[April 3, 2003 - Contact Glenn Morris (303) 871-0463 ]
American Indian Movement (AIM) Of Colorado
Position On The Arrest Of Arlo Looking Cloud
In The Murder Of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash
In the twenty seven years since the unforgivable murder of our AIM
sister, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, the federal authorities could have, and should have solved this case. With the recent arrest of Arlo Looking Cloud, we caution the news media and the public not to form quick and unfounded conclusions in this matter. We would like to make a few points about this painful, troubling and complex case.
- The murder of Anna Mae Aquash was unjustifiable, and justice demands that those who are responsible for ordering and carrying out her murder be held accountable. Anna Mae's memory, and peace of mind for her daughters (who live in Canada), requires a just resolution of this case.
- Arlo Looking Cloud is entitled to a presumption of innocence. No charges have been proven against him, and the burden continues to rest with the government to prove its case against him. He has been a member of our Indian community for many years, he is descended from some of the most heroic and honorable leaders of the Lakota Nation, and for years he was a respected member of AIM in Denver.
- The role of the federal government of the United States in the murder of Anna Mae cannot be denied or concealed, regardless of the outcome of any criminal trials for Arlo Looking Cloud, John Graham, or others.
- Anna Mae Aquash was killed as a direct consequence of the FBI's Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO
) operations against the American Indian Movement in the 1970's. Currently, the determination of who murdered Anna Mae remains unproven, what is not unproven is that Anna Mae was targeted for "neutralization" through the FBI's notorious COINTELPRO efforts to destroy AIM. What is known is that through COINTELPRO, the FBI deliberately placed infiltrators and operatives in AIM to promote suspicion and disinformation. Anna Mae was the victim of a "bad jacket" (sometimes known as a "snitch jacket") where FBI operatives suggested that she was an informant for the police. The FBI's express objective was to convince other AIM members of the need to eliminate Anna Mae as a "security risk," either by expelling her from the movement, or by more drastic means.
- Whatever the outcome of Arlo Looking Cloud's trial, the fact is that justice also demands an expose of the methods that were used, and continue to be used, by the FBI and other police agencies that contributed to the murder of Anna Mae.
- It is alleged that Looking Cloud murdered Anna Mae. One thing is obvious to us. In 1975, at the time of the murder, Arlo Looking Cloud was an individual member of AIM. Whatever decisions were made in the FBI to target AIM and to target Anna Mae, would not have been made by Looking Cloud. Neither, if, as has been alleged by the U.S. Attorney, the decision to kill Anna Mae was made by a rogue group in AIM's "leadership," it would not have been made by Looking Cloud either.
- Justice for Anna Mae, then, not only demands exposure of the person or persons who pulled the trigger of the gun that killed her, but also exposure of the person or persons that ordered her death. It also demands the exposure of the COINTELPRO system, including the specific FBI agents and operatives, that precipitated the entire chain of events resulting in her murder.
The facts in this statement can be substantiated through the extensive research that has been conducted in the years since Anna Mae's death. Documents in this research include thousands of pages from the FBI's own COINTELPRO files, that have now been declassified. Colorado AIM will be glad to provide media with the citations and sources that prove our points above.