Letter to the Editor: Sound Advice

By Rezinate
February 2011

I was watching the recent interview with the A.G. of South Dakota, Marty Jackley, following the Graham sentencing as conducted and provided by NFIC. Understandably Jackley was a little evasive about whether or not Graham’s conviction would lead to further indictments - what I found encouraging was his statement that the murder of Annie Mae was an open and ongoing investigation.

What re-enforces my belief that additional indictments will be forthcoming is Rios’ sealed testimony- it is the Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of many. I believe it was sealed to prevent other suspects from knowing they are in line.

One could possibly be Dennis Banks, if for no other reason than his now infamous statement where he identified the body being found as that of Annie Mae prior to any official identification or announcement to that effect.

This singular act raises a lot of questions that need to be answered-since Banks has declined to for decades it understandably raises the level of suspicion and in the least it should pursued with a subpoena and the fifth amendment privilege can then be invoked.

It was Banks who saw a threat in Bob Branscombe and spammed the various AIM chapters with admonishments to neither talk with or entertain him in any manner. Banks characterized him as a threat on various levels.

It is also Banks who has thought it better to keep a low profile in all things Annie Mae. Granted there is the tepid and vague reference to her in his literary homage to himself, and the rare interview where he actually condescends to speak of her - but little else. No high profile effort to lead the search for justice for one who has such a favored place in his heart. Plenty to say about everything else but that.

Jackley made a statement that every step of the way in the entire Annie Mae scenario Graham’s presence is noted, and that is indicative. I wonder what relevance Jackley is placing on Bank’s “presence” in his initial identification of Annie’s remains?

I wonder what relevance he is placing on Russell’s most recent statements - not the finger pointing at Vernon but that other one where he stated he knew who was to blame but upon his given “word” could not divulge the information until this person had died? If there is any truth to this under legal standards it amounts to obstruction-but it could just be another effort to gain attention - to be relevant - to remain a big fish in a pond that is being drained.

This is a peculiar statement at best and can only lead one to assume that since Vernon has passed on, and Russell has previously accused Graham as well,that all of this amounts to little more than the familiar rambling or is supportive of the commonly held belief that many were involved, beginning with the planning, to the ordering, to the execution. Bottom line though is that Graham was the triggerman, and his presence in every step along the way is indisputable.

I like the fact that AG Jackley made a point of mentioning that Annie Mae was taken to the WKDOC office and interrogated - the implication is that those who have been placed there are under scrutiny and neither titles, relationships, or law degrees are an exemption.
I have to admit though that I am often amused by the actions/antics of AIM in their attempts to remain relevant and ahead of the game - conflicting statements are the norm, not to mention the difficulty in trying to understand and make sense of them-kind of their personal version of speaking in tongues along with the ever present petty spats, name calling, and territorial disputes.

Someone asked Russell recently if he had an involvement in the Annie Mae case - his response was to get real  I’m of the opinion that is exactly what is occurring, not just the courts, but people are getting real, and I assume in Russell’s self coronation as the Chief Facilitator he is pleased that people are beginning, as he advised, to “use your goddam brains”. Sound advice indeed.

As to Banks, he has gone underground as is usual, the silence is deafening, and still seems to suffer from a terminal, albeit selective, laryngitis. That’s okay though as time is no longer a friend, it has become the enemy, and should he be indicted and go the fifth amendment route it will speak with a voice louder than any words he might have to say.

Innocence demands an audience, it seeks a venue to speak, to lay doubts to rest, and actively seeks justice. It does not recognize nor adhere to codes of silence knowing that in silence aid and comfort is given to those who are guilty. There is no honor in doing so, no service to a people, no respect for culture and tradition - it is the antithesis of all that is right and good.

Tradition is more than a catch phrase, more than a word to employ for personal gain - to have any value it must be a living, breathing entity. Nowhere can a nation be advanced as an example where silence in the search for the truth involving the murder of a woman, a mother of small children, can it be said to be tradition - this is a truth that all who are not of the nations, who have only books and the internet to base their determination on of what it means to be Indigenous need to understand.

They need to put aside the romantic ideas they have, the false hero worship, and forgetting all that, view this for what it is - it is first and foremost an abduction, rape, and murder, a criminal act. In that context ethnicity and romanticism have no place.

To accept the fact that there are murderers and criminals among the nations, or among AIM for that matter, should not be denied or provide some personal angst - to acknowledge this does not constitute betrayal, does not lessen the value of the nations or those who work within the AIM structure who are motivated by selflessness. It is merely a recognition that among any people there are those who break with what is tradition, are not representative, and need to be held accountable.

Despite all the rhetoric about the vaunted position and high esteem the nation’s women are held in their standing has been systematically degraded, and acts like this and the endemic abuses they face, including over the top rape and abuse statistics are perpetuated by silence and romanticism.

This reality of this silence is as much a genocidal agent as any the nations have faced - the greater tragedy is that the authors of this one dwell among the people.

Below a quote from Tim Giago….

“Too many movies and too many books have glorified AIM and told only one side of the story. It would be a terrible miscarriage of justice if only the foot soldiers are prosecuted and not those that gave the order to murder Anna Mae or those that knew about it and failed to prevent it or to report it. “

“Those that gave the order to murder”.... those that knew about it and failed to prevent it or to report it. ” These are key words that need to be remembered and acted upon, it is then that justice will prevail. Denise said Graham had 35 years to live his life - so have the others that Giago speaks of - that’s 35 years stolen from the tradition of a people, 35 years of lies and suffering forced upon the survivors of the victims, 35 years stolen from Annie Mae, Ray Robinson, and those in the unmarked graves.

To offer any respite is an act of unwarranted comfort, and it is beyond my understanding why anyone would. Why any, whether in a forum, on a memorial page, or in their daily life would elect to do so.

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