Douglas Durham Was FBI Informer During Wounded Knee

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NBC Nightly News
John Chancellor/Bob Jamieson
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Douglas Durham, a former memeber of the American Indian Movement, claims he was an FBI informant during the Indian takeover of the town of Wounded Knee in South Dakota.



"Douglas Durham Was FBI Informer During Wounded Knee." Bob Jamieson, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 13 Mar. 1975. NBC Learn. Web. 17 January 2015.


Jamieson, B. (Reporter), & Chancellor, J. (Anchor). (1975, March 13). Douglas Durham Was FBI Informer During Wounded Knee. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"Douglas Durham Was FBI Informer During Wounded Knee" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 03/13/1975. Accessed Sat Jan 17 2015 from NBC Learn:


Douglas Durham Was FBI Informer During Wounded Knee


The chief security officer for Indian activists during the Wounded Knee takeover told a news conference day that he had been a paid informer for the FBI. His name is Douglas Durham. He was very, very close to Russell Mean and Dennis Banks, leaders of the takeover. Means and Banks were tried for their part in the occupation but the case was thrown out of court when a juror became ill. The judge berated the prosecution and the FBI for lying to the court. Bob Jamieson has the Durham story.

BOB JAMIESON reporting:

Durham said he began selling the FBI information about the American Indian Movement during the 71-day occupation at Wounded Knee. Over the next two years, Durham said, he was paid as much as $1,100 a month by federal agents to inform on AIM activities. During the trial of Dennis Banks and Russell Means, Durham became AIM’s chief of security and the leaders’ closest confidant. His name never came out at the trial, though federal prosecutor R.D. Herd swore his inspection of FBI files turned up no evidence the defense team had been infiltrated by an informer. Durham was AIM’s chief bureaucrat two months ago when Indians occupied the Alexian Brothers Novitiate in Wisconsin.

Mr. DOUGLAS DURHAM: I abhor the thought of anybody threatening any other citizen in this town because they speak their mind.

Reporter: What’s your name, sir?

Mr. DURHAM: Doug Durham.

Reporter: Can you spell the last name, please?


JAMIESON: But Friday, AIM leaders confronted Durham with what they said were law enforcement documents, proving his rule as an FBI informer. And today, a contrite Durham told all.

Mr. DURHAM: For approximately two years, I was a paid FBI operative operating in the American Indian Movement at the highest levels. Among the things I was to do, I was to report intelligence information regarding any possible foreign involvement or illegal activities, possible future Wounded Knees or illegal actions.

Reporter: Who did you report to?

Mr. DURHAM: I reported to several FBI RAs, regional agencies.

JAMIESON: AIM lawyers believe Durham’s revelations could lead to a dismissal thirty cases still pending from the Wounded Knee takeover and the reversal of a dozen convictions arising out of the occupation. Bob Jamieson, NBC News, Chicago.