Arson, murder, rape ,looting ,coercion, poverty pimping, and intimidation have always been the favored tools of “liberation” for AIM-their weapons of choice, whether they were liberating someone from their life or their property.
When that is a reality an essential ingredient becomes an active “ministry of propaganda”, a necessity recognized by AIM, one they addressed and have employed for decades.
Lies are spun from the smallest seemingly most innocuous to those of an epic scale, monuments erected in a barren landscape for the faithful to routinely wend their way to in pilgrimage, become programmed, and then go forth like missionaries seeking new converts- a technique Russell Means may have learned when he associated himself with the Unification Church trying to hustle a buck or two.
There is a penchant for people to favor an underdog, knowing this the AIM leadership and Peltier have spent decades attempting to portray themselves as such -but the reality is their victims have been the underdogs, just as the residents of WK2 were, just as the nations have been.
The barren and ravaged landscape of WK2 and the ministry of propaganda’s desire to present it as liberation is witness to that.
Every pay to pray/participate “ceremony” Clyde Bellecourt and Leonard Crow Dog conduct are monuments as well, monuments to a growing corruption and dysfunction….another act of “liberation”- the AIM legacy.
At $1500 per if a hundred people pony up for one of Clyde’s “sundance” events that’s a hundred and fifty thousand dollars-think about that for a moment-then think about the poverty that exists on every rez in this country.
AIM is Wall Street,the banking industry, ravenous corporations, one percenters -self serving, driven by greed, and lawyered up to protect themselves and their assets, the only angle they have to play is that of being a victim, of sharing in the combined misery of the nations and doing their best to alleviate them.
Their best, an effort that has economically elevated them above others-their best, that has led to the personal acquisition of everything “their” people haven’t and desperately need-their best,that has led to the rape and murder of their own.
They sell toxic stocks and bonds that have bankrupted the nations and are guided by the principles of trickle UP economics where wealth and power migrate to the top.
To speak in opposition to AIM, to point out the atrocities they have committed is to insure you will be called a “hater” that too is their best-the best they can do in lieu of admitting a truth.
Liberation will come when the nations are rid of them, their cronies, and their corrupt influence.
Wounded Knee was Burned to the Ground; Not Liberated
by Tim Giago
“There are posters floating about and advertisements asking residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation to celebrate the “Liberation” of Wounded Knee in February of 1973.
This action causes many of us old timers to scratch our heads in wonderment and ask ourselves, what is it that was liberated?
Were the nearly 35 residents of Wounded Knee who saw their homes seized, looted and eventually burned to the ground liberated? There homes have never been rebuilt and many of them had to move into already overcrowded homes with relatives. Thirty eight years after the occupation of their hometown by the American Indian Movement they have had to find other homes in other places.
Was the Wounded Knee Trading Post liberated? The Post was also thoroughly looted and eventually burned to the ground. Clive and Agnes Gildersleeve, the elderly couple who owned the Trading Post since about 1932, were taken as hostages, knocked around and terrified by the occupiers. In order to justify their criminal actions the leaders of AIM vilified Clive and Agnes.
They painted them as white trading post owners who ripped off the local Indians for years. Agnes Gildersleeve just happened to be an Ojibwe Indian, but that bit of information was swept under the rug. It would have been easy for me, as it turned out to be easy for other star struck innocents, to believe this propaganda, had I had not lived at Wounded Knee in the mid-nineteen thirties where my father, Tim, worked as a clerk and butcher for the Gildersleeves at the Wounded Knee Trading Post.
My father always spoke highly of the Gildersleeves and he found them to be honest people who worked very hard seven-days-a-week to keep the trading post and grocery store open for the customers of Wounded Knee and the surrounding communities. When the Post was burned to the ground in 1973 it left the local residents without a grocery store for miles. They had to travel to Pine Ridge Village or Martin or Gordon to get their groceries. It created a terrific hardship on them. Is this the liberation they are celebrating?
I would ask local residents of Pine Ridge and all of the tourists that might visit the reservation in the near future to take a drive to Wounded Knee and see all of the burned out homes and the burned out Trading Post and ask themselves if this horror signifies liberation.
Liberation means to set a path to freedom and the only freedom experienced by the residents and store owners of Wounded Knee was the loss of everything they owned. They were freed of all their possessions by thieves. The store was never rebuilt and the looted and damaged homes were never rebuilt. Is that liberation? I am sure AIM can come up with a hundred reasons why this destruction was necessary. I can’t think of one. The innocent people of Wounded Knee never did anything to AIM to deserve this treatment at their hands. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The occupation of Wounded Knee was a serious blunder by the American Indian Movement. From the day they set foot in Wounded Knee and took the first hostages they set themselves on a path of violence that did not end until Anna Mae Pictou Aquash was violently raped and murdered near Wanblee two years later.
Two of the “liberators” of Wounded Knee, Arlo Looking Cloud and John “Boy” Graham are now looking out between the bars of federal and state prisons. They will be spending the rest of their lives as prisoners who took orders from someone more powerful than they to end the life of an innocent Mi’kmag woman from Nova Scotia because it was rumored she was an FBI informant. In order to cover this heinous crime AIM leaders spread the propaganda that Anna Mae was a victim of the FBI and when the truth finally came out, the woman they hailed as a heroine went to her grave without a single leader of AIM in sight.
There are many rumors of bodies still buried in the ashes of Wounded Knee and it behooves the government of the Oglala Sioux Tribe stop celebrating long enough to find those bodies if indeed, they do exist. Perhaps the Tribe should hold a service to honor the real victims of Wounded Knee and choose not to honor the criminals who brought about the destruction of this historic village.”
I want to draw attention to this excerpt:
“Two of the “liberators” of Wounded Knee, Arlo Looking Cloud and John “Boy” Graham are now looking out between the bars of federal and state prisons. They will be spending the rest of their lives as prisoners who took orders from someone more powerful than they to end the life of an innocent Mi’kmag woman from Nova Scotia because it was rumored she was an FBI informant.”
Giago mentions that Graham and Arlo took orders from someone higher up, difficult to dispute that, but the admission of that has left AIM and perhaps Dennis Banks in a difficult position after discovering that silence only worked for so long and came with it’s own baggage.
Something had to be done, an alternative scenario that would exclude both Banks and AIM, one that came as naturally as breathing to them, to grip a pipe in one hand, and wave the other while proclaiming their deep and abiding love for Annie, while saying if it wasn’t a badge toting, machine gun wielding Gman who pulled the trigger on her then it was indisputable that their ever present yet to be named nebulous “provocateur” was surely behind it all.
So deep was this love not a one of them showed up for Annie’s funeral- not a one them called her family offering condolences. Not even Means, the choirboy of Matriarchy.
In that subterranean cavern they refer to as a think tank they thought it had the mark of pure genius, but beginning in ’99 when Aquash cousin Bob Branscombe began looking in the AIM closets it all began to unravel and forced at least one public response.
Means in an effort to exonerate brother BIll, and perhaps himself from any complicity co opted Branscombe news conference and displayed the ability to feign the angst and personal anquish learned in acting class, when with halting, quivering voice and braids consisting of leather and precious little hair proclaimed great dismay in having just “learned” the call ordering the murder of Annie was taken at brother Bill’s.
Dismay, but also relief that despite being a player in AIM and having company brother Bill had given his personal assurance that he had retired early and was sleeping like the proverbial baby when that call came. Thinking such statements in themselves might not be enough Means went on to become all those things he and AIM had railed against, a rat, a snitch ,an informant, as he pointed the accusatory finger at Vernon Bellecourt who was undoubtedly a middleman, an intermediary somewhere along the line.
Russell “snitches” and it’s all good, the right thing to do, and no one says a word in protest other than the accused Vernon. And why did Russell snitch? It surely wasn’t out of sense of civic duty-it was because he had something to gain. So here we have one member of the leadership snitching in front of God and country and some want to say he or others wouldn’t behind closed doors?
Now I don’t doubt for a single moment the feds had informants, and like I’ve said, I believe one or more of them could be found in the AIM leadership itself-either way though the question will also always come down to, if this spy, mole, agent or whatever were involved in Annies murder to me it kind of narrows the field to the principals-those making the decision-and why Annie who had already been marginalized and had zero input in the hierarchy? Why not a high value target like someone in the leadership if it was a premeditated plot by the feds?
Secondly this operative would have had to of been under direct orders or went “rogue” in the presence of others and perhaps the position they held rather than out themselves.
However it played out John Graham shot and killed Annie, no one else – Arlo, Graham, and Theda abducted and transported her to PR where she was beaten, interrogated, and then murdered – there isn’t a single calculus that alters that.
The only path that AIM set led to an abyss, that and the well worn one they’ve created going and back and forth to the bank.
I’ll close this with simple yes or no question for Shaimsters or Russellites who may feel like responding: By the same metric AIM and Peltier have employed did Russell snitch? If he did we know by the AIM metric what that made him.