14 February 2005

Press Release Concerning the Anna Mae Aquash Case

Please Circulate Widely...


Press Release Concerning the Anna Mae Aquash Case and Leonard Peltier

Dear Supporters,

It has become clear that certain factions are maliciously and
framing Leonard Peltier as a patsy to be falsely blamed for the death
Anna Mae Aquash. First and foremost, let us be clear that Leonard had
involvement in the murder.

Leonard Peltier has never voiced an opinion as to the innocence or
of those charged with Anna Mae's murder. That is fact. Leonard's
statements in the past year have not given support to Arlo Looking
or John Graham specifically (or anyone else alleged to have taken part
in Anna Mae's murder), but have been solely in support of fairness and
due process.

Leading up to the Looking Cloud trial and then in reporting the trial,
the media has embraced the false statements made by Kamook (Banks)
Ecoffey and others. It should be noted that Mr. Ecoffey was a key
investigator in the Looking Cloud case and carried on a relationship
with a key witness prior to trial, a witness who made falsely damning
statements about Leonard at trial. By sensationalizing testimony given
in that trial, the media has made outrageous accusations about Leonard
Peltier that have no foundation in the truth.

Indeed, the reporting is becoming more outrageous as a host of a
Canadian television program recently stated:
"At his [Cloud's] trial the question was raised that Leonard Peltier
ordered the execution fearing that she was an FBI informer." This
statement was an intentional misrepresentation of the facts and is not
at all supported by the Looking Cloud trial transcript. This is part of
a larger conspiracy to smear Leonard in the press and make him the
for the wrongs committed by the FBI and others, some of whom have
purported to have been long time supporters of Leonard. We cannot stand
and let shadows gutlessly utilize the media to skewer Leonard Peltier
protect themselves, in some instances, and, in other instances, simply
to make sure that Leonard remains in prison.

This has not been the only media attack. In a recent settlement in a
civil suit Leonard filed against Paul DeMain (editor of News From
Country) - who had also aligned himself with the FBI against Leonard
Peltier in implying his involvement in the Aquash murder - DeMain was
forced to admit what is common knowledge in The Movement, i.e., that
Leonard "had no authority to order the murder," and that he has no
evidence that Leonard had any involvement in any way in the murder of
Anna Mae. That is fact.

The recent attacks on Ward Churchill - who has contributed vastly to
knowledge on the FBI's COINTELPRO activities (specifically on how the
FBI worked to destroy the American Indian Movement) and who has also
served as a spokesperson for Leonard Peltier for many years - is
example of gross media manipulation. Remember that speakers, teachers,
writers, and publications themselves were targets of the FBI's
counterintelligence program during the 60s and 70s in an attempt to
interrupt or prevent the exchange of free ideas and to adversely affect
public opinion on activists and dissident groups. These attacks on Mr.
Churchill are designed, in part, to discredit Leonard Peltier and the
work that has generated vast interest in his case, as well as efforts
win his freedom. People, such as Ward Churchill, have exposed the FBI's
disruption of AIM, the Black Panthers, and virtually any person who
dares commit the heinous crime of domestic dissent.

The FBI maneuvered in a very calculated fashion to disrupt AIM and
organizations, and it continues to do so today, as we witness the
Kafkesque trial of Leonard Peltier for the death of Anna Mae Aquash in
the media. The motives underlying Anna Mae's death were planted by the
FBI as part of its co-intelpro activity. It started by the infiltration
of AIM by Douglas Durham who infiltrated AIM at its highest levels. He
earned the trust of Dennis Banks, Vernon Bellecourt and others whom he
used to get information for the government. Because Anna Mae saw
Durham, she became a threat to Durham because, she, like many others
not trust him. Leonard did not trust him and voiced his opinion to
Dennis Banks who disregarded it during the first International Treaty
Council Convention on the Standing Rock Reservation in 1974.

The FBI then began targeting and setting up Anna Mae because she had
become a threat to Durham's cover and they began a campaign to "bad
jacket" her. We know that both the FBI and people within AIM targeted
Anna Mae Aquash because of the connection which the FBI created between
her and Durham. Shortly after Durham was exposed as an agent of the
Anna Mae became a target because AIM leaders believed she was working
with Durham. At this time, AIM leaders resolved to rid AIM of so-called
"rats." The fact is that Anna Mae never was a "rat," but the FBI played
people and maneuvered to create fear among AIM leaders that she was.
This caused great concern to certain members of AIM because she was
deeply involved with AIM Leaders. The fear and suspicion became so
overwhelming, certain factions decided something had to be done with
Anna Mae. Leonard was not involved in any way with the decision making
and the death of Anna Mae. In fact, Leonard at this time was a fugitive
on the run into Canada, incommunicado with the group that he worked.

Now we have the John Graham Defense Committee inappropriately using
Leonard's statements to bolster support for Graham and also manipulate
the media. Indeed, John Graham has falsely associated himself in a
relationship with Leonard that does not and never did exist. In an
interview with David Melmer on March 02, 2004, Graham falsely stated
that shortly after the Oglala firefight, he and Anna Mae ". .
with Leonard and them, and they were in the hills there..." However,
Graham did not, at any time, meet or join with Leonard's group. In
Leonard Peltier has never met and doesn't know John Graham personally.
We now know that Graham's lies are part of a conspiracy and attempt to
implicate Leonard in the killing of Anna Mae.

Four requests were sent to the John Graham Defense Committee asking
all links to Leonard Pettier Defense Committee Web sites and all
statements be removed from the John Graham Defense Committee's Web
When the private attempts to have these materials removed was ignored,
we publicly demanded the removal of all links to the Leonard Peltier
Defense Committee Web sites and all Peltier statements. Still, contrary
to Leonard's express demands, the John Graham Defense Committee has
failed to honor Leonard's wishes.

Let us be clear. Leonard Pettier had no involvement in the murder of
Anna Mae and it has become clear to Leonard that he must distance
himself from anyone alleged to have played a role in her death. Leonard
must protect himself from unfounded accusations. It is important that
not stand still while Leonard is made the fall guy for yet another
he did not commit. Leonard has suffered 29 years and we will not stand
by and allow him to suffer any further injustice. We have already seen
the United States Government present patently false evidence both in
Leonard's case and in the Looking Cloud case. Baseless accusations are
being made against Leonard and associations being alleged that never
existed. It is important that we stand behind Leonard and not let him
framed for yet another incident in which he had no part. It has become
clear to Leonard and those close to him that he must remove himself
anything or anyone who has been allegedly connected to Anna Mae's
murder. Most importantly is that certain factions be stopped from lying
and implicating Leonard. We will not rest until that is done.

Robert Robideau
International/National Spokesperson
And Legal Assistant to Leonard Peltier and Barry Bachrach
Phone: 01134938150425
Email: americanindianm@telefonica.net


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