Searching for God in nature, photography, whiskey, books and art…. whatever rant I am compelled to voice

Posts tagged “Dennis Banks


WOW! Is this an example of our Federal dollars at work? Not sure who SNAPPLE is but since he came to my house uninvited supporting  Special Agent Joseph Trimbach. As a courtesy I put up a video that he thinks is relevant to the John Graham/Richard Marshall debacle trial. I think the trial is tearing apart Indian country but mostly the mainstream media does not report on it…another example of how the United States continues their ongoing history of racist beliefs and actions against the indigenous people population of this beautiful land.

Although I posted the video late last night with his name in caps he cannot seem to find it even though I also linked the post to his own blog LEGEND OF PINE RIDGE. Snapple is upset not  only because he thinks I did not put up Two Elks video but because he mistakenly  wrote on a previous post “the FBI is against Indians” He corrected himself but apparently he has no sense of humor. SNAPPLE claims I was making fun at his expense and that he is “older”…not sure what that means…at any rate he is an “older” person who quickly resorts to insults and tantrums when he thinks he has not gotten his way. On top of that I specifically told him that I would post it sometime…I was going to wait until the weekend but stayed up last night..

Mr. Snapple you need to read RULES FOR COMMENTING ON MY BLOG.

Here is one of several comments he left on my blog…I am responding in parenthesis

You are obviously a stupid little idiot who is not able to argue honestly if you choose to make something of an older person’s typing error. And lazy and dishonest not to post TWo Elk’s recent video.

I have given you the youtube link a few times.

Monica and Anna Mae both were both reportedly in a relationship to Dennis Banks, although he was married to Ka-Mook.(Noo….Monica Charles says she was not in a relationship with Dennis Banks and what is your source to such a claim? Do you just throw that stuff out there hoping a sex scandal will spice things up? You sound like the NATIONAL ENQUIRER!)

Monica’s brother (where do you get your information??? Do you think everybody with the last name of Charles is Monicas brother???) Norman was allegedly with Peltier when the FBI agents were shot.

Monica is pretty much at ground zero and spends a lot of time discrediting Indians such as Richard Two Elk and Ka-Mook, who have told the authorities what they witnessed so that there would be evidence to take to court.(Didn’t Ka-Mook get paid 49,000 for her testimony? She basically testified heresay and seven months later married one of the governments lead investigators in the  Anna Mae Aquash case. From what I understand Richard Two Elk’s testimony is so bad and he has put out so many conflicting stories that he is not taken too seriously on the stand….or by PBS.)

Here is something Two Elk said about what Dennis Banks ordered boys to do during the occupation:

“I was there, at Wounded Knee. At the age of 19, I backpacked weapons and supplies into the village with my AIM brothers. I remember it was near Easter, because that’s when our leader, Dennis Banks, ordered us to ‘take care’ of a young white guy, suspected of being an informant. We knew what that meant. We strung him up on a cross in a mock crucifixion, and beat him. After we took him down, they led him away and I don’t think he was ever heard from again.”(Richard Two Elk has apparently written several different versions of this incident…If this is true why have the FBI not prosecuted him for murder???)

Agnes Gildersleeve testified that Indian people were held in a church and threatened with guns. AIM took over a disabled man’s trailer and other people’s homes.

Agnes recounts:

“[AIM] took complete control of the telephone service and local residents were not permitted to answer any of the phones. When my phone would ring, an armed guard would immediately answer the phone and direct the call over to [disabled Wilber Reigert’s stolen] trailer house where Banks, Means, and Bellecourt were located…” (Trimbach p. 88) (The Gildersleeves were well known for taking advantage of Native Americans at their trading post…selling objects offensive to Native Americans. Here is Steve Hendricks talking about the Gildersleeves:

Tim Giago writes that I unfairly impugned the honor of the late Clive and Agnes Gildersleeve. The Gildersleeves owned the trading post at Wounded Knee, which was looted by militants who had seized the village to protest oppression on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and beyond. Sloppily lumping my book The Unquiet Grave with Peter Matthiessen’s In The Spirit of Crazy Horse, Giago writes, “In [the two books], you will read about a ‘white man’ and a woman often referred to as a ‘white woman,’ although Agnes Gildersleeve was an Ojibwa woman, who ‘ripped off’ the local Lakota people. This apparently justifies the attacks upon them and the destruction of their business.”

I did not write that Ms. Gildersleeve was white, did not use the words “ripped off” (though they are not far from the truth), and did not excuse the attack on them or their business. I did explain why many Indians hated the business:

“Its owners, the Gildersleeve and Czywczynski families, had strewn billboards for seventy-five miles that announced, SEE THE WOUNDED KNEE MASSACRE SITE, VISIT THE MASS GRAVE. POSTCARDS, CURIOS, DON’T MISS IT! The postcards showed slaughtered Indians, including Chief Big Foot, frozen in the 1890 snow. The traders enlivened their commerce with beadwork, quilts, and other curios bought low from Oglalas and sold high. A Catholic priest once watched Mrs. Czywczynski barter a beader to a stingy $3.50 for an exquisite work, then turn around and sell it for $12.00. The traders doubled as creditors, lending their Indian patrons $10 at humble interest of $2.25 a week. As village postmasters, they also offered a rudimentary auto-payment–opening the mail of customers who had run tabs, cashing their checks without asking, paying their bills at the post, and calling other shopkeepers across the reservation to see if debts were owed them too. There had been calls to boycott the post, but none had worked. The post was the only store for a dozen miles, and the many carless Oglalas of Wounded Knee had no choice but to buy groceries and other wares at its inflated prices. Years later Clive Gildersleeve was called to testify about his business practices, and he invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself ninety-nine times.”

Giago goes on to paint me as an apologist for the American Indian Movement, which led the Indian rights struggle of the 1970s. This is rank distortion. Mine was the first book to describe AIM’s secret killing inside Wounded Knee of an activist named Ray Robinson, and the book’s centerpiece was AIM’s infamous execution of Anna Mae Aquash two years later. As Giago well knows, I condemned AIM sharply for these and lesser brutalities, and more than one AIM leader has threatened me for my pains. What riles Giago is that I also praised AIM (the overwhelming majority of whose members were peaceful) for fighting oppression, and I denuded the oppressors, from small-timers like the Gildersleeves to big-timers like the FBI, the latter of which persistently goaded AIM to just the sort of violence it committed. In Indian Country, the haves like Giago have long fought to keep the have-nots in their place. It is one reason the have-nots are still so multitudinous.



This is a comment SNAPPLE just left on my blog for those of you who would like to hear from an FBI supporter’s take on the whole Anna Mae Aquash story. My response is below his.

On August 12, 2009 at 5:24 am Snapple Said:


Richard Two Elk has made a video that describes some things that happened when the AIM attacked the people at Wounded Knee.

I think you should hear his side instead of just listening to a woman who may be closely associated with the people who conspired in some crimes.

I have a number of posts about Two Elk, but you might want to see his new video.

The introduction of the Trimbach’s book is written by Mr. Two Elk. He writes about child abuse and alcoholism in the introduction. This book is based on Indian sources because it is Indians who witnessed the crimes or who were the victims.

I linked it on this post.

I think you are believing the lies that the criminals who killed Indians, FBI agents, and some young women and men at Wounded Knee told.

You write about abuse of women and children, but young women and girls were sexually assaulted and murdered during the take-over.

The lawyer for the AIM, Mark Lane, got money from the KGB. He was also the lawyer for the 900 people at Jonestown who were murdered. Mark Lane says he managed to escape that day. Only a few people weren’t poisoned or shot. Then Mark Lane–the AIMster lawyer who got money from the KGB–wrote a book that claimed the CIA killed those people.

Mark Lane got money from the Soviet KGB to make trouble and to discredit American security agencies like the FBI and CIA. We know this because a KGB archivist defected to the British with many years of notes he took on the documents in the KGB foreign intelligence archives.


You must not have read my posts or comments to James Simon very well. I do not just listen to Monica Charles…she merely suggested a book to read….I have been reading THE UNQUIET GRAVE by Steve Hendricks. I got hung up on the Jancita Eagle Deer story and wrote several posts about her. What do you think about Jancita Eagle Deer? Do you see her as just another lying drunk Indian woman who “got” what she asked for?

I in no way, shape or form support ANYONE who has raped or abused women or children…David Seals has spoken out against AIM leaders who treated women poorly…as has Monica Charles. (look up my posts on  Bernard Red Cherries. I have a victims statement from his step daughter on my blog. A fellow blogger was threatened by Autonomous AIM Where is the FBI??) The point is Snapple, you and James Simon  unconditionaly support those who who have either ignored or partaken in the abuse of women. As Monica Charles once wrote I see the law enforcement as public servants sworn to uphold the laws of the United States(she just plain mistrusts them). The FBI should have been protecting the rights of Native Americans and not just  those of the colonizers.

I am not mired in opinion of one side over the other. I do not blindly support the AIM or the FBI. The only people I blindly support are the victims…and not the ones crying over the loss of their material possesions at Wounded KneeII

My sympathies and prayers go to the children like MaryAnn Little Bear and Jancita Eagle Deer…and the countless others who did not seem to warrant the FBI’s attention in the terms of a thorough investigation. That bothers me more than the Anna Mae Aquash murder…Anna Mae Aquash was a woman who made it to adulthood and made her decision to be involved in activities that may or may not get her killed…she felt that what she was doing was right and good. I do not agree with nor do I condemn her actions…She was caught up in something that became beyond her control. However I do not hold AIM to higher standards than I hold the FBI.The only law enforcement agent that looks to be a hero in all of this is U.S.Marshal Colburn…he’s good looking too!

My concept of my history has been pulled out from under me with this Indian stuff…totally blows me away at 43? My attitudes toward law enforcement and the government has changed considerably not because they made mistakes or did stupid things or even because they plotted to exterminate Indians but because they continue to support the wrong minded thinking in 2009. 2009 ! ! ! (kind of like the racism we are seeing with the election of Obama) They refuse to recognize, take responsibility and hold accountable those who did not enforce the laws that they were sworn to uphold. AIM was a group of protestors that got out of hand…the FBI is a government agency who only investigated crimes on Pine Ridge and other reservations when it suited their racist, paranoid beliefs.

As for Richard ‘Two Elks….have you ever read alt.native??? This is what the FBI supports??? Seriously???? All any jury would have to read is a copy of him making fun of a woman who was sexually abused by her father that pretty much negates what he claims to be consern and support for Native women. I own a copy of AMERICAN INDIAN MAFIA  and I will get around to reading it. But being endorsed by Richard Two Elks and Bill Janklow….you guys are starting off on the wrong foot with me.

I am trying to finish THE UNQUIET GRAVE and it is difficult…they are in Oregon traveling with dynamite….It’s hard to read but this is not something that I can even discuss with you because you are 100 percent in support of genocide. I can’t even get James Simon to acknowledge that the government  was stearilizing Indian women in the sixties. His avoidance of the topic makes me believe that he thinks that these were the right actions…that Indian women are less than human. What about you SNAPPLE….do you unconditionally support all actions by the United States???

A few more things why do you hide behind the name SNAPPLE?

Why are the FBI supporters so concerned about Monica Charles sex life? That really bothers me..why is that thrown around? Do you hold women to differnet standards? Is there any proof of her having sex with Dennis Banks? She says she didn’t….and if she did why bring it up like she is a whore? How many women or men have you been with??? Why aren’t the sex lives of the FBI agents under attack or investigated or commented about?

Get that video of Richard Two Elks on youtube and I will put it on my blog and make it a whole post!

Oh and I haven’t heard of any young women being murdered at Wounded Knee….but with all I have been stuffing in my head…did I gloss over it?

I look forward to hearing your response.


All excerpts are in italics and from THE UNQUIET GRAVE by Steve Hendricks.

Previously a young Jancita Eagle Deer alleges that Bill Janklow raped her. The investigation, like many rape investigations on reservations at the time (I hope things have gotten better),is poorly conducted with adults hesitating, unwilling to do their jobs. Years later she attends a press conference publicly stating that she was victimized. The press conference does not end well for her and she is accused of making up the story by Bill Janklow”s lawyer Jeremiah Murphy.

The story continues…

The reporters never asked how Jeremiah Murphy had seen the papers he said he had seen, papers like Eagle Deer’s school and medical records. these were personal documents, protected by law from prying eyes like Murphy’s, as any lawyer would have known. ….

Nor, above all, did reporters investigate the truth or falsity of the competing stories told by Murphy and Eagle Deer. They simply decreed Eagle Deer wrong.

A  few days later, the Court of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Judge Mario Gonzales presiding, convened to hear evidence In re disbarment of William Janklow. The only reporter in attendance was Minnesota freelancer Kevin McKiernan. Janklow did not attend either, though Gonzalez had ordered him to appear and show cause why he should not be disbarred. Gonzalez had also ordered a BIA police officer to bring the BIA’s file on the alleged rape, but the officer’s superiors ordered him not to give Gonzalez the “confidential” file.This was a large insult. Virtually every court in the nation was entitled to review police records when relevant to a case at hand. For the BIA to  say that Judge Gonzalez could not see the records was tantamount to saying that his court was no court.

There was irony in this turn of events because tribal courts had been created a century before by the Indian Bureau to strip traditional chiefs of power and give it to Indian Judges who could be kept servile.

Gonzalez answered the BIA’s insult by jailing the officer who refused to hand over the file and promising the same for his superiors if they set foot on the reservation. Judge Bogue immediately reversed Gonzalez and, more insult to injury, misspelled his name.

Dennis Banks proceeded with his case, calling twenty witnesses against Janklow.

Eagle Deer testified, in Gonzalez’s words, “in obvious discomfort at reliving old horrors.” He found her testimony entirely credible. Kaye Lord and others recounted the rape as Eagle Deer had told them, and eagle Deer’s medical records, unlike her police file, were produced by the hospital. Contrary to the press-conference claim of Jeremiah Murphy, the records contained evidence of some kind, not made explicit by Judge Gonzalez, that was consistent with a claim of sexual assault.

“Furthermore,” Gonzalez wrote, “the evidence indicates that an obstruction of justice followed the rape. When a complaint was being made to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Special Officer, Janklow was there. No relief or representation was possible through the Legal Services Program since Mr. Janklow ran it…..testimony indicates that as recently as two months ago, Mr. Janklow offered Miss Eagledeer’s grandfather money after inquiring about her. The depth of the suffering which Miss Eagledeer conveyed in her testimony cannot be reproduced through words on paper. Feeling shame, she left the Rosebud Reservation and returned only once until today. Her foster parents testified that her grades and interest in school fell after she was raped. She still feels frightened and inhibited by the beastly act committed against her by Mr. Janklow. It can only be hoped that she will come to realize that she should hold her head up proud for she has not guilt. She is a victim.”

Gonzalez disbarred Janklow from tribal court, then went one better and issued a warrant for his arrest.

The newspapers of the state might have been expected o give at least a few paragraph to the warrant, to the disbarment , or to the finding that Janklow had raped Eagle Deer.

They did not.


All excerts are in italics and from THE UNQUIET GRAVE by Steve Hendricks.

Previously young Jancita who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation has been placed in foster and the future Governor of the State of South Dakota Bill Janklow has taken her under her wing helping her with boarding school placement, adoption by her foster parents, family dinners with his wife and small children. All of this interest in a young girl has led to an accusation of rape by Jancita…and very suspicious behavior from the future Governor Bill Janklow

Dennis Banks became interested in the story of Jancita Eagle Deer in 1974…

But there was not proof , no investigative reports from Pitchlynn or the FBI, no medical exam, no physical evidence. The case was a classic he -said/she-said.

…Banks was shown Peter Pitchlynn’s BIA  report by officials of the Rosebud tribal government who were friendly to AIM. Whatever the origin and nature of the new discoveries, they convinced Banks to file a claim against Janklow. he did not, in Rosebud Tribal Court, in October 1974…

Because tribal courts do not have jurisdiction over major crimes on reservations (federal courts do), AIM accused Janklow not of rape per se but of conduct unbecoming a member of the tribal bar. (Janklow had been a member of the bar since his legal aid days on Rosebud.) In addition to the rape claim, Banks accused Janklow of drunken driving, disobeying police officers, perjury, and malpractice. Judge Gonzalez received the complaint, ordered a hearing to determine whether the would-be-attorney general should be disbarred, and appointed Banks special prosecutor-a rare turnabout of an Indian prosecuting his white prosecutor.

…a small weekly newspaper of discreetly leftist views called a press conference in Sioux Falls. The featured speakers were Jancita Eagle Deer and Peter Pitchlynn. Eagle Deer, looking exhausted and frail, was given the microphone first. She said, in a voice almost too faint to be heard, (a common occurrence for someone who has had their power taken away.) that seven years ago she had been raped by Bill Janklow. Reporters asked her to speak up. She did for a few moments, but her voice dribbled back down again. The reporters asked again, she tried again, failed again. After a few minutes, the host, publisher Richard Barnes, suggested that Eagle Deer take some time to collect herself and gave the podium to Peter Pitchlynn.

Pitchlynn said that when he investigated the case in 1967 he believed Eagle Deer’s claim that Janklow had raped her, and he still believed her today. He had recommended Janklow be prosecuted. He assumed the FBI agent who had investigated the case after him, and whose investigation trumped his, had disagreed, but he didn’t know. The agent and the assistant who declined to prosecute were both white; Pitchlynn was Indian.

When the microphone was returned to Eagle Deer, a man named Jeremiah Murphy took over the questioning. Murphy was not a reporter but a lawyer, Bill Janklow’s lawyer to be precise.

“Wasn’t Bill Janklow your guardian?” he asked Eagle Deer.

“No sir,” she said. “It was my foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Arcoren.”

“But didn’t Bill get you into this girl’s dorm, and didn’t he sign as your guardian?”

“No, he didn’t get me-“

“Why do the records show that?”

Eagle Deer said she had no idea.

“Another question. To constitute a rape there must be penetration. According to the prosecutor’s office on the Rosebud Reservation and the doctor’s reports at the Rosebud Hospital, there was no penetration. How could it be rape?”

“There was,” she protested.

“The doctor’s report shows there was no penetration, nothing happened, no physical abuse to you, no marks on your body whatsoever.”

“That’s not true.”

“It’s right there in black and white, on the reservation, in the hospital.”

“I guess Bill Janklow bought the doctor out-and the tribal chairman-” stammered Eagle Deer, clearly grasping at reeds.(This is so sad…I have to keep starting and stopping in order not to become enraged…many prayers for Jancita.)

“The records are still there,” Murphy said. “I looked at them last week.” He changed direction. “Isn’t it also true that you showed up on Bill Janklow’s doorstep since he’s been in Pierre? You’ve been to his house, you’ve called him on the telephone?”

“Yes, I called him once about two years ago.”

“And you’ve been at his house in Pierre.”

“No. I’ve never been to his house.”

“Now, there’s hotel records that show that you were in Pierre.”

“Yes, I was in Pierre.”

“And you were at his house, and Bill Janklow paid for that room so that you’d stay away from his house.” (WOW isn’t this whole exchange indicative of Bill Janklow’s inappropriate behavior??? If someone accuses you of rape do you pay for their hotel seven years later??? Jancita’s behavior is typical of someone who has never received treatment for their victimization.)

“I’ve never been at his house. he told me he would help me if ever I needed help. And so I called him. I was going through a divorce and, uh-“

“Well, if this man raped you, why in the hell would you call him for help? You said he’s threatened your life, you said he’s reaped you. And then you call this man and say, “Would you help me get a divorce?”

Murphy did not subscribe to the theory that victims could become psychologically attached to their victimizers.

“I didn’t ask him to help me get a divorce,” Eagle Deer said. “I figured he would probably do me some good if he would just help me.”

Murphy then begins to question Pitchlynn becoming more and more angry with each question.

Finally he ejaculated, “Somebody’s after Bill Janklow’s ass!…I’ve never been upset in my life, but there’s a man out there with a family, with some kids that he’s got to explain to in the morning things that were put on the television about him.”

Publisher Richard Barnes interjected, “Well, what about Jancita when she was a kid?”

“Jancita, when she was a kid, was represented by the man who’s now Attorney General Kermit Sand’s campaign chairman-Harold Doyle, the United States district attorney at the time. She was represented by good people. There was no case. It was a put-up job. You’ve been calling all over the state. Why didn’t you call and check the records on the reservation? You’ll find out that you need the U.S. attorney before you look at the damn things.”

With that, Murphy shoved papers at Eagle Deer, Pitchlynn, and Barnes-summonses for a defamation lawsuit Janklow intended to file against them-and the conference came to a close.

The story does not end here…more later…many prayers to all involved.


All excerpts are in italics and from THE UNQUIET GRAVE by Steve Hendricks.

The saga of Pudgy Indian continues and I really have to wonder if this wasn’t a good thing. Light coming to a dark subject is always a good thing.  I wonder if Autonomous AIM really supports the inappropriate behavior of some of their members or if there are just some overly enthusiastic people who are acting without thinking the issue through….you know take your friends side blindly. Apparently one of the leaders of Portland AIM  was appointed by Dennis Banks himself. I don’t know Dennis Banks or that much about him…but it seems to me while reading  THE UNQUIET GRAVE that he has probably figured out that this nonsense is just that….non sense. There are a lot of comments about what a bad person he is or was with the drinking and womanizing. Being a woman I get frustrated at the AIM leaders who do not protect women…the stuff about his sex life and his children beating up women while horrific is really no different than Paul McCartney. Jimmy Page was the worst carrying around a special suitcase of whips to beat his groupies…I don’t think that Dennis Banks was abusing women for gratuitous reasons like Jimmy Page was. I think it is more conducive to someone who was ripped away from his family and thrown in a boarding school….it takes a tremendous effort to overcome the cycle of abuse. When you consider the resources that have been historically available to the Native population it is a miracle and a blessing when just ONE Indian can stop the cycle of abuse. It is not easy and to blame men for all of the ills is too easy. I myself am guilty of it…as evidenced by some of my rants on the blog. Sort of like the poll WKLDOC took in this installment, it is easy to answer by pointing your finger at the obvious scapegoat. Right or wrong. The problem is more complex than that. Its just that women are brainwashed from the day that we are born that men will take care of us. That men are in some way superior….that we should hold them to above us. And of course our society reinforces this by denigrating the importance of stay at home mothers, unequal pay etc.. So by the time I figured out that I had been lied to….I was pissed off. Sort of like being pissed off about the quality of teachers in the schools teaching American History!! My whole existence as an American is a lie. The history of the country I grew up in is just an empty lie. And I believed every word of it!!!

Here is the PORTLAND AIM WEBSITE. I used the search to look up Bernard Red Cherries and Eugene Johnson and came up with nothing. So either they have nothing to do with the nonsense going on or their website is like a false store front in a ghost town. In which case the movement that may have started out with good intentions is already insignificant…they just haven’t figured it out yet. The moment AIM became insignificant in the previous decades was the moment they allowed fear to creep into their minds and they started hiding their actions which started a chain of paranoia. It is the history of every revolutionary group. DIVIDE AND CONQUER!! It doesn’t matter how many times the government does it….people fall for it every single time. WE NEED TO STOP LETTING THE GOVERNMENT DIVIDE US. And the care and safety of children should be put above all else.

This is an excellent song that is done much better by Lucinda Williams but I couldn’t find her version of this song. I do own it though.

The song starts out…

Well let’s start by
Making it clear
Who is the enemy, here

And we’ll show them
That it’s not them
Who is superior

The video contains disturbing images….

Dennis Banks and Russell Means were the first of the Wounded Knee defendants to be tried for the takeover. They asked Bogue to recuse himself for blatant bias, and much to their surprise he did.

The case fell to Fred Nichol, a prairie moderate, former prosecutor, and chief federal judge for South Dakota. Nichol intended to try the case in the state until WKLDOC commissioned a survey of bias among South Dakotans. the the question “What should be done about Indian militants, American Indian Movement members, and other Indians who demonstrate claiming they haven’t been given equal rights?” the most common answers were “Jail ’em” and “Shoot ’em”. Judge Nichol moved the trial to St. Paul. It started in January  1974.

People give answers to polls like that without giving it any consideration because it does not effect them…..who cares abut Indians getting a fair trial? If only they would play the game and get in line….Now I’ll bet if you polled white South Dakotans standing in line waiting to pass through airport security with their shampoo and nail clippers….

Banks and Means served as their won co-counsel, backed by some of the country’s most accomplished trial lawyers. These including the gifted embellisher Mark Lane, the meticulous Ken Tilsen, and the wild-haired, brass-tongued Bill Kunstler, whose clientele included Martin Luther King Jr., Black Panther Stokely Carmichael, the Chicago Seven from the 1968 Democratic Convention, and the antiwar Berrigan brothers.

Hurd and Geinapp agrgued a straightforward criminal case; Banks and Means had conspired to riot, seize, and hold Wounded Knee and then had done so, along the way destroying property, taking hostages, and firing on officers of the law.

The defendants denied everything…

Every time the Oglalas and their allies in AIM tried to right the reservation’s many wrongs, federal and tribal governments blocked them with duplicity, persecution, and terror. The Indians had been left no choice but to break the law.

The key to this defense lay in destroying the government’s credibility and Banks and Means caught a break early when the prosecution called a witness to disparage a petition signed by 70 percent of the permanent residents of Wounded Knee.

the copy the government produced at trial was doctored to seem weaker. On cross examination, the defense proved that the FBI had had custody of the petition at the time it was doctored. An FBI agent was called to the stand to explain how the document had been altered. The agent was at a loss. He said the FBI had a lot of files on Wounded Knee and it was hard to keep them all straight. Perhaps there had been a clerical error.

Judge Nichol declared himself “greatly disturbed” by this answer. “I used to think the FBI was one of the greatest bureaus that ever cam down the pike. I think it’s deteriorated, and I don’t care how may FBI agents are here in court listening to me.

…Judge Nichol to ask exactly how many the FBI had on Wounded Knee. He was astounded to learn 315,000. WKLDOC was astounded too. the government was bound by law to give the defense nearly all of its files that might help exonerate the defendants, but Banks and Means had not received anything approaching 315,000. they asked Judge Nichol to find out whether all appropriate files had been handed over, and Nichol forced the prosecution to give the defense 200 of the unseen files as a test. Half of the 200 files turned out to be relevant to the defense and should have been handed over months earlier.