A Position Statement from Carter Camp Free Peltier


Free Peltier! A Position
Statement from Carter Camp

Please feel free to pass this around the planet. CC
— In ndn-aim@yahoogroups.com

Carter Camp cartercamp@yahoo.com

Ah-ho My Relations, I have read my friend Bob Robideau’s statement about
Anna Mae and his resignation statement as Leonard Peltier’s international
spokesperson. In contrast I have decided to accept Leonard’s invitation to
join his Board of Directors at the LPDC.

In my judgment Leonard needs the help of his old friends now more than ever.
I don’t know if I can make a difference but I intend to try help where ever
I can. For twenty eight long years some very good and hard working men and
women have worked for Leonard’s freedom and struggled against the might of
the FBI and a justice system that bows to the wishes of special law
enforcement interests. They have made his name known to millions of people
around the world. My presence on his board is merely to add on to what
they have done. Leonard Peltier has been lucky to have each and every one
of them in his corner. Leonard and I are old friends and comrades in the

Oklahoma AIM like most AIM chapters was organized by grass roots community
activists who believed in the tenets of AIM and were willing to fight for
the survival of our people. In the spring of 1972 we gathered in an
encampment on the Pawnee reservation just outside Pawnee Oklahoma. As a
series of actions took place around the state the police in Pawnee
deputized every store owner in town and vigilantes were arming themselves
and patrolling the roads around the AIM encampment. The question of
sovereignty was new and threatening to official Oklahoma and they reacted
with threats and violence. We reacted with increased demand for justice
and as our movement grew the government became more aggressive against us.
When we needed help Leonard Peltier and a group of brothers came to stand
beside us. Their support meant a lot to us and Oklahoma AIM became the
largest AIM chapter.

From then on we developed a trust and worked together until he was
falsely imprisoned. Recently the LPDC has gone through a lot of changes and
things slowed down at the Committee so Leonard asked three Oklahoma AIM
friends to help out with the committee. Along with me he asked that Francis
Wise who is an Oklahoma AIM leader from the Caddo Tribe to join the Board.
And he asked Dave Hill, a Choctaw from the boonies south of Seminole to
join as the new Director. I know both of them very well, I know their
families and have worked with them on our peoples issues for decades. As
part of the FBI smear campaign against the LPDC, Dave has lately had a
strange bunch of people calling him names and trying to "jacket" him like
they did Anna Mae. But they are mostly internet voices with no real tie to
the Indian community
they claim to speak for, I term them "netskins" and I know Dave has a
thick enough skin to shed their little barbs and do the work he has been
asked to do. Francis Wise is Stan Holder’s (Chief of Security in Wounded
Knee) sister and a founding member of Oklahoma AIM. They both seemed like
great choices to me so I accepted too. We hope to blend in with the
existing board members and the support groups around the world to seek
justice for Leonard Peltier and to remind America of the Indian wars
longest serving political prisoner.

But I’m not writing this about only Leonard Peltier — we all agree that
Leonard Peltier had nothing to do with the death of Anna Mae Aquash. I’m
writing about how the FBI is using the investigation of her death as a way
to keep Leonard Peltier in prison and to attack AIM as retribution for our
struggle for sovereignty. It was an armed struggle and our enemy used
deadly tactics against us routinely; many of our people were killed and a
few of theirs. When KaMook testified that our brothers had killed those
attackers, the Lakota women in the audience should have "lulu’d" loudly in
court to show their pride for a warrior’s victory coup. As I told Bob when
he called me from Europe, we are proud of the stand the warriors made that
day at
Jumping Bull’s. Three armed fighters died that day–but the elders and
kids were protected from an enemy that has a long, long history of killing
helpless ones. The agents who attacked the peaceful encampment had
volunteered to trespass on Lakota land bearing arms and like Custer they
died fighting. The detailed description of their deaths is unimportant
when looked at in the light of FBI/GOON "Reign of Terror" the Oglala
people were enduring at that time.

The real reason it has been brought up is to give the wasicu an argument
to keep Leonard Peltier in a cage. The way the agents died certainly had
no bearing on the death of Anna Mae- -it was placed on the record
for other purposes.

Like Bob, I was in prison when Anna was killed and her body found. The FBI
came to Terre Haute Federal pen,where I was being held, and asked to speak
to me about her. I told them I would break my long-standing rule of never
talking to a cop and tell them who the killer was if they would go bust
them, as they leaned forward, pencils in hand, I told them an FBI agent
named David Price was responsible for her death. At that time I knew the
name of his partner in crime and I named him too. I also requested as a
citizen that they go arrest them immediately or that they free me
to go make a citizens arrest. Instead they closed their notebooks and
left, so those particular killers have been loose all this time. Only an
independent U.N. investigation of the "Reign of Terror" will ever
see them indicted and that is exactly what I think we need. All of us
should join to demand a full investigation of the "Reign of Terror" and
the murder
of over sixty Indian people by the FBI and their allies. Anna Mae’s death
would play an important part in that investigation and its findings would
be much more credible than what is going on in ndn country right now. I
just witnessed a trial of an Lakota man accused of killing Anna Mae Aquash
in which the only defense witness called was Anna Mae’s nemesis… FBI
Agent David Price himself!

When we had the Peltier month demonstration in Washington D.C., I had the
occasion to meet with Anna Mae’s niece who was very much involved in
justice for her relative Anna Mae Aquash. To me it was the most honorable
thing to do without helping the Americans in their anti-Peltier witch
hunt. Along with me were Edgar Bear Runner and Russell Loudhawk from
Pine Ridge who were key players in the fight at Jumping Bull’s and friends
of Anna Mae’s. None of us had any new or pertinent knowledge of what
happened to Anna Mae but all three of us wanted to offer our
condolences and tell the family what we knew. I told her how, in Wounded
Knee Anna’s future husband Nogeshick came to me to speak about a marriage
ceremony, we had a nice talk and he took tobacco to Wallace Black Elk to
request him to marry them.

Wallace asked me to assist and he performed a marriage ceremony for them.
It was a very big deal in our small community for them to get married in a
beautiful ceremony in front of everybody in the Wounded Knee Trading Post.
I was proud when the women of Oklahoma AIM stepped forward and gave flesh
offerings on their behalf and I remember how good it was to see such a
thing at the birth of the Independent Oglala Nation. I also told her niece
that Anna Mae worked harmoniously with Theda Clark in the encampment
kitchen (and maybe at the office) during our trial at Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
where we heard of the Oglala shoot out. At least to me things seemed
harmonious between them and everyone else in camp but I was on trial and
extremely busy so a dispute between them could have happened and I
didn’t hear about it. At the time I remained the National Chairman of AIM,
Stan Holder was the Security Chief of Wounded Knee and Leonard Crowdog was
the principle Spiritual Leader of Wounded Knee and AIM, we were being
charged for our part at Wounded Knee as part of the AIM leadership trials.

At the time of the shootout we had already been convicted but were still
in camp pending sentencing and some legal motions. A large bunch of those
from the Lakota Nation were there supporting Chief Crowdog, and a lot of
Oklahoma AIM people who came for Stan and me made up the encampment. As
long time brothers in the struggle Peltier and I had agreed to be in daily
phone contact with each other mainly because we recognized what a
precarious position they were in out at Jumping Bull’s when a bunch of us
were in Iowa. All the big name AIM leaders had fled the rez and Leonard’s
encampment was
a sore in the side of the FBI and their GOONs. Upon hearing the news about
the FBI attack everyone broke camp and headed back to the rez and the rest
is history. I have no remembrance of John Graham but there were a lot of
young men and women in the encampment I don’t remember by name. At the
news of the shoot-out we turned our defense office into a center to call
elected officials, lawyers, and to attempt to have the FBI cordon lifted
and to make sure they knew the world was watching. Some cars and groups
left quickly and by the next day a caravan headed back to Rosebud. I told
her niece that Anna Mae proudly went to South Dakota to stand with her
people, we all did. Edgar Bear Runner and Russell Loudhawk both knew Anna
Mae and explained to her niece what they could,they also shared fond
remembrances they had of her and
said how sorry we all were for her passing. I acknowledged to her family
that the death of Anna Mae is an ugly blight on the legacy of the American
Indian Movement. The meeting was private and I only bring it up now
because the pig has said we didn’t care about her.

As part of that meeting I also told Anna Mae’s niece how Peltier and I,
along with many of his supporters think the death of her Auntie was being
used by the FBI and others against the very people and ideals Anna
Mae fought for and I said I thought the family was being exploited by our
enemies. After seeing the legal lynching of Arlo Looking Cloud I know damn
well the powerful allies of the FBI are seeing to it that a
book is closed in the Anna Mae case and it is used to its maximum
advantage against AIM and Leonard Peltier.

The two major trials after the incident at Oglala show what a difference
having a strong defense can be. Dino and Bob were acquitted because they
were allowed to present a vigorous defense that was denied to Leonard
Peltier. The enemy had learned its lesson and fixed the next trial to make
sure Leonard was convicted. What they did to convict Peltier is an open
part of the legal history of the cointelpro actions the nation’s political
police, the FBI, took against all warriors who were subject to their
attacks. It was an act of revenge not justice according to every national
and international investigation that has been made except the one accepted
by the court. The falsified FBI investigation was given to the jury and
denied Peltier the right to say he fought in self-defense. But that is the
crucial point. They caused the deaths of over sixty of us Indians but say
the way the two agents were killed is so germane to the case
that rumors and hearsay of it are admitted as evidence? How about some
evidence about who they were killing and who had been burned out of their

When non-evidence that Kamook had heard a warrior brag he had shot those
agents, was admitted as real evidence, a hundred Lakota and members of the
Independent Oglala Nation should have been called as rebuttal witnesses to
show that the Nation was reacting in self-defense when those wasicu
attacked. They were killed in a battle they provoked and they were fought
in self-defense. Leonard Peltier was denied the right to show self-defense
in Montana 28 years ago and he was denied it again last week in Rapid
City, South Dakota.

During that same month that we met with Anna Mae’s niece Edgar, Russell
and I fasted in front of the White House on Thanksgiving Day. Each of us
held a
poster of one of the sixty ndn victims. I held the poster of my brother
Buddy Lamont all that day. He was a vet and an Oglala warrior who was
killed by an FBI sniper in Wounded Knee. He was also Kamook’s beloved
Uncle. On the day the FBI sniper shot him two brothers from the S.L.A.
risked their lives running from their bunker to come inform me he had been
hit. They guided
me back to the place and we tried repeatedly to crawl out to him but the
enemy kept up a deadly hail of bullets and we couldn’t get to him. Buddy
bled to death before we finally reached him, it was my worst day in the
Knee and I blame the FBI for deliberately murdering him. Anna Mae’s
picture was carried that day too as we mourned so many victims of the
"Reign of
Terror". Each and every one of them deserves a full investigation and the
outrage of the people demanding justice.

Arlo Looking Cloud was lynched in Rapid City last week. His defense lawyer
acted on behalf of the FBI cover-up of Anna Mae’s murder. This convinced
me that once again the enemy is using their old cointelpro tactics against
the Movement and have no intention of seeking justice for any of the
martyred people who died defending the people of Pine Ridge and the
Independent Oglala Nation. But the trial did bring out the false
statements that traitors like Paul Demain and the cop Robert Ecoffey have
been spreading about the death of Anna Mae. For several years anti-ndn
forces have spread lies on the internet beginning with the lie that Arlo
had immunity and was a snitch. If that were true it would have been a
factor in the trial. They have also spread the lie that she was raped and
that DNA would reveal who her rapist was,that too turns out to be false.
Or else the FBI withheld information and evidence, it wouldn’t be the
first time. They have put out many false stories in their efforts to smear
AIM and keep Peltier in prison,
fantastic tales of large meetings of AIM leaders and lawyers who took part
in condemning Anna Mae, almost everyone associated with AIM and WKLDOC
have been smeared, but according to Arlo’s interrogation tape it’s all
bullshit and police finger-pointing. Either Arlo’s taped confession was
false or all the people the FBI/Demains have been accusing were not
involved,Arlo said he didn’t even know them. According to the witnesses at
Arlo’s sham trial the only people mentioned as participating were the
close friends and relatives of Russ Means, his cousins,
brothers,sister-in-law and close friends were running the office and owned
the house she was alleged to have been taken to, all were accused of being
a part of her tribunal on that fateful day. But none of them were even
called and asked if it was true! Means is
screaming about not being "in the loop" about her murder and he claims to
want justice. He wants us to believe his closest associates were involved
but kept it all from him for all these years? One has to wonder if he ever
asked them if they ordered her killed at one of those meetings brought up
at Arlo’s trial. If he did ask he should make their answers public, if he
did not all his screaming and finger-pointing sounds false like just
another in a long line of Means’ publicity stunts. It makes it look as if
his pardon
from the Indian-hating rapist Janklow was a pay-off for his grand jury
testimony. All I’m suggesting is that Means go ask his folks what happened
that day and respond to what and who Candy Hamilton and the others said
ran the WKLDOC offices and houses where she was supposedly held captive.
Again I’ll repeat they are likely innocent. Before I was imprisoned I help
WKLDOC and it was a very busy and open place with law student volunteers
and attorneys galore. People slept on the floor and carried on working
most of the night. The diversity and impermanence of all of them makes
holding a woman there captive seem unlikely, so I’d at least like to hear
from the people in charge and everyone around at that time. Records were
kept and
logs to keep track of the legal deadlines and the comings and goings of
personnel. Any decent defense would have subpoenaed the WKLDOC records and
questioned all concerned. In addition the office was kept under 24/7
surveillance by several state and local law enforcement departments. Only
the prosecution got to examine those records.

Another falsehood at Arlo’s trial was the claim that John Trudell was an
AIM leader in those days. In activist circles John was respected for being
at the Alcatraz take over, which was an inspiration to all of us who were
growing to an awareness that Indian people had to take direct action to
preserve our sovereignty and Treaty rights. Over the years John would not
join AIM and told me many times (down in Oklahoma where we
worked together) when I personally asked him to join us, that he didn’t
want to be a part of AIM. I assumed that was why he was another no-show at
Wounded Knee like Vernon Bellecourt. However after the Knee at the AIM
national convention at White Oak, Oklahoma when I was elected the National
Chairman of AIM several of the west coast AIM chapters said they wouldn’t
follow the "chickens of the Knee" as the Bellecourts and Means were known
then. They asked that someone from the west coast that they trusted could
be brought into the leadership as a vice- chair so they would have someone
to communicate with, since I had worked with John and liked him we agreed
that he would fill that position. The fact that every one of the old
had been rejected by the warriors of AIM rankled in their hearts and they
developed quite a hatred for all of us who were chosen to be the new
leadership of AIM.

When the "incident" happened between Clyde and me some months later they
somehow convinced John that while I was in jail he should name himself
Chairman and immediately abolish the office. So he publicly said,
"I’m the new AIM Chair and I hereby abolish the office of Chairman"! So he
was a "leader" for two minutes? In truth John Trudell never was an AIM
leader and back then he never pretended to be, John never participated
in any of our fights and he just isn’t the type to lead warriors. He’s a
barefoot poet from Hollywood who makes music, nothing wrong with that I’m
a fan of his,but to think he was ever a leader is silly to those who were
there. It was sad to see John on the stand working for the pig and
testifying about something he knew nothing about, except rumors put out by
the same people (the FBI) that John claims burned his wife Tina and their
kids to death. How could a man do that? He and Kamook had no evidence to
present about Arlo and only talked about rumors they had heard. His
assertion, really his speculation, that the three people who are accused
of killing Anna Mae were following orders and not "decision makers" was
as evidence. How does he know? The FBI used a black bag full of tactics
for getting people to act on false information as a part of their "bad
jacketing" program. They were expert at it and there is evidence
they employed it against Anna Mae before her death. I believe that may
have been what she feared. At the time of Anna Mae’s death AIM was already
fractured and in fragments but the FBI wants us to believe we were
some monolithic hierarchy making collective decisions. Their scenario puts
people conspiring together who didn’t trust each other. But John and
Kamook were not there to convict Arlo, they were there to smear AIM and
Leonard Peltier and the men and women who fought at Jumping Bulls. His
Hollywood story of Anna’s ring sounds more like a script than the truth.
Would a
person in immediate danger use the mail? Or was it a signal that what HE
had ordered had been carried out?

Remember he claims to have been an AIM leader at the time. No, in reality
I don’t think he ordered her hit but if I were Arlo’s lawyer I would have
asked, one Hollywood story is as good as the other. No way in hell I would
have ever guessed I would see my old friend John, who shared my Sundance
camp a few years ago, up on a witness stand throwing out some blanket
smear of everyone on behalf of the FBI. Can John Trudell be true to his
public persona as an Indian leader and get on the stand for the FBI and
credence to their anti-AIM rumors? It was a sickening performance.

Most people who know anything about AIM know I have no feelings for or
connection to the Bellecourt brothers or the stupidity of their claim to
own AIM. When they were rejected by the vote of the people of AIM for
their continuing cowardice they quickly formed the phony "Grand Governing
Council" and made themselves its leaders. I wrote an essay last year
"Warrior Stories" (see below) that explains how they and the other
"chickens of the Knee" have falsely lived on the blood, sweat and tears of
real warriors while they made themselves rich. You tell me if that’s worse
than leaving you tribe and going to Hollywood. In fact most warriors see
plenty of circumstantial evidence that one or both of them worked directly
the police. Like, why were their Wounded Knee charges dropped and how the
hell did they get out of those dope-selling charges when they were caught
red-handed dealing drugs? All of a sudden they’re treating the leader of
the most militant Indian organization in the nation with leniency? So you
all know I would in no way try to protect them in the murder of a sister
Anna Mae who worked directly with warriors I know and trust, like Peltier,
Dino and Bob. No way. At the same time I will never work with or help the
police forces of the invader to convict any Indian, not even if they
killed my own relative. Because I know that there is no justice for Indian
people in America and Indian people can not receive a fair trial in South
Dakota period. I have watched them send too many innocent Indian people to
prison because they did the crime of being Indian and if they happened to
be proud
Indians they were given longer sentences. In America it’s well known you
get justice only if you have money. How much more true is that for an
Indian in
South Dakota? And then factor in their painting him as an AIM militant in
Rapid City, South Dakota. The prosecution was able to draw on 30 years of
FBI and others police actions against AIM and Indians in general. They
brought in old retired Agents who are part of the gang of Agents who take
out full page advertisements in major newspapers against Leonard Peltier.
This is a formal and organized gang of ex-FBI agents dedicated to keeping
Leonard Peltier in prison.

Wasn’t their affiliation and anti-AIM efforts worth some examination? They
even have a website. To the FBI this was a major chance to attack AIM and
get revenge for their failed attack at Jumping Bulls and their 99% loss
rate at the Wounded Knee trials. They have been probing for a weakness and
found it in our division over Anna Mae so they have poured resources into
They paid witnesses, paid for three Grand Juries and (are still paying)
for over 30 years of investigations costing millions of dollars into their
anti-AIM efforts. Because AIM is no longer a factor nationally in Indian
affairs they now concentrate mostly on keeping Peltier in prison, they
made that evident through Kamooks testimony. I remember in every trial we
won we put the FBI and their tactics on trial too, we proved who the
aggressor was, I guess they learned from us because they put AIM and the
Indian resistance on trial. They used informants to name AIM and WKLDOC
committee members but those same witnesses were never called. Cleo, Candy,
Kamook, all of them named names. Were the Bellecourts giving orders to
Russ Mean’s brothers,friends and cousins who were named as being there
Anna Mae was taken to South Dakota as he(Means)accuses? They are likely
completely innocent all I’m saying is that they have been pointed out
because they allegedly ran the office. Are they being smeared in this FBI
net too? Unless there is a real trial we’ll never know. But I know one
thing as I watch Vern and Clyde against Russell Means in their twenty-
five year
old mudslinging contest… They were comrades for many years and they know
all about each other so when Vernon squeals on Russ he is probably telling
the truth and when Russ squeals on Vernon and Clyde, he’s telling the
truth too. So if you want to know the truth about Russ Means read what
Vernon says and if you want the truth about the Bellecourts listen to

But there is another reason I hated to see the railroad job they did on
Arlo Looking Cloud. By railroading him and not calling the obvious
the true story of Anna Mae’s killer will be covered up forever. I am
absolutely sure the FBI had a hand in her murder but exactly what they did
or how they did it is unclear and will remain unclear if they are
allowed to bury these two guys and claim they have done their jobs. If
Arlo could have had any kind of real defense the FBI part of the murder
could have been explored and if any AIM leader is on their payroll that
could have been discovered and who the real killers are would have been
known. By denying Arlo and later John Graham justice the FBI was able to
turn the trial into a complete whitewash of their role in the many murders
of our people. They got to act as if the FBI/GOON "Reign of Terror" never
even happened! They got to pretend the planned attack on the Jumping Bull
compound never happened and that the two agents were murdered in cold
blood. The whole world knows that’s a lie. It should offend even close
friends of
Anna Mae’s to see such a kangaroo court being put out to the public as
justice! In all my years as an activist the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud
was the very worst miscarriage of justice I have seen. Leonard Peltiers
trial was bad and even when Stan, Crowdog and I were convicted the
evidence was doctored and I became the only AIM leader sent to prison for
Knee 1973, but Arlo was just flat out denied even the appearance of a
trial and now the wasicu judge won’t let him be represented by competent
legal help for his appeal! This may be the only chance anyone has to see
justice done for Anna Mae but the FBI is being allowed to cover it all up.
I have no sympathy for him if he did kill her but there are way too many
questions that need to be answered before some dupe is sent away for life
and the FBI gets off scot free! His only defense witness was the cop who
cut off her hands for christ’s sake! The only evidence was an obviously
coerced tape
of a drugged up drunk being led into saying whatever some long time police
acquaintances of his told him to say. Did it take Abe Alonzo and Robert
Eccoffy thirty years of abusing him, brainwashing him, or maybe
buying him drugs and booze to get him to say what he said? We all know
addicts will say most anything for another needle of smack or even for
just another bottle of wine. Apparently he had been talking to them for a
long time, at least since before the first Grand Jury, where were the
tapes of all the other interrogations he endured over the last thirty
Did he deny it until they got this one? Compare the tremendous
governmental resources used against Arlo and what his lawyer did to him.
There were no
discovery motions made for him, there were no motions made to keep out the
prejudicial evidence and there damn sure was no effective cross
examination of prosecution witnesses. They were allowed to put AIM on
trial and smear Leonard Peltier with impunity. No mention was made of the
over sixty traditional Indian people murdered by the FBI/GOONs and the FBI
cointelpro war against Indian people was never even mentioned. We know the
FBI committed many crimes during their "Reign of Terror" and they are
directly responsible for many Lakota and AIM deaths. They may have
infiltrated AIM at the highest level and caused Anna Mae’s murder but we
may never know because we allowed Arlo to be shafted by the enemy. Shame
on all
of us. If our Movement was about anything it was about Justice for our
people and AIM from 1968 until 1973 led the way in that fight. But justice
for Indians in America is still a long struggle away and to me Arlo
Looking Clouds case proves it all the more.

If he would have been given an adequate defense I could perhaps understand
how some movement people can support bringing John Graham, the other man
accused,back to the U.S. But seeing what I saw it doesn’t seem right. I
thought maybe Canadian courts might be better but friends say Indians get
shafted there too. The FBI has convinced some people to regard this as
another murder trial, the jury, defense lawyer and Judge tried to pretend
it was but that obviously is not the case. How can there be justice when a
Lakota man stands defenseless in front of an all white South Dakota jury,
an AIM member painted with death of two FBI agents in this age of
terrorism? They allowed Kamook’s statement about Peltier go unchallenged.
Kamook is only one woman saying she heard something but several hundred
have heard him deny it and they were not mad at an ex-husband. Why weren’t
they, or
Leonard himself, given a chance to rebut her? Why not at least play a tape
of Leonard defending himself in prison interviews? The FBI version of the
fight at Jumping Bulls and its aftermath is not the only version and sure
as hell isn’t the true one.

Leonard Peltier first called for Indians to seek their own justice in the
death of Anna Mae and now I see Robert Robideau also has called for a
tribunal of good and true AIM people to be convened. I join my two
brothers in that call and I will attend and testify to all I know if it is
convened. I admit that Bob, Norman Brown and Dino Butler know more than me
about Anna Mae and they were closer friends of hers. I don’t argue with
their conclusions. I was an Oklahoma leader and we generally kept our
distance from the happenings up north, but like them I and my Oklahoma AIM
would like to know the truth about her death and how the FBI engineered
it. The AIM I knew, served, and loved, did not do things like murder, we
fought back when attacked and we resisted the oppressors of our people but
we did not kill our own. No AIM leader could tell a warrior to go murder
another Indian person even a snitch. I know if I had told one of my
Oklahoma AIM brothers or sisters to go kill somebody they would have said,
"You got a gun, kill them yourself." Oklahoma AIM was a circle of
concerned tribal people and our leaders led, not ordered. Always it was
the enemy and particularly the FBI who committed mayhem and murder, they
did drive- by
shootings, set up GOON roadblocks to catch and beat our traditional people
and they paid people to do these things. They subverted justice and
corrupted the system in order to win false convictions of any Indian
who stood against them. Anna Mae stood against them and spit in their
face, for that they hated her and wanted her dead. She was AIM and very
proud of it. This is why I will have to see real proof before I point my
finger at anyone in AIM for the death of Anna Mae, not rumors and
accusations by running dogs or finger-pointing by sick little ex-friends
of Arlo’s
trying to make a name for themselves. Therefore I will join Bob Robideau,
Leonard Peltier and members of the American Indian Movement whenever a
tribunal is convened to seek justice for Anna Mae. I hope Pine
Ridge is chosen as the site for the tribunal so all the families who
suffered during the FBI "Reign of Terror" can come seek justice for their
loved ones.

In the meantime I will continue to work to right the wrongs done to
Leonard Peltier and to try to win his freedom. I invite all of you to join
us once more and I urge you not to turn your back on our brother, we can
not leave him sitting unjustly in a cage any longer, it is time to Free
Peltier! Free him NOW!

Carter Camp, Ponca, LPDC

War Stories and Wounded Knee 1973

Many of our people have forgotten the traditional way
"War Stories" are used and respected in the sacred
ceremonies of the people of the Sundance and Pipe, we
who have always lived in the center of our turtle
island. Long ago our wise ancestors understood that a
powerful moment in time existed when a warrior
performed a great deed and tested himself to the
ultimate. In english we call them war stories but in
our own languages the story and the person chosen to
tell it have names with far more meaning. War stories
are actually "Warrior Stories" because they are told
individually by the warrior who is bringing his
actions into the circle. They are told in front of
witnesses who can attest to their truth because the
story must exemplify the great virtues of a warrior…
honor, truth, courage, fortitude, strength and
selflessness give the ‘war story’ a power that can
serve the needs of the ceremony. War stories were
always brought out during the special dances and
ceremonies of our Clans, our Societies and our
Sundance where they have a special place and use. The
leaders of the ceremony took particular care in
selecting the warrior chosen to stand up in front of
all the Nation and recite the actions he had taken on
behalf of his people… a song is made, every step,
every gesture, and every word must be given as a
sacrament into the circle of the People. In a time
without lies, a Nations heart could swell with pride
and power as he gifted his words to them and a oneness
could encircle them as he spoke. It could be the
leader of the battle or it could be a first time coup
by a young warrior on his initial experience but each
war story was backed by the presence of his
comrades-in-arms, verified and strengthened by their
assent, their love and their respect. In modern times
where war stories are told they are told by the
veterans of service in Americas wars, where our
warriors were sent to fight on foreign lands. We can
still hear them with pride and in this way the
tradition lives on. It has been this way because it
has been generations since our warriors rose to fight
an enemy while standing on the dust of our ancestors.
That last happened at Wounded Knee, in
1890. We lost that day, our children were exposed to
the ravening dogs, but even then warriors stood up,
men and women became spirits standing back to back in
defense of their generations… courage, fortitude,
strength, honor blessed the lands, given life as the
eternal blood sacrament was given freely to Mother
Earth. And in the days that followed warriors fought
from a Stronghold to avenge their relatives as a mass
grave held the truth. New and glorious war stories
were born among the carnage and strongheart songs
mingled with the wails of the mourning. A Nation lived
on with the virtues given her by a hundred generations
of warriors and their stories, it took immense
fortitude and courage to survive for eighty-three
years until warriors rose again, but the ceremonies
continued and the songs of those days were sung. In
1973 another battle happened on sacred lands along the
Wounded Knee creek. Once again warriors were forced to
rise up in defense of their people and stand on
hollowed ground and fight. Once again warriors blood
was sacrificed and lives were freely given to revive
the heartbeat of a Nation, brave deeds and selfless
actions became the measure of a society called the
"Independent Oglala Nation". To the people there it
was called "the Knee" and two thousand and more, women
and men, stood back to back with honor, with courage
and fortitude once more in red hearts. Eagle feathers
were earned there and an amazing number of worthy
actions were taken daily for seventy- three days in
1973. A community was born to live once more a
traditional way of the circle of our grandfathers.
Powerful medicine men and elders guided our paths as
"Warrior Stories" were once again gifted to the circle
in the old way as honor and truth were revived to
bring power in Inipi, Yuwipi and Ghost Dance. Led by
Viet Nam vets like Stan Holder, Craig Camp, Russ
Redner, Buddy Lamont, Luke Tenfingers… Rich,Tiger,
Lance, Angel and a hundred others, warriors from
sixteen to sixty yrs old formed an encircling wall of
protection around our lands and dared any invader to
enter. Each of the Oyate inside the circle performed
warrior duties too and each faced the danger as one,
cooks were shot by the wasicu as were the veterans in
the bunkers, medics were sniped while bandaging
wounded and even our mailman was attacked while
delivering mail… his war story added to the whole.
Wounded Knee was a community of warriors empowered by
stories held in the land since
1890, warriors of many Nations united by the selfless
actions of their comrades-in-arms fighting by their
side. But traditional, true, honorable "War Stories"
are no longer told about the last great battle at
Wounded Knee in 1973. For the first time in the
history of our Societies honorable and truthful
warriors have put away their braveheart stories and
the songs of their deeds are silent. This has happened
because for the first time in the memory of all the
Red generations past, the leaders of the battle ran
away and left their community while under attack.
Because they were self-chosen leaders they had not
been tested. They lacked the virtues of a warrior,
their honor was locked in the wasicu cities and jails
they came from and they could not rise above it. To
the warriors they left inside they were called "the
chickens of the knee" in jest and much worse in
earnest. We listened to stories of Russ Means enjoying
the fruits of his celebrity while drinking and
partying down in Oklahoma where I’m from and ending up
being busted out in California after one of his
notorious mega-sized parties out there. Since 1973 he
has renewed his betrayals of the principles of AIM
each decade without stop. Recently he betrayed every
warrior of AIM when he knelt before the subhuman
Janklow to beg a pardon! Yes, the same Janklow who
brags about personally keeping Leonard Peltier in a
cage, Janklow, the rapist of Jancita Eagledeer and the
thief of Lakota lands in South Dakota. None of the ION
warriors really noticed when Clyde Bellecourt slinked
out of the Knee, he wouldn’t carry a gun and we never
saw him outside his warm trailer anyway, but we did
notice when he began frantically fundraising in our
name while we had no ammo to fight with or tobacco to
smoke, or food for the kids. For security purposes
Clyde and his crew had not been told we were
liberating the Knee that first night, so he was very
surprised to end up there in a caravan he thought was
going to a powwow! The warriors had a good laugh when
we noticed he had his own cameraman in tow. Even the
cops knew he was worthless, all his charges were
dropped as real warriors went to prison. Vernon
Bellecourt refused to even consider sacrificing his
luxury and comfort to come fight alongside us, he was
"Mr.Vernon" the hairdresser to AIM warriors, he did
fundraising for Clyde and hung around the leadership
but he was more a joke than a leader. We heard about
it when he went to the French Riviera during a
blizzard in the Knee and we joked about the hash-hish
we knew he was enjoying over there on our money. AIM
died long before he claimed to be a warrior, after the
rest of us were in jail or being chased throughout ndn
country he stepped out of his closet into the
limelight. Vernon never set foot inside Wounded Knee
in 1973 but to his eternal shame in ndn country, he
stands-up when ION veterans are honored as if he were
a veteran of our Nation. How low will a man crawl for
money? The Independent Oglala Nation didn’t miss them
when they left, others were already doing the work of
the nation, fighting the battles, supplying the needs
of the people and protecting our elders and children
from the ravening wolves shooting at us from the
hills. Each night pack trains of supplies were carried
in under fire by dedicated warriors, timed to arrive
at daybreak to feed the nation and gift their stories
to us, each day the warriors worked hard to strengthen
their perimeter and fortify their bunkers in
preparation for the coming battles. Each day the
community lived the life of freedom they were fighting
for and each day we grew closer together in our
ceremonies and sharing. Every day was a war story and
every warrior had stories to tell of honor, truth and
generosity, enough perhaps to help our people survive
another eighty-three years in ceremony and song.
Despite those who ran, the nation lived and the
stories continued until peace was made by the Oglala
Council of the ION. AIM as an ndn society may have
died there in those sacred ravines when the leaders
failed in dishonor, but the pride of a Red Nation was
reborn with the "Warrior Stories" we lived there among
the spirits of those murdered in 1890. AIM too became
a spirit, it’s blood drained into the earth at Wounded
Knee, but that spirit lives on just as the spirits of
Frank Clearwater and Buddy Lamont dwell today with the
spirits of Yellowbird, Bigfoot and the others who
nourish that sacred ground. Today every aspect of ndn
country has been touched by the proud legacy of the
American Indian Movement and the warriors stand at
Wounded Knee. Sovereignty has a renewed meaning to
friend and foe alike and all Indian people are unified
in its protection. During the brief life of AIM as a
warrior society, we blew on the dying embers of our
traditional fires and helped them flare back to life.
I remember well the final week of Wounded Knee 73
after my brother Buddy Lamont had been killed by a
wasicu sniper. The Oglala Council had decided to
stand-down the armed struggle and to continue the
fight for their treaty rights in the wasicu courts. It
was a hard decision for them and a blow to the
warriors’ dreams, but it was their land and their
decision to make, so we prepared to obey. I began to
have meetings with the bunker leaders and squads, to
plan for their evacuation and to send them out with
the best weapons. By the last four days, unknown to
any but the warriors involved, Wounded Knee lay almost
unarmed and unprotected by our veterans. In order to
fool the wasicu gunners around us and the government
negotiators inside we devised a plan to have the dozen
or so warriors (who decided to stay for the funeral)
work in the open around the bunkers during daylight
hours and we had people carrying fake weapons and
supplies from place to place to add to the confusion.
At night we had four lookouts stationed on the
cardinal points and some patrols, but most of the
bunkers were empty and the way was open to the
invaders. Each minute I lived in fear that I had made
a terrible mistake and the ravening dogs would once
more consume my helpless ones. As the night wore on I
would make a patrol across ground I now knew like an
eagle knows his nest, alone I would creep out into the
night and stealthily enter a bunker in secret. Once
inside I would light a cigarette(I don’t smoke) build
a fire and turn on an old radio I had stashed. I would
talk and joke inside and walk around the top as if we
were reinforcing or changing the guard, after an half
hour or so I would sneak out into the night to repeat
my performance at another empty bunker on the other
side of the Knee an hour later. In between, I would
walk around the village and visit the kitchens,
laughing with the people in the few places with light,
to be seen before I ducked into another ravine to
begin my crawl once more. In those final dark and
lonely nights I had a lot of time to pray and cry for
the end of our Tribe and the final days of the Knee,
it was hard because each empty bunker and squad room I
visited held reminders of the warrior stories that had
been born there and the brave comrades who fought
there. Sometimes I would stand in a deserted bunker
and loudly sing the AIM song or a Ponca He’thuska
warrior song and I would face the enemy with pride,
anger and defiance, but I knew we had to leave.
Wounded Knee was over and all that we had left was our
"war stories" to tell in the old way and to give away
in the circle of our people. We never imagined that
even our traditional "War Stories" would be stolen and
dishonored by old, greed-driven AIM leaders, we never
thought they would do the unimaginable and claim a
warriors honors when they earned none. In the old way
of the warrior an Akicita would strike them with their
whips and drive them crying from the circle. Now
thirty years later some people are having an
"anniversary" celebration to honor the memory of
Wounded Knee 1973 but it has to be a non-ndn
celebration like a rock concert because in another sad
first for ndn country the "chickens of the knee" are
being "honored"! Honored? Not really, I guess they are
being "publicized" or something but it’s not honor in
the way a true "war story" is an honor. Men without
honor will stand up and accept false honors that
belong to others because for thirty years the warriors
of the ION have been silent. No media noticed the
warriors turn their backs on the cowards and leave AIM
after the Knee, but that is the traditional way we
vote for our leaders, no press conferences or
tribunals just a traditional shunning. After the
warriors left AIM(the organization) it became a wasicu
fundraising tool and they used it to become very rich
old men. Now Vernon will waddle out of his mansion,
squeeze into his cadillac with AIM-1 license tags, and
show up burdened by jewlery to look down on all us
raggedy-ass ndn warriors who fought at the Knee. Go
look at him and see the truth of my words, he has
turned white in dishonor. For this reason, to protect
the traditional honor of the the "War Story" of
Wounded Knee 1973 and the ION, I rise to denounce those who falsely
claim the honors of a warrior of Wounded Knee and the
Independant Oglala Nation.

While this charade of fools goes on for them, this
weekend another occasion will happen to mark the
founding of the ION and the liberation of Wounded Knee
in 1973. All around the Nation, a thousand warriors
and more will turn to face "the Knee" with their Pipe
in their hands and their traditional "Warrior Stories"
held in their hearts, ready to gift them to the sacred
circle in the old way when the People call their
names. Me, I will take my Pipe down to Frank
Clearwater’s grave, (we have him close to the Sundance
grounds) put out a little tobacco and tell my sons and
nephews to sit down while I tell them a true story…
it happened back in 1973 my boys, and it was a hellofa
fight…. Mitakuye Oyasin, I am Carter Camp, Ponca
Nation, Founder Oklahoma AIM, National Chairman AIM,
Warrior Citizen of the Independent Oglala Nation.


Contact Carter at cartercamp@yahoo.com


FW’d by Harvey Arden


About kiwihighlander

I was born in New Zealand (Kiwi) I do not necessarily agree with or endorse all of the views presented here. This is a learning curve! I have a wide range of interesting trivia or facts on a variety of topics with-in this blog, also like to show a presentation of some of my photography & art. Hope your day has been kind :-)
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One Response to A Position Statement from Carter Camp Free Peltier

  1. Els says:

    This is an old statement, which was re-distributed a couple of days ago. Please note that Carter Camp wrote this statement in 2004.

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