves for nine years.
The resulting legal case was finally thrown out of court, but not
before it became the longest legal battle in publishing history.
Peltier's imprisonment today leads back to a sweltering day, June
26, 1975. Here's a summarized account:
FBI agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams went to the Pine Ridge
Reservation to inquire about the theft of pair of cowboy boots.
The men were searching for Jimmy Eagle, who allegedly took them
from a "drinking buddy during a brawl.
"Eagle's trail led the agents to the Jumping Bull property
at the Oglala community. A shootout erupted upon their arrival,
resulting in the deaths of the two agents and one Native man, Joe
Kills Right Stuntz.
No one was convicted of Stuntz's death. The deaths of Coler and
Williams, however, led to one of the largest manhunts in FBI history.
Consequently, four AIM members - Peltier, Eagle, Dino Butler and
Bob Robideau - were charged with murder. Charges against Eagle were
dropped. Butler and Robideau were later acquitted by an all-white
jury in Iowa.
Peltier, who had fled to Canada after the shootings, was extradited.
He went to trial in Fargo, N.D., in March 1977, where he was found
Between 1982 and 1986, Peltier has requested - and been denied -
a retrial based on new evidence received through the Freedom of
Information Act. The evidence included formerly withheld ballistics
reports that arguably would have led to an acquittal.
In 1985, U.S. Prosecutor Lynn Crooks said no evidence existed against
Peltier. That admission led to additional new trial requests between
1991 and 1994, which were also denied.Meanwhile, all Peltier's requests
for parole have been denied.
He will not be eligible for parole again until 2008.
In 1991, Judge Gerald Heaney of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
recommended clemency for Peltier.
Clinton, who early in his first term said he would review Peltier's
case, visited Pine Ridge village last summer. He was the first president
since Calvin Coolidge to set foot on the reservation.
What is the likelihood he will grant clemency?
"The odds of two long-haired militant Indian men (Robideau
and Butler) being tried and found not guilty before an all-white
jury in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were a million to one," said Ellison.
"Odds don't mean anything."