Soon to be former US Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson had apparently determined that the odds of successfully completing an investigation into the murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash were low enough to close the case pending new information. One prosecutor left his job in 2012 feeling that he was “this close" to solving it.
South Dakota's Napoleonic attorney general, Marty Jackley, seems to be plying the American Indian vote as he lunges into the Aquash case:
The South Dakota Attorney General prosecuted John Graham in state court in 2010, persuading a jury to convict the Canadian Indian of murdering Annie Mae Aquash in December 1975 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. A main lesson for Jackley of the Aquash case is that “a Native American woman who was a victim” got justice - albeit decades after her murder - mostly through cooperation from other Native Americans who followed their consciences. [Stephen Lee]If only Marty's office could be more transparent about the Bendagate Affair than about his intention to run up the GOP ladder.
JR LaPlante, the inaugural Secretary of Tribal Relations, left that post under the current GOP South Dakota governor to take a job as a prosecutor for Democrat Johnson.
Brendan Johnson has been firm in saying he can't discuss the Bendagate scandal or even confirm whether there is a federal investigation though it is known that several agencies are probing the bowels of Pierre.
There is little doubt that Jackley is grasping at the straws propping up the Janklow legacy in the wake of a Wounded Knee standoff that sent Leonard Peltier to prison. Peltier's petition for executive clemency sits at the tip of President Obama's pen.
South Dakota's GOP governor has trumpeted a clarion call to recruit white people to run for state posts at risk to being vacated by term-limited members or for those seats where the legislators are just too stupid to run again.
The anniversary of the occupation of Wounded Knee is remembered at Indian Country Today.
That Jackley is raising campaign money grandstanding as some champion of white rule as South Dakota's culture of racism is being tried in the court of public opinion is vertiginous in its hubris.
He announced his crusade to the faithful at that renowned hall of justice, The Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center.
AG Jackley to present Anna Mae Aquash cold case presentation at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center starting soon. pic.twitter.com/dXhpV6IsFb
— SD Attorney General (@SDAttorneyGen) March 3, 2015