[News] Leonard Peltier's Reaction to Kamook & Arlo Looking Cloud Trial

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 10 13:23:19 EST 2004

Hau Kola,

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 the moment.

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 Horse,
Leonard Peltier
Mitakuye Oyasin

Jury convicts former AIM member in 1975 murder
CARSON WALKER, Associated Press Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2004
©2004 Associated Press


(02-07) 00:46 PST RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) --

A former American Indian Movement member was convicted of murdering a woman 
who had been suspected of being a government informant. His attorney plans 
to appeal.

Arlo Looking Cloud, 50, will be sentenced April 23 and faces a mandatory 
life prison term.

He showed no emotion when a federal jury pronounced him guilty Friday in 
the 1975 shooting death of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, a fellow member of the 
militant group. Her frozen body was found in 1976 on South Dakota's Pine 
Ridge Indian Reservation.

Defense attorney Tim Rensch said he believes he can win an appeal because 
of prejudicial evidence that "had nothing to do with the case."

Jurors deliberated for about seven hours before convicting Looking Cloud of 
first-degree murder committed in the perpetration of a kidnapping. He had 
been indicted in March with another former AIM member, John Graham.

Authorities said they only recently found enough evidence to prosecute the 
case. A break came when the former common-law wife of former AIM leader 
Dennis Banks came forward.

Graham is free on bail in Canada and plans to fight extradition.

The slaying came amid a series of bloody clashes in the mid-1970s between 
federal agents and AIM, which agitated for treaty rights and 
self-determination for Indians. Aquash, a member of Mi'kmaq Tribe of 
Canada, was among the Indian militants who occupied the village of Wounded 
Knee for 71 days in 1973.

Prosecutors said Aquash's hands were tied and she begged for her life as 
she was led to the edge of a cliff in South Dakota, where she was shot in 
the back of the head.

Looking Cloud admitted he helped drive Aquash from Denver to Rapid City and 
eventually to the place where he says Graham shot her, but he insisted he 
did not know she was going to be killed.

Rensch said in closing arguments Friday that prosecutors had not proven 
Looking Cloud knowingly took part in the killing.

"They have to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that in his mind he wanted 
Miss Pictou Aquash to die," Rensch said. "Tagging along isn't enough."

U.S. Attorney Jim McMahon told jurors Looking Cloud had been a willing 
participant in Aquash's killing.

"She gets to the edge of the cliff and asks to pray and she's shot in the 
back of the head," McMahon said. "You don't have to go any further in this 
case than that there. Because to haul somebody that distance to the edge of 
the cliff is premeditated, cold-blooded murder."

Rensch criticized prosecutors for testimony about the violence of the 
American Indian Movement that he said had nothing to do with the case.

McMahon said the evidence about AIM was intended to lay the background for 
allegations among its members at the time that Aquash was a government spy.

©2004 Associated Press

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