Doug Durham, one time Dennis Banks bud, organizer, and pilot, filled multiple roles defining the term multi tasking before it became popular.
You have to admit though that Durham was slick, as his ultimate role was that of an informant planted by the feds.
Dennis Banks, being long on talk and short on insight, embraced Durham with open arms within about a week or so following his insertion.
Durham had been in the Marines and also worked for the Des Moines police department from the streets to the vice squad – becoming an insider AIM informant was a piece of cake having already worked in the same capacity as a civilian following his departure from the police force for Immigration and drug enforcement.
Durham’s career reads like a Hollywood script from being jailed to gather information to piloting drug dealers back and forth across the border.
So adept was Durham at his craft that within a week of introducing himself to AIM he was made a regional director of public relations.
Equally beguiled Dennis Banks bestowed the honorifics of AIM’s “national” pilot, personal affairs manager, body guard, and a “national” security directorship upon him.
The access Durham had must have been limitless – that translated to the ability to make decisions at times related to the daily operation as a surrogate.
And therein lies the sticking point – position and some measure of decision making ability.
Durham spent two years inside the belly of beast – that’s two years of funneling information and participating in various crimes.
People have been arrested, tried, and convicted based in part on information provided by informants of shorter duration – yet Banks has continued to avoid a similar fate, and the question can only be why?
AIM reportedly hatched a plan in 1973 to kidnap then Iowa governor Robert Ray, but ultimately settled on occupying the Grimes State Office Building in which Durham participated and received a slap on the wrist token fine of a hundred dollars for doing so. A benefit no doubt of having friends in high places.
Apparently kidnapping a governor was too high risk to be given the green light and it was Durham who argued the point among his AIM cohorts and turned the tide.
High risk indeed if it had all gone south and the public became aware that Durham, a fed informant, had participated. Heads would have rolled and might well be rolling to this day.
This slapping of the wrist is a common thread to be found throughout the leaderships history – Means get’s a year for his role in Custer and wound up doing it sipping coffee on day work release at Abourzeks law office, Clyde Bellecourt gets busted as a major drug dealer and only does a couple of years during the height of the “war on drugs” – another example of friends in high places, an intercessor acting in their behalf.
Somehow inspite of these for show convictions the dynamic changed and in each case following them Eliot Ness wouldn’t have been able to take the leadership down.
It was Durham who flew Banks into Canada during his tenure as a fugitive related to the Custer Court House riot – that means the feds knew where Banks was at – and did nothing thus allowing Banks to return and gain “asylum” under Governor Jerry Brown in California and then onto Onondaga before deciding to give himself up after wearing out his welcome there and striking a deal.
Once in custody Banks could have been buried under an avalanche of charges with Durham as the lead witness bolstered by names, dates, wiretaps, and probably a few other witnesses who would rolled over to save themselves or operating as informants also.
Durham knew where the guns, money, and drugs came from – he probably was involved as AIM’s “national pilot” in transporting them, and on more than one occasion reported he knew where at least some were being kept…..Banks apartment.
So here we have Banks, presumably a high value target, and illegal automatic weapons in the same location, seems reasonable to assume a raid, seizure, and arrest would have ensued at some point, and yet it didn’t.
What were the feds looking and waiting for, a bigger fish? If so who? Major drug lords, perhaps a shot at taking down top level CPUSA leaders? International gun runners?
I don’t believe you necessarily have to cut off the head of the snake to render it ineffective, chopping it into a few pieces will accomplish the same thing.
Durham had the goods on everyone, had that of been acted upon the history of AIM’s rampage and resmurs would have been dramatically altered.
Durham has passed on so there’s nothing he can add now – he in a different venue maintained his brotherhoods code of silence.
In AIM, specifically it’s leadership, you have a criminal organization being funded in part by drug money and the CPUSA, committing crimes from assault to theft and murder who for all intents and purposes were untouchable.
Durham among others has always been AIM’s poster boy for the mea culpa of AIM only did what they did because they were “paranoid” – that’s BULLSHIT from front to back – AIM did what it did because it was led by a band of common criminals who would stop at nothing.
The final analysis is if that weren’t true there would have been no informants, AIM wouldn’t have murdered the people it did, sold drugs, or raped and rampaged their way across ndn country.
A common theme throughout this blog has been that of complicity, that any with any measure of complicity in the crimes AIM committed should be held to account – No amount of rhetoric can alter such a reality, no “greater purpose” that serves to qualify what the nations have been made to endure during AIM’s Reign of Terror.
There seems to exist a love/hate relationship between AIM and the government – both sides alternately talking trash and selling tickets to a fight neither has the desire to engage in.
noun, plural complicities.
the state of being an accomplice; partnership or involvement in wrongdoing:
complicity in a crime.