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Murder, Wrapped in a Blanket

Details about the events surrounding hearings of John Graham, accused murderer of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Includes updated (May 16th) info regarding Robert Robideau and his cousin Leonard Peltier. The current flap about a letter written by Peltier is also discussed.
Murder, Wrapped in a Blanket
by antoinette nora claypoole


"It is wonderful to write to you. I am actually pleased to be able to take the time to write to you all. I love you all very much."
--Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, Mikmaq
Nov. 1975


An interview with a survivor of the Indian Wars, 20th century style. I sit in a humble duplex on the eastern edge of Portland, Oregon. Fog shifting around like the shadows of ancestors. Haunted by the murders of their People. Another time and place consumes our talk. Sitting with Robert Robideau, member of the American Indian Movement who has worked tirelessly for his cousin, Leonard Peltier. Remembering when they all had so much to gain.

"She asked me once, there at the Jumping Bull Camp, 'Can I be part of the Northwest AIM group, with you?" Annie Mae Pictou Aquash. Talking to Robert Robideau back in 1975. Just a few months before she was found brutally murdered. They were young warriors trying to survive the FBI agents sent to destroy the movement. Robideau remembers more: "She was in with so many of our leaders. I didn't know then that she was in danger. I live with the fact that we in the Northwest could have protected her".

Robideau takes this knowledge, this memory seriously. As he tours for his cousin, Peltier, he talks about who killed Annie Mae. He believes John Graham, Tuchone from the Yukon Territory is guilty. And said so on a recent tour in Vancouver, B.C. There Robideau met attacks on his position. He was confronted by people who called him a Fed. And mostly he realized that supporting his cousin, Peltier, is as dangerous now as it was when he first met Annie Mae.



Robideau is currently being attacked by supporters of John Graham. Some people loathe him. Others know that his work and committment to his cousin's freedom are undying. Peltier distanced himself from Graham, the accused murderer of Anna Mae and Robideau has supported that position. Something which causes stirs into a pot ready to boil over. Peltier's recent attorney, Barry Bachrach, stepped down due to Peltier's inability to track/trust efforts made on his behalf. Still, his sentiments run deep. Today I say: "Robideau certainly created quite a stir while supporting his cousin, Leonard Peltier, would you agree?" Bachrach's reply a wellspring, a generosity of spirit: "Yes he does, and for me it has been my privilege to know him."


Despite the controversy which surrounds the murder of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash, and Peltier's understandable struggle to remain lucid after 30 years of wrongful incarceration, Robideau continues to believe his work is essential. His recent tour to Vancouver, B.C. a testament. To the worldwide efforts to free his cousin.

Robideau says he didn't go north to talk about Graham, as his opponents accuse him of doing. A serious, perplexed explanation prevails. " They didnt want to hear about the freedom campaign for Leonard..only about Graham. I went to Canada to speak solely about the freedom campaign for Leonard, which Graham and his supporters disrupted". According to an account by Rex Weyler, at least one woman was arrested in confrontation at a Peltier event. But where is Graham in all this? " I offered to meet with Graham under any conditions they choose. They declined", Robideau explains with a certainty he knows to be fact.

And now. A random letter Peltier wrote in late April. Surfaces. On May 13th Graham supporters begin blasting Robideau. Again. The letter is posted publicly. A sad rant by Peltier, against his cousin. Robideau says he will resign from the committee. Peltier refuses to accept and as I write this is suppposedly preparing a public apology. To his cousin and to former attorney, Barry Bachrach. At best it will relect the fact that Leonard Peltier trusts his cousin with his life". And at least we imagine it will reveal what happens to someone who has been suffering under the gun of the injustice.

Peltier, on May 16th 2007, did in fact offer an apology. "I did him (Bob) a great disservice and caused him needless embarrassment in the community and undercut the good work he has done for me by what I wrote. I do not readily admit mistakes, but I made a big mistake by writing what I did about Bob."

The entire story is complex. Represents the nature of living in Indian Country. On both sides of any border indigenous people continue their struggle to survive all that has been to done to them.

The story keeps repeating itself. The paradoxes of a Patriot Act foreshadowed in Wounded Knee. So long ago by now. A replay, agents of fear abound. One person claims innocence while others yell "lynch". Me? I keep saying let's not silence truth. The words of Matthew Lien, an in-the-trenches friend, a Graham supporter, resound: "I'm only hoping for justice and truth, which translates into John's (Graham) freedom, and that those responsible for Anna Mea's death be identified."


The tape recorder not quite an MP3 player. Robideau says alot more to me. About what he believes of Graham's guilt. But why all this fury against you, I ask him. His reply resonates still... " They are afraid of me. Fear can be your worst enemy......"

Yes fear our great demise. Love the reprise so many fear. Still. We want to keep oursleves safe from the heat, the turbulance of this flight. Into desire. For resolve. Maybe Anna Mae can help with this. She explains it best. From a jail cell in Vancouver, Wa. Nov. 1975:

" This jail is so cold I am sitting at this table with a blanket wrapped around me. We have a broken window that they tried to patch up but the winds are strong today. It dropped to 15 degrees last nite and I'm sure it colder today. On our way over here yesterday I had the opportunity to gaze upon Mt. Hood. What a beautiful sight. Got to sign off-lawyer to take letter out.Love forever
Annie Mae (Aquash)"Naguset Eask" Sun Woman.


The years have eased none of the pain. Her murder. Our loss will resound 200 years beyond the end of time.



May 16, 2007
Ashland, Or.

homepage: homepage: http://www.wildembers.com


Peltier Press Release 16.May.2007 23:58

wild embers press watersongs@gmail.com

PLEASE NOTE: The following press release is offered to clarify the comments attributed to Leonard Peltier in the article posted here. Peltier/committee issued an unofficial copy of Peltier's comments when asked by Wild Embers what Peltier's position was on the recent Robideau resignation. The replies to us have NOT been published/"officially", but are referenced in "Murder, Wrapped in a Blanket".


UPDATE ON ROBIDEAU RESIGNATION FROM PELTIER COMMITTEE

May 16, 2007. Ashland, Or. Two days ago Robert Robideau offered his resignation to the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC). This morning, the Committee refused to accept his resignation stating "The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) and Leonard Peltier will not accept the recent resignation of Bob Robideau, who has and continues to be a valuable asset to the on going work to free Leonard Peltier." At the same time LPDC has asked for the removal of Jennifer Wade, of Amnesty Int'l, " because of her irresponcible release of a private letter writen her by Leonard Peltier."

With this recent series of events and despite the controversy of a May 17th hearing regarding John Graham, accused murderer of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, Peltier's position on Graham's guilt is still considered crucial to Graham supporters. The Peltier committee has suffered greatly due to Peltier's long incarceration and their continued position on the guilt of John Graham. At the time of this release Peltier had expressed "unofficial statements" but nothing has been endorsed by LPDC on the final outcome of these events. A "formal" statement from Peltier about this controversy is expected by Friday, according to the LPDC. It is still unclear whether Robideau will remain with the committee.


"formal" letter 17.May.2007 23:03

Monica

antoinette

Does "formal" letter mean that someone else will write a letter and sign Leonard's name? I have said for years that it sounds like Leonard is a prisoner of his own defense committee.

Why is Bob aligning himself with Paul Demain? Demain has said for years that Anna Mae was killed because she knew that Leonard killed the agents. Why is Bob supporting IWJ. It is a front for Demain.

discussion

PAUL DEMAIN AND THE FBI 16.Jul.2007 10:44

Robert Robideau robertrobideau@yahoo.com

Ignorance is no excuse.... IS HE A REPORTER, CRIME FIGHTER OR PEELED APPLE? PAUL DEMAIN AND THE FBI http://www.leonardpeltier.net/peeledapple.htm "I have met FBI agents over the years who are just human beings doing their jobs". Paul DeMain Paul DeMain, (Oneida/Ojibwa),editor of News From Indian Country, (NFIC) stated in 2001 he no longer believed Leonard Peltier was innocent of killing two FBI agents. About the same time he extended a friendly welcome to the FBI in 1995. Why did DeMain decide to join the FBI in targeting Leonard Peltier through the Anna Mae case after some years of allegedly defending Peltier?s innocence? "Pipe Mustache, an elder who recently gave DeMain the Ojibwa name Oshscabewis, which means "Messenger". We are compelled to question whose Messenger Paul DeMain has become. Paul DeMain received the Native American Journalists Association's WASSAJA award for "courageous reporting" in 2002 "for his editorial perspective and investigative reports regarding the 1975 murder of Annie Mae Pictou-Aquash and the historical case of Leonard Peltier..." DeMain?s "courageous reporting" alleged that one of the motives Anna Mae Aquash was killed was because of "Anna Mae's knowledge of Peltier?s guilt". In July of 2005 a four page February 1993 FBI memorandum was discovered in documents received by Peltier's attorneys through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that outlined the FBI's conspiracy to destroy Peltier's Executive clemency campaign. The memo urged their agencies to "Get the story/pictures out publicly through...magazines or other publications which have worked closely with the FBI over the years". DeMain, fully aware that the FBI had begun their efforts to stop Presidential clemency for Leonard, sold the FBI an advertisement to recruit Native Americans into the FBI in August 1995. In the Mid August 1995 issue of News From Indian Country, in defense and justification for their support of the FBI, under "Recruiting FBI agents, informers, and national security secrets", wrote, "The editorial staff and board of directors of Indian Country Communications Inc., believe the FBI has every right and duty to recruit Native Americans. They can use more diversity, and maybe twenty years ago they could have saved the lives of two young, white and inexperienced agents at Pine Ridge if there had been more native agents." Never mind the more than 60 murdered Oglala Lakota native people as a result of FBI activities on the Pine Ridge Reservation from 1973-1976; and Joe Stuntz, a young Indian man of 23 who also was shot in the head by a cowardly, never unidentified government agent's sniper bullet, the same day as DeMain?s "two white and inexperienced agents" were shot in the head by a still unidentified native person (s). Substantiated by government admissions it does not know who shot the agents; and that it does not have sufficient evidence to show that Leonard Peltier was the "trigger man." (Lynn Crooks, 1995 parole hearing of Leonard Peltier.) Joe Stuntz had been shot in the head by a government sniper before the bodies of the dead agents had been discovered, strongly suggesting that this was, as indicated by numerous FOIA documents, a U.S. Government planed action. These agents, 28 years old, were much older than our "Dog soldier" group of 4 teenage boys, 15 and 16, who fought like warriors, as did the three young women warriors. Only Leonard, Dino, and myself, were the same ages as these agents. These agents were not only well trained in Special Weapons and tactics ((SWAT) and paramilitary tactics, and had experience in the field, but more importantly knew that they were being backed up by more then hundred fifty other SWAT FBI agents. We were forced to engage in a war of their making. The United States Federal Government had ordered "paramilitary" actions to be used to destroy the American Indian Movement and anyone that supported us. It is miraculous that only one of us was killed that day as they had come prepared to massacre us. It was because of the widespread community support for us on Pine Ridge and the Creator that we were protected that day. DeMain says that he supports the FBI because several members of his family and friends work for prisons, law enforcement agencies and the FBI. (Sue Morales-Finkle interview) With this recent revelation I am no longer surprised about the partnership DeMain has formed with the FBI, nor his contributions to FBI misinformation, deceptions and out right lies about Peltier. In further defense of the FBI DeMain said, "In 2004, during the Arlo Looking Cloud murder trial, I had my first chance to meet the AIM Darth Vador, FBI agent David Price. Feeling his aura and shaking his hand,I came away more with the impression that he was my elementary school librarian -- and have had to ask myself a lot of questions about who he is, or at least was, or was made to seem to be"... "It left me with some serious doubts about the pictures that have been painted,..."the claim that David Price killed Annie Mae, when Vernon and Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks and others know better, and better yet, their continued support of Peltier in public while whispering around about his connection with Annie Mae's death as a way to divert the motive issues away from them". (Morales-Finkle interview) David Price the FBI agent, who the Oglala people and AIM knew to be one who did much to carry out the Pine Ridge "reign of terror." We have in our possession numerous fabricated FBI reports mapping out fictitious descriptions of AIM's war readiness in the Oglala communities. Many of these written by agent David Price. These fictitious FBI reports were written in preparation to justify their war against AIM and native peoples. It was the FBI's fabricated intelligence work that lead to the Oglala firefight; and the death of two of their own agents; and Joe Stuntz. Several of the fabricated reports by David Price, were written only a few days before the Oglala firefight. Agent Price described non-existent, "pockets of militant AIM camps", "emplacement of bunkers designed to stop frontal attacks", and "AIM military training exercises". David Price was one of the lead agents that terrorized communities on the Pine Ridge reservation that sought us and our supporters out in a search and destroy mission. Also, David Price and Wood were the agents who fabricated the three different confessions of M. Poor Bear, a mentally incapacitated Oglala woman. They also fabricated at least three other false confessions, (which we have received through the foia act) from other individuals to support the Poor Bear lie. These other fabricated statements, with agent David Price's name on them, were never used. While DeMain makes allegations that Leonard shared responsibility for Anna Mae?s death, "because Anna Mae?s knowledge of Peltier?s guilt." Denise Maloney, Anna Mae?s daughter, states, contrary to DeMain that, "The death of my mother, ...is about who kidnapped, interrogated, raped and murdered her in December 1975 - not who killed FBI agents Coler and Williams at Jumping Bull?s on June 26,1975." An interview with Denise Pictou-Maloney on the death of her mother, Annie Mae Aquash. November 24, 2004. (November 29, 2004. News From Indian Country) Under, "Letters & Commentary" DeMain posted his 2002 column, "Leonard Peltier. Now what do we do?", he introduces us to his theory and "evidence", which seemed to be, "say what you want, but the spirits know the truth. Ask humbly, and they will tell you what to believe now as well." His evidence, turned out to be bits and pieces of 26 different interviews" were displayed in an attempt to lead his readers to believe Leonard Peltier was guilty of killing the two agents. Of the 70 stated interviews that DeMain and other editors of NFIC claimed to have conducted, only 26 interviews by other authors and statements by Peltier were displayed by NFIC in the January 2002. In all of these interviews and statements of Leonard Peltier, he maintained his innocence. To this day, DeMain continues to maintain on his website and affiliated websites these same 26 interviews. http://dickshovel.com/lenanna.html We have yet to see the entire 70 claimed interviews by NFIC. Those that are displayed on the NFIC; and affiliated websites have hidden interviewers and/or person (s) being interviewed under the umbrella of "fears for the safety of themselves and their family." Typical of the FBI's COINTELPRO tactical propaganda designed to create in the reader mental imagery that, in this case, the American Indian Movement is a dangerous and "un-American" organization. Although, the United States Attorney Lynn Crooks (8th Circuit court of appeals 1993) has long admitted that 'no one knows who fired the fatal shots,' and that there simply is no proof that Mr. Peltier killed anyone at all during the Oglala firefight in 1975, Paul DeMain, has made sensational claims since 2002 that he had proof Peltier killed the agents. His "evidence" was never revealed to us until the Looking Cloud trial, at which time the FBI introduced Kamook Banks Ecoffey to the witness stand to testify, alleging that Leonard Peltier had confessed to her that he killed agents Coler and Williams. A confession the FBI would have paid a handsome price for and did. Kamook admitted under cross examination that she had been paid $42,000 by the FBI, for "moving expenses". The other big surprise came when Darlene Nichols "Kamook" Banks and Robert "Bob" Ecoffey, the U.S. marshal who recruited Kamook for the FBI, married, a few months after the Looking Cloud trial, in Rapid City, South Dakota, in September 2004. (SEE Kamook's testimony: http://www.jfamr.org/doc/kmtest1.html) In regard to Kamook's testimony against Looking Cloud and Peltier, John Trudell, who said that he was recruited through Kamook, Ecoffey and then the FBI as a government witness expressed, "I said she did the right thing and I told her that she did." (interview by Barry Bachrach. August 2005.) DeMain expressed, "I have a lot of respect for John Trudell, a good friend of mine... " (Morales-Finkle interview. 2005.) Another example of DeMain?s "integrity" came on May 31, 2004, when he (in the true tradition of the FBI ) fabricated and printed a "letter to the Editor" in his newspaper (NFIC) allegedly sent to him by Ed Woods of the "No Parole for Leonard Peltier" website, entitled, "No Parole Peltier Association Reaches fourth anniversary". Out of curiosity, because it seemed out of the character of ex-FBI agent Ed Woods to send a letter to editor of NFIC, when he had his own website. I e-mailed him and asked if he had sent the letter. Woods wrote back, "I wasn't even aware that the NPPA 4th Anniversary statement appeared in News from Indian Country." (e-mail. From: Ed Woods-NPPA. June, 6, 2004). Clearly, DeMain is without integrity, truth or justice. Needless to say, as a result of running a long series of false and derogatory articles, Leonard Peltier filed a libel civil suit (See Libel suit in web) action against Paul DeMain in May 2003, one year later, May 28, 2004, DeMain, accepted a settlement after a taped conversation he and I had during the same month where he stated that the FBI created the "whole environment of mitigating circumstances" that resulted in the death of their agents. Further, DeMain said that "the FBI had manipulated, mitigated, jab rated or what ever, but all kinds of things...lets talk about it a little bit more". DeMain further stated in May 2004 that "...Leonard may have trusted her [Anna Mae]. So, if I have said anything in the past, I have said that Leonard said Anna Mae was some kind of informant... but that may have been an edgy proposition." and "I neither believe nor feel that Mr. Peltier ordered, or was capable of ordering, the death of Anna Mae Aquash. I would have never said that Leonard Peltier ordered Anna Maes death because first of all I don't believe that is the way that happened and second of all even if Peltier wanted her dead there was no authority for him to have ordered something like that....but the first proposition is that I never would have said that." All the fabrications and lies printed or expressed by DeMain and the FBI will not distort the fact that Leaders of 25 tribal Nations called on the United States government to give Peltier a new trial, and Ernie Stevens Jr., National Congress of American Indians, on behalf of the tribal leadership in Indian Country, said, "Many people have asserted that Leonard does not have support. Well, you have heard today's examples of support, and I represent the National Congress of American Indians -- and we have drafted several resolutions of support of clemency for Mr. Peltier. Those represent more than 250 Indian Tribes of the United States. The Assembly of First Nations in Canada has not only drafted support for Leonard, but offered him home and work. Leonard has a tremendous amount of support". No matter how much Paul DeMain and the FBI conspire, they will never overcome the condemnation of the appeal court's pronouncement that, "Much of the government behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in prosecuting Mr. Peltier is to be condemned" ; The world wide support given to Peltier today, nor the support of Appellate Judge Heaney, who, despite his ruling denying Peltier a new trial, stated in a letter to Senator Inouye, that he urged executive clemency for Leonard Peltier, expressing his wish that the process of healing begin. He stated: "favorable action by the President in the Leonard Peltier case would be an important step in this regard. It is time for America's wars against the indigenous people of this hemisphere to stop. Freeing Leonard Peltier will be an important start of this process." .http://www.freepeltier.org/peltier12.htm And, Don Edwards, who stated in opposition to the FBI campaign, "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." publishing NFCI 1987-2000. Nor the fact that Leonard Peltier has been widely recognized for his humanitarian works & has won several human rights awards, including the North Star Frederick Douglas Award; Federation of Labor (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize; & the 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2004, Mr. Peltier also was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. (SEE List of supporters at http://lpdcinc.blogspot.com/) Churchill says, "Before turning on the Bellecourts, about the same time he paired up with the FBI, DeMain staunchly supported them during what he labeled the "AIM Paper Wars "during the early 90s, and said than that he had "solid evidence" to support his position. Turned out DeMain?s "evidence" consisted of letters and "reports" that Bellecourts had put together themselves." Ward Churchill 2005. "...which reminds me," said DeMain, " about Vernon Bellecourt going to the FBI to report that he had received a spade in the mail during Arlo's trial -- you know, after all these years of blasting them, he is the first to run to them to complain about what he thought was a death threat." (Morales-Finkle) In Late November 1995 DeMain wrote of Churchill, "...read his (Churchill) books, and you will see the slow developing plot in footnotes and statements by Robideau and others to plant the murder of Anna Mae Aquash on Vernon Bellecourts doorstep, while he parleys Russell "Pocahontas" Means as the best thing to happen to Indian country since fire was discovered." In a two hour long interview in August 2005 with John Trudell, he defends the Bellecourts from any wrong doing in the death of Anna Mae Aquash. This is not surprising to me after reading Bank's own descriptions of meetings he called in California with Trudell and the Bellecourts specifically about the killing of Anna Mae Aquash. (See In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. By Peter Matthiessen.) DeMain said, "What the FBI seems to do most of the time, from what I can see is gather tons of intelligence" then with an added twist, typical of DeMain character, "Its not a question of supporting AIM or the FBI when you find out that both have committed actions that are repugnant to anyone's morals." (Morales-Finkle) As if he, himself has any morals. On one hand he publicly concedes that the FBI waged war against Native people and falsely imprisoned Leonard Peltier, than he ask that we also believe that FBI are, "...just human beings doing their job". DeMain, said to have "integrity, [in] seeking truth and justice," will continue to manipulate the bits and pieces of information that comes his way to recklessly accused Leonard of offenses even the United States Department of Justice has yet to accuse him, let alone prove that Leonard has done. He has played on the suffering of Leonard Peltier and Anna Mae?s family, with the assistance of the FBI to promote himself and his newspaper through unethical methods known to be used by the FBI's program, COINTELPRO, against political groups in the United States. The simple reality may be, similar to the case of Kamook Banks Ecoffey and John Trudell, lucrative opportunities and rewards have been offered DeMain by joining the FBI's campaign to discredit Leonard Peltier and assist the FBI in maintaining his imprisonment. ( For information about Trudell SEE under The Reign of Terror Operations; The U.S. Governments Implacable impunity -military, paramilitary and covert attacks. FBI PUPPETS, PAWNS AND MURDERERS PELTIER REMAINS THE TARGET. By Robert Robideau. http://lpdcinc.blogspot.com/2005/07/reign-of-terror-operations-us.html ) Today, DeMain has taken his FBI campaign against Leonard Peltier a step further, he is now recruiting other Indian newspapers and reporters to parrot his favor of "justice for Anna Mae Aquash," and succeeding in turning them to do the FBI's dirty work against Peltier too. According to Smoke Signal's reporter Ron Karten, DeMain invited him and other reporters and editors to discuss "his case against Peltier." ("Paul DeMain Presses His Case Against Peliter" by Karten. Smoke Signals. September 1,2005.) When we fail to expose individuals such as DeMain we concede to the continuing circus of misinformation being disseminated by the FBI through affiliated individuals, and media channels such as Paul DeMain?s. By not challenging reporters like Paul DeMain, we allow them greater authority to the lies that assist the United States government in their misinformation campaign, the purpose of which here is to maintain Leonard Peltier?s imprisonment. Robert Robideau International/National Spokesperson LPDC

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