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Saturday, July 31, 2004

The July Surprise- Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani..Osama in October?

On july 08, we posted this entry.

October Suprise ...July Suprise..or both?

The New Republic has an article July Suprise, posted on it's website. Link The article was written by John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari. According to the article, sources who work in Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) relate that the Bush administration is putting heavy pressure on the Pakistanis to either kill or capture High Value Targets (HVT) by the November elections. High ranking al Qaeda members , including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri are believed to be living inside of Pakistan's borders.

A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

The article details some of the recent quid pro quo's between the Bush administration, gives some of the political considerations that would compel the Bushies and Pakistan to orchestrate a "July/October Suprise and expounds on how both would benefit from such a calculated stunt.
None of these scenarios may come to pass, but does anyone familar with the machinations of the Bushies doubt they would actually try to pull this off?

On thursday, hours before John Kerry's Democratic National Convention Speech, and FOUR DAYS AFTER the fact, Pakistan's interior minister, Faisal Saleh Hayyat, announced the capture of one Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani.

This is how the AP article went out.

Pakistan arrests al-Qaeda suspect wanted in 1998 embassy bombings
By Paul Haven
ASSOCIATED PRESS

2:27 p.m. July 29, 2004

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan has arrested a Tanzanian al-Qaeda suspect wanted by the United States in the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the interior minister said Friday. He said the suspect was cooperating and had given authorities "very valuable" information. Advertisement

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani – who is on the FBI's list of 22 most wanted terrorists, with a reward of up to $25 million on his head – was arrested Sunday in the eastern city of Gujrat along with at least 15 other people, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat told The Associated Press.

Was this all a coincidence? The New Republic article quoted Pakistani intelligence officers who claimed they were being pressured to present a "high value" al Qaeda operative during the Democratic National Convention. Ahmed Ghailani's capture is then announced on the very day of John Kerry's speech. Could it all be eerie timing or unexplained foresight by the staff of the New Republic?Interesting questions to ponder but ones not being asked by many U.S media outfits.

We'll leave it to the World News to speculate.
World News > Washington, July 31 :
Speculation is rife in political and media circles here that Pakistan timed the announcement of the arrest of Al Qaeda suspect, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani to suit President George Bush.

An article in the New Republic magazine this month claims that a White House aide had told the Director-General of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt. General Ehsan-ul-Haq, that Islamabad should capture or kill Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and other suspects before the US presidential elections in November, reports the Daily Times.

A source close to Haq was further quoted as saying that he (Haq) was told that the best days to announce the killing or capture of any target would be July 26, 27 or 28, the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

A further comment posted on a web site said: "If this is what was offered in July, just wait for November, the presidential election month," referring to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's statement last Friday that Ghailani was arrested on Sunday (July 25).

The question now being asked is why did the Musharraf regime take another four days to formally announce the arrest full article


Will Osama enter the scene in October?

The FBI defends against a non-existent threat

This past week, we've shared various articles that reported on FBI "visits" to Denver and Kansas activists. They also subpoenaed activists, from Missouri, to appear before a grand jury during the Democratic National Convention so as to keep them from travelling to Boston to protest.

Three young activists in Missouri testified under subpoena before a federal grand jury Thursday, instead of protesting at the Democratic National Convention in Boston as they had planned.

The three men, all in their early 20s, earlier were questioned by members of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, just as some young activists in Colorado have been, according to Denise Lieberman, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.

"They are quite terrified by the experience of being targeted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force because of their protest activities," Lieberman said.

The FBI has acknowledged that its agents and members of its Joint Terrorism Task Forces, who include local police officers and deputies, have been questioning people in several states this political season.

..."The use of the JTTF to go after protesters, dissidents - even if they harbor fairly radical views - is inappropriate and, in this case, an inappropriate show of force," Lieberman said full article


There were a total of 5 arrests made in Boston that were classified as "convention related." It could be argued that this was due to the "vigilance" of the FBI. However, what is more likely is that the FBI overstated the "terror threat" in Boston in order to investigate, spy on and utlimately confront activist who had committed no crimes, save for a couple of traffic tickets. This Village Voice article states that the FBI most likely fabricated, that is it made up and lied about, the whole "terror threat" to begin with.
It looks like the FBI's Boston field office faked a threat of domestic terrorism just before the start of the Democratic National Convention by leaking "unconfirmed" reports of white supremacist groups readying an attack against media vehicles in Boston. Fox News, for one, reportedly was wildly trying to disguise its trucks by covering up its logos.

The effect of this probably was to make the press even more suspicious of anti-war demonstrators than it already is—to even view them as possible terrorists, and if not actual terrorists, then a crowd within which terrorists could operate.

All of this is taking place in an atmosphere of fear and tension whipped up by the Bush administration, with its reports of Al Qaeda "sleeping cells" preparing to strike against America in the midst of the presidential campaign. (See my July 16 article on a chilling Election Day scenario.) full article

As the village voice article notes, the threat supposedly emanated from a RIGHT WING organization. If that were the case, then why were activists from the Progressive community targetted by the FBI? This ineptitude, harassment or both may not seem so egregious on the face of it. However, consider this. If another attack, as leading intelligent officials claim, is likely, then why is the FBI wasting time, effort and resources in harassing anarchists when they should be conducting legitimate investigations into legitimate "terrorist threats."

Whether another attack will occur we do not know. If it does, and people want to know what the FBI was doing prior to the attack, the FBI can explain that they were chasing anarchists around Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.

Check out today's column from Kevin Johnson.

Johnson: Scary new era in U.S. history

July 31, 2004

Freedom. How many times in recent years, months and days have we heard this word spoken, mantralike, by our leaders, as if saying it over and over is the great answer to our worst threats and our worst fears?

The president pretty much invokes the word every day. John Kerry sprinkled it through every other acceptance-speech sentence. Or so it seems.

Yet if you read the papers closely enough these days, "freedom" seems to have lost its meaning.

Indeed, I can remember a time not long ago in this country when government agents going to young people's homes to intimidate them out of their First Amendment right of free speech would have sent scores of people into the streets in protest.

These days, stories of such government shenanigans get shuffled to the inside pages of papers and barely mentioned on TV.

You may have heard or read of - maybe not - the three young people in Missouri who were yanked before a federal grand jury. Their suspected crime: Planning to demonstrate at this week's Democratic convention in Boston and, perhaps, doing the same come August when the Republicans convene in New York.

They were only the latest in a long string of young and older Americans, including six in Colorado recently, who have been placed under surveillance by the FBI and members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force. full article

Friday, July 30, 2004

articles july 30

Zapatistas: "The tongue is not made of bone."
Zapatista autonomous governments inspire indigenous delegation
MADRE DE CARACOLES, CHIAPAS
Brenda Norrell, Contributing Writer 7/29/2004
A river runs through this community, the Zapatista stronghold in the Lacandona jungle whose name was changed from La Realidad to Madre de Caracoles, to reflect its new role as the mother of the Zapatista autonomous governments.

A handful of fireflies flicker like lost stars above the hammocks at night, strung across the one-room school, as the rain pounds down like hammers on the tin roof and the river rushes past. In the mornings at the river, children play and laugh while women wash clothes. In the kitchen, women make tortillas over an open fire and place for sale embroidered handbags made by the Zapatista women's cooperative.

Tohono O'odham from the north and Mayo from the southwest coast have crossed Mexico to come here, to support the new Mayan autonomous governments. They traveled through the Sonoran Desert by car without air conditioning in the searing heat, then days and nights by bus across Mexico. Finally, they climbed in the backs of cargo trucks, and were battered for five hours on the rough and steep ride to the Zapatista autonomous villages near the Guatemalan border. full article

Activist aids anti-BIA Crow group

By MIKE STARK
Of The Gazette Staff
HARDIN - Veteran Indian activist Russell Means is lending his support to a group of Crow tribal members pushing to affirm new leadership, nullify the 2001 constitution and govern itself "without interference" from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Means said Thursday it's time that the Crow tribe assert its sovereignty and oust the "outlaw" government currently running the tribe.
The BIA has "blatantly assisted and is in collusion with a political coup d'etat," Means said Thursday, adding that the government under the 2001 Crow constitution is spending money without authority. "Every penny they're spending is illegal. As a taxpayer, that angers me as it should every taxpayer."

On Wednesday, the group notified the BIA of an "executive order," saying that the 1948 constitution is in effect, that the Crow tribe is not under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1935 and that it has the right to govern itself. full article

Doctor stands ground against diabetes

ANGELA METTLER
Associated Press

ABERDEEN, S.D. - As a young woman, Dr. Sara K. Dye dreamed of becoming a doctor.

Dye is a member of the SacFox and Shawnee tribes. She started Indian Health Services' first noninvasive vascular laboratory at Carl Albert Hospital in Ada, Okla., in 1984. She directed the lab for 10 years. She is currently chief medical officer at Indian Health Services in Aberdeen. Her main focus is preventing amputations in American Indian diabetic patients.

"I am fanatic and passionate, in my area of diabetes, about getting doctors to examine the patient's feet," she said.

Achieving her goals was a difficult, long process.

Dye was born in 1945 and lived in Tulsa, Okla. Her mother died of alcoholism when Dye was 13. When health professionals visited Dye's high school during career days, she became interested in the health field. But her guidance counselor said her grades weren't good enough to get her into medical school, so Dye decided to become an X-ray technologist.

Little did she know her struggles were just beginning. full article

Report: Indian history ignored at Fort Laramie

By The Associated Press Friday, July 30, 2004

FORT LARAMIE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, Wyo. (AP) -- A parks advocacy group says the history of the Plains Indians is not adequately told at Fort Laramie, even though it was one of the first bastions of white America thrust into the heart of Native American lands in the 1800s.

"The whole, difficult story about the U.S. government and American Indians must be told at Fort Laramie, because this is the place where important parts of that story took place," said Patti Borneman,

Northern Rockies Program coordinator for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Established as an outpost for trading furs with tribes in 1834, Fort Laramie was later a refueling stop for emigrants and a military outpost during the Indian Wars.

It was also the site where several tribes signed two treaties, both of which were later breached to allow faster settlement of the West and gold mining on Indian lands. full article

Millions lost from land grants
By Debra Jopson and Gerard Ryle
July 31, 2004

They own real estate worth up to $3 billion, but thousands of NSW Aborigines are missing out as shadowy development deals are made over their land, some involving secret payments.

About 135,000 indigenous people should be sharing wealth from vast holdings, given as compensation for their losses through colonisation. But instead, a Herald investigation has found:
Some developers are exploiting land councils' naivety over the true value of their holdings;
Land councils have signed joint ventures where most of the risk is carried by the council and much of the profit goes to the developer;
Some property-hungry developers even help land councils spot and claim crown land, so they can exploit it together.

The investigation found that one Sydney land council was so mismanaged that it needs to sell a nine-hectare bayside site to pay off debts incurred, and that three of its executive members were paid more than $25,000 by a coalition of powerful developers. full article

Leave No School Behind
by Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez
 
Roosevelt and Garfield High Schools in East Los Angeles have long been rivals. But their legendary cross-town rivalry morphed in the last decade from who had the better football team into which was the nation's largest high school. Both claim more than 5,000 students, ranking No. 1 and No. 2 in the country. Yet if that's all this was about -- cramming thousands of students into schools designed for 1,000 students -- it would merit its own story.

But this story goes beyond educational neglect, abusive and senseless policies, year-round schools and dilapidated buildings. It's the story of war and peace. This is the epicenter of the current war and all U.S.-led wars. The East Side traditionally is fertile recruiting grounds for the U.S. military. Not just this East Side, but all East Sides and South Sides, too. Under the administration's No Child Left Behind Act (the president's crown jewel), the U.S. military is seemingly determined not to leave any school or student behind.

Under the act, prospective college students must sign a consent form that sends their names to the military; otherwise, their records are not sent to the colleges, says Nancy Meza, a senior at Roosevelt and a member of United Students, an organization affiliated with Inner City Struggle and Youth Organizing Communities (YOC) in East L.A. Recently, students themselves (through United Students) have led the charge of improving schools on the East Side. full article

Federal Bureau of Incompetence
The shameful treatment of Sibel Edmonds proves the FBI's urgent need for reform.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2004, at 2:55 PM PT

Two news reports today illustrate how far we are from getting real reforms in our methods of spotting and stopping terrorists.

The first story, on the AP wire, notes how gently the 9/11 commission treated the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, the bureau screwed up as badly as any other agency prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, commission chairman Thomas Kean allowed. But the new FBI director, Robert Mueller, is moving in the right direction—"doing exactly the right thing," as Kean put it—so the final report came down lightly on him.

The second story, in the New York Times, notes that the FBI and the Justice Department are keeping a tight seal of secrecy around the case of Sibel Edmonds, despite the inspector general's finding that Edmonds was fired from the FBI at least in part because she'd accused the bureau of incompetence in the war on terror. full article

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

articles july 28

Activities lead up to Sacred Run

The Apache Spirit of the Mountain runners are proud to announce activities for the Mt. Graham 2004 Sacred Run which began in San Carlos last Sunday (July 25).

The runners would like to thank Cibecue residents and the family of Anthony and Jennifer Hoffman, who did an outstanding job hosting the 2001 and 2002 Sacred Runs as well as the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe and Cati Carmen for coordinating the 2003 run.

"We are grateful because we understand the amount of work and obstacles in sponsoring a run of this magnitude. The past runs were hosted in an effort to unify those who have a spiritual relationship with Mt. Graham and experienced the injustices of being kept away from sacred sites," said organizer of this year's run Wendsler Nosie.

For the past three years, it has been hosted by White Mountain, Apache, Cibecue and Pasqua Yaqui tribes full article

Children's diabetes:
Partnership to include three tribal health sites

By Jim Killackey
The Oklahoman

Disease targeted in Indians Three American Indian health centers in Oklahoma today begin a partnership with the OU Children's Physicians Diabetes Center to address the growing number of children and adolescents who have type 2 diabetes. Diabetes information

Oklahoma has one of the nation's highest rates of type 2 diabetes.

Although the clinical trial is open to every Oklahoma child with type 2 diabetes, American Indian children are especially targeted because of their high rates of the disease. About 120 patients are needed for the study.

Burgeoning problem
As many as 25 percent of Oklahoma's American Indians have diabetes, according to the state Health Department. The Indian Health Service reports a 68 percent increase from 1990 to 1998 in American Indian adolescents between 15 and 19.

The burgeoning health problem is a result of the growing number of children and adolescents who are overweight and don't get enough exercise, according to OU Children's Physicians.

During the study, OU's Dr. Kenneth Copeland will evaluate the effects of diabetes medications with and without intensive lifestyle intervention in patients 10 to 17. full article

Port Angeles: Paddle Journey pauses for song, prayer off graving yard archeological site today
2004-07-28
by BRENDA HANRAHAN

PORT ANGELES -- The Paddle Journey of 21 Native American canoes trekking from Puget Sound to Vancouver Island pauses today to rest, repair some canoes and honor tribal ancestors.

Canoe skippers decided late Tuesday night -- just hours after the canoes landed at Hollywood Beach after a rigorous, five-hour pull from Jamestown -- that they will rest today in Port Angeles, then depart for Canada on Thursday, one day later than planned.

Several of the canoes will enter Port Angeles Harbor this afternoon to the site of the Hood Canal Bridge graving yard, where archeologists and Lower Elwha Klallam tribal members are excavating artifacts and remains from a 1,700-year-old Klallam village.

The land will then be turned into a huge onshore dry dock for the construction of floating-bridge components for the new east half of the Hood Canal Bridge, to be installed in 2007.

The canoeists will sing songs and say prayers for the ancestors, the community and the workers of the graving yard, said Frances G. Charles, Lower Elwha Klallam tribal chairwoman full article

Kickapoo trespassing trial date set for Aug. 13

By Ann Weaver
The Oklahoman
McLOUD - The trial date for three women charged with criminal trespassing for taking over a Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma administration building in January will be set Aug. 13.

Auchee Wahpepah, Valentina Jimenez and Glenda Deer were arrested by tribal police Jan. 2, ending their two-week occupation of the building about two miles north of McLoud off State Highway 102.

The women's pretrial hearing for the misdemeanor charge has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 13. Deer said a tribal judge will set a trial date after the hearing.

Deer said she and the others are prepared for trial. full article

Alcorn Braves logo a thing of the past

Associated Press

LORMAN, Miss. - Alcorn State University has stopped using its old logo featuring a profile of a Native American and may phase out the "Braves" mascot.

The new logo is a letter A with the word "Alcorn" written through it.

"There are national sensitivities toward Native American symbols, and there is a national movement toward this," Alcorn athletic director Robert Raines said. "Our administration felt it would probably a good idea for us to do this."

Raines said the decision came after a nationwide NCAA study on the matter and several years of discussion. Other schools such as Marquette, St. John's and Miami of Ohio have dropped old nicknames with Native American themes in favor of less-offensive generic nicknames and mascots. full article

Dems appeal to Indians: Get out the vote

By DEBORAH BAKER
Associated Press Writer
07/28/2004

BOSTON -- Frank Lamere, chairman of the Democratic National Convention's Native American Caucus, is urging Indians to get out and do what some of his friends call "that white man's thing" -- vote.

With the prospect of a tight presidential race in November, Democrats are courting Indian country with vigor. And that, in itself, is a daunting prospect, given the fact that Indian voters are, literally, few and far between.

For example, the land occupied by the 250,000-member Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the United States, covers more than 27,000 square miles in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Many of the farmers, sheepherders, and others who live scattered across the reservation -- an area larger than West Virginia -- don't have telephones or televisions and rely largely on local Navajo-language radio stations for news.

Some must travel as far as 35 miles over roads that can range from bumpy to bone-jarring in order to vote. full article

Association comes of age for Native American youth

It began with a handful of adults and 25 children, but now the organization serves 600 people and their families
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

From a church gymnasium to its own three-story building in North Portland, the Native American Youth Association has grown as the community has.

World War II work in the shipyards and the 1950s federal termination of tribes brought Native Americans from across the nation to Portland. In time, they realized the public school and social service systems weren't addressing young Native Americans' needs.

The Native American Youth Association started with a handful of adults and about 25 children. Today, it serves about 600 young people and their families with a budget of $1.3 million paid by grants and fund raising.

As the organization reaches its 30th anniversary next year, its name will change to the Native American Youth and Family Center. Nichole Maher, executive director, said the name change represents how the organization has expanded to provide domestic violence counseling for women, support for foster parents of Native American children and a forum to gather community elders. full article

Mallard stakes Treaty position
29 July 2004
By LEAH HAINES

Race Relations Minister Trevor Mallard has declared himself, and other Pakeha, indigenous New Zealanders along with all Maori.

Last night, in an unheralded speech entitled "We are all New Zealanders now", he defended the amount paid out in Treaty settlements and told all New Zealanders to "get over the bad past".

"Maori and Pakeha are both indigenous people to New Zealand now," he told Victoria University's Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies in Wellington. "I regard myself as an indigenous New Zealander – I come from Wainuiomata."

The speech is a significant positioning statement from the no-

nonsense Mr Mallard, who has been charged with reviewing Government policies so they are targeted on need, not on race.

It is a clear attempt to paint himself, and Labour, as representing the ordinary Pakeha who might feel their place in New Zealand is undermined – taking ownership of that position back from National.

But not all Maori will accept that Mr Mallard, who was born and bred in Wainuiomata, is indigenous like them. full article

Bone return consultation launched

Scientists fear collections of crucial scientific value will be lost forever

The UK government has launched a consultation document to consider the repatriation of human remains held in Britain to aboriginal groups.

Thousands of ancient human parts - from hair samples to whole skeletons - have been collected by UK museums.

The latest initiative will review the report issued last year by the Working Group on Human Remains.

It recommended scientists should seek out descendants for permission to hold on to body parts up to 500 years old.

Scientists would like to retain materials - some of them thousands of years old - because of what they can reveal about human origins and evolution, and the spread and development of disease.

But to indigenous groups, the collections are an affront to their customs and they claim many of the artefacts were effectively stolen by colonial explorers and hunters. full article

Split is more than skin deep in Bolivia
By TYLER BRIDGES
Miami Herald

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia - Tall, blonde and thin, Maria René Antelo doesn't look like the stereotypical Bolivian, and perhaps that is why she is one of the country's top models.

Antelo is one of ''Las Magnificas,'' as the 35 similar-looking women of Bolivia's top modeling agency, based in this eastern lowlands city, are called.

But more than beauty, Las Magnificas symbolize the racial and political differences between the lighter-skinned Santa Cruz region and the mostly Indian regions of La Paz in Bolivia's western mountains -- differences that came to the fore in the national referendum 10 days ago on whether to export the country's huge natural gas reserves.

La Paz, the country's political capital, lies in the cold Andean region 12,000 feet above sea level that is home to increasingly restive Aymara and Quechua Indians who believe that the white elite has kept them from enjoying the benefits of Bolivia's natural resources.

Santa Cruz is the business capital, a hot and humid plains state that grew from 100,000 residents in 1950 to 2.1 million today, with entrepreneurs, oil men and large-scale soy farmers being its public face. full article

Iraq War Straining US-Turkey Ties

by Jim Lobe
While the image of the United States has sunk to an all-time low in the Arab world, the Iraq war has also had a devastating impact on U.S. ties to another predominantly Muslim power and one of Washington's closest and most strategically situated Cold War allies, Turkey, say experts just returned from the region.

Ties between Turkey and Israel – countries that have long considered themselves strategic allies against hostile Arab states – have also become deeply strained as a result of recent events, according to former U.S. ambassador in Ankara, Mark Parris, who also served for several years as the number two in the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.

"There's been lots of news, and most of it is not good," he told a meeting Tuesday at the Nixon Center here, noting that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly referred to Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank as "state terrorism," an assessment that is now shared by 82 percent of the Turkish population, according to a recent poll cited by Zeyno Baran, director of the international security and energy program at the center. full article


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Lalo Delgado walks on

Lalo Delgado, 73, passed away last Friday morning. There are 2 columns that recount some of his accomplishments which we will post excerpts from.

Lalo was an ally of Colorado AIM and stood by our side at our protests, read his poetry at our events and participated in some of our projects. He was always upbeat and positive in his words as well as in his outlook.

You could often find Lalo volunteering at the Escuela Tlatelolco. He had a very loud voice and became animated whenever sharing his poetry in classes that he voluntarily taught. Walking into the school, you always knew what room Lalo was teaching in.

Lalo often got requests from the audience whenever he was attending an event as a spectator. Reluctantly, he would stand up and launch into one of his poems, energizing the event and provoking appreciative rounds of applause from the audience. He always livened up events like that.

He was a friend and an ally and he will be greatly missed.

Funeral Services will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Wednesday 28, at 2 pm.



Poet, activist dead at 73
Delgado's pen gave voice to Chicanos

By Claire Martin
Denver Post Staff Writer

Denver poet, professor and activist Lalo Delgado, who died Friday at age 73, was widely regarded as one of the Chicano movement's premiere authors. His poems and essays were taught, and sometimes banned, internationally.

Services will be held Tuesday and Wednesday.

Through his writing and his work at various human rights organizations, Delgado crusaded for better treatment of immigrants and their families.

"His name was synonymous with the Chicano movement," said longtime friend Ricardo LaFore, director of U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell's Denver office.

"Lalo's name is a thread that runs through the women's movement, the children's rights movement, through the entire human rights movement."

Abelardo Delgado was born in Boquilla de Chanchos in Chihuahua, Mexico, the son of a U.S.-born Hispanic soldier and a Mexican woman who became a naturalized American citizen when she was 83. full article

Lalo gone but won't be silenced

By Cindy Rodriguez
Denver Post Columnist

Lola Delgado leaned into his chest, gripping his hands. "Don't go yet, Lalo," she pleaded to her husband of 50 years. "I can't live without you. You are my life."

Tears streamed down her face. Lalo couldn't speak. He lay beneath white sheets, his eyes roving a room packed with his children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren.

There, in Room 308 of St. Anthony's Hospital North on Friday, Lola Delgado was losing the only man she's ever loved.

And the world was losing a man who was the fiery voice for Chicanos and Latinos of every stripe, the poet laureate of the mystical Aztlan.

The words penned by Lalo Delgado have been read by children in grade school, recited in high school auditoriums, dissected by grad-school students and translated into a dozen languages.

His most famous poem, "Stupid America," offers an explanation of what happens to a child whose dreams are quashed by oppression and racism. It was written in 1969, when Chicano students attended essentially segregated schools, and remains piercingly relevant today.

Those who got to know Lalo learned that though he spoke with passion and conviction - with his booming voice - he was gentle, playful and quick to smile full article

FBI continues to scour for "terrorists"-now searching Ft Collins CO

When we last left the FBI they were going door to door, in Lawerence Kansas, searching for anarchists. The Lawrence anarchist had caught the attention of the FBI, in their search for "terrorist," by protesting the war on Iraq, protesting a $500 plate dinner at the Dole Institute dedication and protesting the length of a prison sentence given to a guy for burning SUVs in Oregon.

The previous day, hot on the trail of Osama bin laden, 6 agents had paid a visit to a 21 year old intern with the American Friends Service Committe. From there, they donned bullet proof vest and went to another residence where they arrested 2 young men for traffic violation warrants. One of gung-ho agents even put on full SWAT riot gear to make the arrest. One can imagine the guy, glaring into a mirror, smearing his face with black paint, before he goes to serve a warant on someone for driving without a valid license.

The FBI trail seemed to have grown cold when they couldn't locate the anarchist headquarters in Lawrence Kansas, but now it appears they have picked up a scent in that bastion of "terrorist sympathizers"...Ft Collins, Colorado.
The FBI questioned a Fort Collins resident about potential plots to disrupt the nation's political conventions, a day after some Denver residents were quizzed.

The 45-year-old software engineer(Paul Blame) in Fort Collins said he was questioned Friday by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Said Paul Blame, about his organization, Pagan Cluster""We're a bunch of middle-aged weird people."
The Pagan Cluster, among other things, objects to economic globalization - the merging of world economies as in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Opponents think globalization jeopardizes the environment and workers' rights.

Bame isn't attending the Democratic National Convention under way in Boston, but he plans to attend the Republican National Convention in New York in August. He may protest there or support demonstrators, he said.

"I'm sure if we were to ask the FBI why they're doing this, they would say we have to be real careful about terrorism," Bame said. "The practical effect of this is scaring the crap out of people, which is going to end up scaring people from using their First Amendment rights," he said. full article


Don't be suprised if the "terrorist trail" leads to homeless rights advocates in San Franciso, California.

articles july 27

Young Activists fight for climate justice

Across the country in Bemidji, MN Native American communities realize that as climate change transforms their environment, it endangers their culture, which has developed through interaction with their surrounding environment over thousands of years. "Climate change affects our Indigenous communities in profound ways," points out Sammie Ardito, a Climate Justice Corps member who is working with the Indigenous Environmental Network in Bemidji this summer. "We are already severely impacted by over five hundred years of colonization and destruction. We are intimately tied with the land and as such even the subtlest disturbances will disrupt our ways of life. Climate change will make worse what is already severely distressed. These impacts are akin to genocide."

And as is all too familiar, these communities are habitually excluded from the political process explains Roberto Nutlouis, a Climate Justice Corps member working with the Black Mesa Water Coalition in his home in the Navajo Nation this summer. "It is important to shed light on the unjust politics of climate change. People who contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions; Indigenous peoples, people of color, and disempowered communities, are the first to be impacted." full article

Homeless in Hawaii:
More land for the military than for Hawaiians

by: Winona LaDuke / Guest Columnist
It’s summer in Hawaii, the state is considering another generous land donation to the military and has made homelessness a crime. Under the cover of the term "Military Transformation" and with the blanket of 9/11, the military is taking a wide berth in land stealing. And, recently enacted Act 50 makes criminals out of people who have been displaced by the military itself, many of them Native Hawaiian.  

"They bombed the houses in the l940s and took over the entire valley," explained Sparky Rodrigues, one of many Makua residents still waiting to move home. "The government moved all of the residents out and said after the war, you can move back - and then they used the houses for target practice. The families tell stories that the military came with guns and said, ‘Here’s $300, thank you,’ and ‘You’ve got to move.’ Those people remain without their houses, and for years, many lived on the beaches in beautiful Makua Valley, watching the bombing of their land.

"Tomorrow morning they’re going to detonate a 1,000 pounder, a 500 pounder and a 100 pound bomb," Rodriques mused. Such detonations are part of the military cleanup of the site before, apparently, any new maneuvers. "We’ve gone in and observed them detonate those bombs," said Rodriques. More than once, live ammunition has washed up on the beaches at Makua full article

Apache Tribe’s ‘Erin Brockovich:' The attorneys
Attorney contracted by the tribe calls for federal investigation

by: Mary Pierpoint / Correspondent / Indian Country Today
ANADARKO, Okla. - Confusion and refusals to communicate with royalty owners from the Apache Bromide Unit by both the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma’s governing body has caused a jumble of misinformation and endless court hearings. Although the Apache tribal chairman and secretary/treasurer were removed from office by referendum during the annual general council meeting they are still being recognized by the Anadarko BIA Agency as officials of the tribal government.

All of the questions asked by Indian Country Today regarding who exactly is in charge of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma were referred to BIA offices in Washington, D.C.; neither office would answer the question as to whether or not Emily Saupitty is the tribe’s tax commissioner. Tribal Vice Chairman, Nathan Tselee stated that he would not discuss the matter with "outsiders."

When Emily Saupitty, Millie Tapedo and Sandra Marguin met to discuss both issues with Anadarko Agency Superinten-dent Betty Tippaconnie, any hopes they had for getting even simple answers were dashed. full article

Ancient bones found at construction site

By Niki King, Sun Staff

Johnson Charles knelt before a square gap in the ground that was once a home and played his traditional, yellow cedar flute.

Its solemn, reedy tune lilted up and over, carried wide by the wind, across 22 acres of hot, barren earth crawling with machines and men digging for secrets once left by Charles' ancestors, members of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

He comes every day to play, praying the spirit of the wind will allay his people, the living who toil now at this excavation site and the spirits of the dead buried there.

"People ask me to pray. It's soothing," Charles said.

His people need soothing. The last few months have been trying for them, a tragedy and a blessing all at once. full article

U.N. Set to Designate Second Indigenous Decade

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 26 (IPS) - A second U.N. decade spotlighting indigenous peoples is a step closer after the world body's economic and social council (ECOSOC) recommended another 10-year project after the existing decade expires Dec. 30.

The decision will go before the 191-member U.N. General Assembly (GA) whose annual meeting begins in September.

In their recommendation the members of ECOSOC, one of the U.N.'s five main bodies, said a second decade would have to take its mandate from a review of the first 10 years, and include concrete goals and adequate resources to ensure those aims could be met..

The ongoing International Decade of the World's Indigenous People is aimed at strengthening international cooperation to solve problems faced by indigenous peoples -- also known as aborigines, native, first nations or tribal peoples -- in areas such as human rights, environment, development, education and health. The decade's theme is ”indigenous people: partnership in action full article

The Bedouin Dilemma
Many Call For International Intervention In The Negev

They seem peaceful and majestic in the desert heat, cut into the landscape dotted with shacks for living quarters and tents constructed with burlap and wooden sticks not far from the 52 active military zones in the Negev.  The old men in their khafeyas sit drinking Arabic coffee, stone-faced – as if they’ve seen this all before.  The women are nowhere to be seen.
 
The Bedouin village of Wadi al-Na’am sits under the shadow of a chemical industrial zone.  Following the dusty road off the highway, it emerges from the left, dark and oppressive, an architectural catastrophe. 
 
4,000 people live in the vicinity of Ramat Hovav, Israel’s toxic waste dump – one of 17 chemical plants in the area. Opened in 1975, it has left a trail of wreckage adding to the dire situation:  high infant mortality rates, cancer and numerous other health effects from the effluent, 97% of the village population on national insurance.  The electric power lines run past the village yards away connecting nobody to the grid. full article

Yasukuni Shrine and the Double Genocide of Taiwan's Indigenous Atayal:

 "Do all of you know the history of Taiwan's indigenous people?" asked Chiwas Ari at the post-verdict press conference. "Please look at this book of photographs we brought here today." The title of the book was Valley of Silence. The photograph on the page she opened to sent shock waves through the room. A Japanese soldier wielding a military sword had just beheaded a captured Taiwanese aborigine. "These photographs were taken to show ‘meritorious service' in Japan's army. The beheaded man is one of our Atayal ancestors." She paused in silence for a time, then continued. "From 1911 to 1915 the Japanese colonial rulers in Taiwan carried out a policy of ‘native control,' killing indigenous people, seizing their possessions, and burning their homes if they did not submit to Japanese rule. Their surviving children were indoctrinated in a program of ‘education for native youth' (that is, education to make them Japanese imperial subjects) and, as soon as they were old enough, they were sent to South Pacific battlefields in units called ‘Takasago patriot brigades.' Those who died in the fighting were automatically enshrined at Yasukuni. If you ask me, this is genocide spanning two generations."
 
For most of us at the press conference, knowledge of the indigenous people's history barely extended to the Wushe Incident of October, 1930, their final resistance to Japanese rule. We knew that continuing protests against the Prime Minister's Yasukuni pilgrimages have come from the governments and people in China, South Korea, and elsewhere in Asia, but not from the government or people of Taiwan. Why, we wondered, had the plaintiffs in this case come from Taiwan and filed suit as indigenous people? full article

Bushman says God gave land to him
Posted Tue, 27 Jul 2004

A San Bushman who defied a State order to move out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve told the Botswana High Court on Tuesday that the land had been given to him by God.

The high court is hearing a case brought by 243 San Bushmen challenging their relocation from the game reserve, one of the world's largest sanctuaries and an area which has been their home for some 20 000 years.

"I don't need any piece of paper to show that land was given to me by God," Amolang Segwetsane testified in court. "It belongs to my forefathers and all my children who were born there." full article

Control Room

Inside Al Jazeera

By MIKE WHITNEY

There's a chilling scene in Jahane Noujaim's new documentary Control Room where an American F-16 is seen slowly turning in the sky over Baghdad. The plane arcs lazily in the blue sky and then quickly noses downward, following a straight line towards the building that houses the Al Jazeera news facility.

In a flash, two laser guided missiles are fired at the building and their impact knocks out the visual.

It all happens in a matter of seconds.

Veteran journalist, Tarik Ayoub was killed instantly in the attack.

Later that same day, fighter pilots would bomb the Abu Dhabi media facility in similar fashion.

The day's events would end on the streets of Baghdad where an Abrams Tank slowly turned its turret towards the Palestine Hotel; the accommodation for all the visiting media in Iraq.

The tank lifted its muzzle towards the 13th floor, and moments later fired...killing a Spanish journalist and wounding three others.

No one who sees this shocking segment will confuse it for anything other than what it was....cold blooded murder, authored and directed by the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. (Al Jazeera even provided the US Military with its exact coordinates so they wouldn't be attacked as they were in Kabul) full article

An Excuse-Spouting Bush Is Busted by the 9/11 Report

Busted! Like a teenager whose beer bash is interrupted by his parents' early return home, President Bush's nearly three years of bragging about his "war on terror" credentials has been exposed by the bipartisan 9/11 commission as nothing more than empty posturing.

Without dissent, five prominent Republicans joined an equal number of their Democratic Party peers in stating unequivocally that the Bush Administration got it wrong, both in its lethargic response to an unprecedented level of warnings during what the commission calls the "Summer of Threat," as well as in its inclusion of Iraq in the war on terror. full article


Monday, July 26, 2004

FBI making the rounds to keep you safe

With the 9/11 commission citing intelligence failure as one of the key components that allowed the 9/11 hijackers to carry out their plans, with several intelligence agents and U.S congressment making the rounds to announce that a similar attack will occur not "if" but "when" and with Homeland security officials informing the public that "danger levels" are at their highest since 9/11, the FBI is on the move. Having been publicly embarrassed the past 3 years by accusations of ineptness, poor leadership and ridiculous selection of "targets" the FBI is rising to dispel all doubts about it's effectiveness.

So what "threats to national security" have the FBI been pursuing? One, some interns at the American Friends Service Committee in Denver, and another, a group of anarchists out in Lawrence Kansas.

On thursday, 4 FBI agents and 2 Denver Cops(Joint Terrorism Task Force) visited 2 homes. At the first, they questioned a 21 year old intern, Sarah Baldwell, for the American Friends Service Committe(a pacifist quaker organization). The 6 agents wanted to know 3 things.

1. Are you planning to be involved in any criminal acts at the national conventions?
2. Do you know anybody who is?
3. Are you aware that if you assist or know anybody planning any criminal acts and do not report them, it's a crime?

After receiving declines to answer, and poking around, the 6 man team visited another house. There, with all donning bullet proof vests and at least one in full SWAT gear, they arrested 2 young men on traffic violation warrants. One can imagine these 6 agents triumphantly slapping each other on the back after having put away 2 traffic violaters thus preventing another 9/11 style attack.

said Baldwell
Bardwell said she and her housemates believe they were visited because they have participated in protests in the past - including one the day before against the recent shooting death of a 63-year-old disabled man by a Denver police officer who was looking for someone else and mistook a soda can the man was holding for a gun.

Other causes in which she has been active include protests against Columbus Day as a celebration of oppression of native people, work with an organization that collects food donated by grocery stores for homeless people and anti-war protests, Bardwell said.

She is an intern with the American Friends Service Committee, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1940s for its work against violence. AFSC also advocates for prisoners' rights.

"I think it was an intimidation tactic and it was designed to threaten people who are analyzing our current government and its policies and the system in the United States - an intimidation tactic that is used to crush any form of resistance or dissent or public expression of disapproval," Bardwell said.

She said the visit from law enforcement officers motivated her to learn more about her rights and to be "even more active in my community. full article


The next day, in Lawrence Kansas, FBI agents were going door to door, trying to locate and interview members of a Lawrence based anarchist group.

Meanwhile, nervous anarchists waited at their headquarters on 14th & Massachussets for the FBI agents to arrive.
(Scott)Pinkelman and about a dozen friends spent all day at the Lawrence anarchist headquarters near 14th and Massachusetts streets, a building with red signs outside that say "Solidarity -- Revolutionary Center & Radical Library." Group members smoked cigarettes, ate bagels, talked on cell phones and clutched hand-held cameras to use for documentation in case agents arrived.
  
"Unfortunately, we are kind of scared," said group member Vanessa Hays.

Hays said FBI agents went Friday morning to her mother's home in Topeka asking for her and saying she might know someone who was planning a violent act. Hays said she thought such visits were an attempt to put pressure on protesters by getting family members involved.

"I'm in the phone book," Hays said. "If they wanted to find me, they could find me very easily." full article


Above photo:2 anarchists(along with a reporter and a photographer) patiently wait for the FBI to find and interview them

In the midst of such dire warnings about imminent attacks, what could these Lawrence Anarchists have done so that FBI agents are frantically scouring the city in search of them?
In the past year, anarchists here have protested various issues, including the Iraqi war, a $500-a-plate dinner at the Dole Institute of Politics dedication and the length of the prison sentence given to an Oregon man convicted of setting fire to SUVs.

Members of the group said they thought they were being painted as terrorists even though they were philosophically opposed to violence.
"It's a crime when it's nongovernmental, but it's a war when it is," said David Strano, one of the group members.


Why are there FBI agents going around and the country, door to door, looking for and questioning young people who, and this is to greatly understate it, are not very likely to be planning a 9/11 style attack on the U.S? Mark Silverstein of the Colorado ACLU has an idea.
"It's an abuse of power, designed to intimidate these kids from exercising their constitutional right to protest government policies and associate with others who want to protest government policies," Silverstein said.


There is no word yet, from FBI head Robert Mueller about the possible thwarting of a terrorist attack as a result of the arrest of the 2 young men in Denver for traffic violations. Also, no word from the FBI as to whether or not they eventually found the Lawrence Anarchist headquarters.

The Denver Police fails to turn over complaints to PSRC, suprise, suprise

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that the Denver Police Department failed to forward 450 citizen complaints, against the Denver Police, to the Public Safety Review Commission, beginning in 2002.
That means the Public Safety Review Commission had no opportunity to follow up with people who lodged those complaints to see if they were satisfied with the department's resolution of the complaints.

It also underscores the frustration expressed by panel members who say they're often overlooked and deprived of tools to provide meaningful oversight.

"This has meant a lot of additional work for us," said Roxane Baca, chairwoman of the commission. "I think the impact is still unknown, but it might be that the public may think we are not being very effective."

It comes as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper prepares to announce a new, stronger system of citizen oversight for the 1,400-officer department, one of a number of reforms announced in response to a controversial police shooting last year.

Commission members will now send the letters to residents and say they may write a letter of complaint to Hickenlooper about the delay. full article

To Hickenloopers credit, he did apologize to the Lobato Family at last Tuesday's community meeting. City officials also attended Frank Lobato's funeral this weekend which also is a departure from the stonewalling by past city administrations. Whether their compassion as individuals translated into systemic change remains to be seen.
Denver focuses too much of its attention on training young men to kill and not enough on teaching them to preserve life, said Tink Tinker of the Osage Nation.

"That's the systemic hole we need to change," Tinker said. "The political system had better pay attention."

Several city leaders, including Manager of Safety Al LaCabe and Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez, attended the service, which was paid for with city funds at Funeraria Latina in west Denver.

"I'm fulfilling my commitment to the family to find out what happened," Rodriquez said after the funeral. full article

Some City Council Members seem to have mustered the resolve to challenge the power of the Police Protective Association(PPA) which is also a welcome change. The PPA has managed to intimidate city officials and influence city policy to the detriment of the Denver citizens. Their control over the city may be slowly eroding with each outrage committed by officers. That so many citizens have lost, and will lose, their lives to bring about a gradual change is a shame.

Making the Denver Police Department accountable is no small feat. In addition to it's entrenched position in determing city policy, they are aided by Denver's so called "liberal media." To get a sense, read this column by the Rocky Mountain News columnist, Tina Griego. She begins with an account of last Tuesday's community meeting, stating
Two community meetings were held last week to protest the police killing of Frank Lobato, known by officers as "the wrong guy," and by nearly everyone else as the invalid holding a soda can.

Anger abounded. At one packed meeting, calls for revolution mixed with pleas for calm. Praise for the mayor competed with curses flung at such volume and force that you could almost see them, like line drives of venom. The American Indian Movement's Glenn Morris raised the specter of "civil unrest" should the police, once again, needlessly shoot and kill a minority. The "5,000 pound elephant in the room," he called it.

"Anytime something like this happens in our community, we are all diminished by it," he said, in what may have been the most eloquent comments I heard on the matter all last week. full article

From here, she goes on to relate her emotions at a protest held the next day in which she was scared away by Leroy Lemos and his characterization of the Denver Police as "domestic terrorists."
According to Griego,shooting people somehow becomes less of an act of terror than what Leroy is doing; that is, describing the level of fear the Denver Cops sow in communities of color. Somehow, Leroy with a megaphone is more of a menace to society than Ranjan Ford with a badge and a 9 millimeter.

Griego goes on to list some of the calls that Denver Police responded to within the range of 3 hours that resulted in no shootings. She notes that some of those calls came from "minority neighborhoods" and then concludes that minority people must not fear the cops if they are calling them. She ends by asking, whom is terrorizing whom?

What she doesn't ask is why no calls from Cherry Hills, Highlands Ranch,(affluent, white citiznes do commit acts of domestic abuse as well) or her Neighborhood ever result in a shooting at the hands of a cop. As we heard at the meeting on last Tuesday, people like Tina Griego don't get it because they know a cop will not be arriving at their house, using a ladder to climb in their windows and shooting them while they are in their own rooms.

articles july 26

California judge rules court has jurisdiction in tribal dispute
Sunday, July 25, 2004

By CHRIS T. NGUYEN
Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES -- A Superior Court judge declined to dismiss a lawsuit by ousted members of an American Indian tribe Friday, saying courts have authority over legal matters that arise from tribal disputes.

Eleven former members of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians had sued members of the tribe's enrollment committee, claiming their rights were violated after being thrown out of the tribe in March.

In his ruling, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles D. Field cited a federal law stating that California courts "have jurisdiction over civil causes of action between Indians or to which Indians are parties which arise in Indian country." full article

Proposed gold mine threatens river refuge?strong>
Critics say industrial-scale project will permanently scar land

(excerpt from further down in the article)
"I know some of the residents on Canyon Creek are unhappy about earlier restorations, and we'll be looking at that," he said. "I do think it can be done right."

But the Hupa Indians, who live and fish along the Trinity, don't share Mitchell's sanguine view.

In an e-mail to the forest service, Robert Franklin, a fisheries biologist employed by the tribe, argued that the proposed project would lead to irreparable impacts, including water-quality impairment, decreases in stream flows during periods critical to fish and degraded riparian zones. full article

Top court agrees to hear dispute over native rights in famed national park

OTTAWA (CP) - The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to sort out the question of whether the federal government violated aboriginal treaty rights in authorizing a road through the country's largest national park.

At issue is a long-running dispute in which the Mikisew Cree First Nation claims its hunting and trapping rights were infringed by plans to build a winter road through Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles the Alberta-Northwest Territories border.

The case raises broader legal issues of whether treaty rights or federal environmental law and regulatory power take precedence in the sprawling, 45,000-square kilometre park, created in 1922 to protect the last herd of wood bison. full article

Indian artifacts near Ohio River could be sign of ancient village
By Alex Davis

Remains of an ancient American Indian settlement have been uncovered along the Ohio River shoreline in Clarksville, Ind.

Archaeologists say the discovery of about two dozen artifacts, from pottery shards to stone tools, is significant because the density of the site suggests a prolonged settlement instead of a temporary camp or hunting ground.

The artifacts, found near a two-lane road that collapsed in January, are believed to be 700 to 900 years old, placing the settlement in what is known as the Mississippian period. full article

Reservation force faces big losses
By Jomay Steen, Journal Staff Writer

The Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has tightened its belt.

But it may not be enough.

When a federal Community Oriented Policing grant expires Sept. 30, 2005, the tribal police force will lose funding for 75 percent of its officers, according to Duane Yellow Hawk, self-determination specialist for the department.

"After September of 2005, we'll lose funding for 57 police officers unless the Department of Justice moves that money into our funding base," Yellow Hawk said. full article

How to Lose the War on Terror

A CIA bin Laden expert’s lament

One of the striking things about the Iraq War is the extent to which American foreign-affairs professionals—intelligence analysts, diplomats, and high-ranking military officers—recognize it is a tragically misguided venture. Among the most recent to speak out is the CIA officer formerly charged with analyzing Osama bin Laden. Known only as “Anonymous,” he is the author of the new book Imperial Hubris —a scathing look at the way the United States has conducted the War on Terror thus far. TAC editors Philip Giraldi (a CIA veteran with extensive Mideast experience), Kara Hopkins, and Scott McConnell recently visited with the author. Here are excerpts of the conversation.

TAC: You’ve said that Iraq was the best Christmas present that Osama bin Laden could have possibly received …

ANON: Have you seen the movie “Christmas Story,” where the boy wants a Red Rider air gun and his mom says no? Then at the end of Christmas day, when he has opened all his presents, he gets the gun and he thinks, “My God, I really got it. I never thought I’d get it.” Iraq was Osama’s Red Rider BB gun. It was something he always wanted, but something he never expected.

Iraq is the second holiest place in Islam. He’s now got the Americans in the two holiest places in Islam, the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq, and he has the Israelis in Jerusalem. All three sanctities are now occupied by infidels, a great reality for him. He also saw the Islamic clerical community, from liberal to the most Wahhabist, issue fatwas that were more vitriolic and more demanding than the fatwas that were issued against the Soviets when they came into Afghanistan. They basically validated all of the theological arguments bin Laden has been making since 1996, that it is incumbent on all Muslims to fight the Americans because they were invading Islamic territory. Until we did that in Iraq, he really had a difficult time making that argument stick, but now there is no question.

It’s also perceived widely in the Muslim world that we attacked Iraq to move along what, at least in Muslims’ minds, is the Israelis’ goal of a greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates. While we’re beating the hell out of the Iraqis, Sharon and the Israelis are beating the hell out of the Palestinians every day. So we have an overwhelming media flow into the Muslim world of infidels killing Muslims. It’s a one-sided view, but it’s their perception. And unless you deal with what they think, you’re never going to understand what we’re up against. full article

Rock Musicians Organize Against Injustice
An Interview with Tom Morello and Serj Tankian
By RICHARD MORENO

On a sweltering hot summer's day in Southern California, the Axis of Justice non-profit political organization initiated its very first activist meeting Sunday afternoon on the 25th of July at North Hollywood Park. Despite the blistering heat, a group of roughly 50 people from all ages and backgrounds clustered together under the trees' shade while Co-Director of the Axis of Justice Jake Sexton announced the afternoon's purpose. Within minutes, Tom Morello, former Rage Against the Machine guitarist turned Audio Slave guitar extraordinaire, and Serj Tankian, System of the Down's fiery lead vocalist, arrived with cases of Axis of Justice gear and materials. Soon after, the birth of the first Axis of Justice chapter was proclaimed. full article

Friday, July 23, 2004

articles july 23

Activist roots still thrive in Canada border crossing
Indian Defense League of America

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - Activist movements among modern North American Indians have roots that go back well beyond AIM and the siege at Wounded Knee, and they are still very much alive in the annual Native march across the U.S. - Canada border, held here recently for its 77th continuous year.

This year’s march marked the coming forward of the third generation in the sponsoring Indian Defense League of America, as one long-time leader lay seriously ill in the hospital. Although the passing of the torch was tinged with sorrow, it presaged renewed vitality for what could very well be the oldest continuous Native protest movement in northern America. It is a movement with a clear but still not widely known influence on the more famous upsurge of the early 1970s. full article

Native American tribes continue protest at Scottish Power AGM

Representatives from four native American tribes have been protesting outside Scottish Power's AGM meeting this morning.

They claim dams owned by the company in the US are causing a huge decline in salmon numbers which they depend on for their livelihood.

Leaf Hillman of the Karuk Tribe said: "We came here to send a message to Scottish Power and we're going to send that message. And that message is that we'll travel to the ends of the earth to accomplish our goal to bring the salmon home." full article

Pausing for a moment

By Pam. M. Smith, Staff Writer

A wispy breeze touched the circle of Native American Peace and Dignity runners as they paused in the partial shade of a mesquite tree Thursday morning just inside the west part of the Quechan Indian Nation.

They had been on the run all night from Manzanita, Calif.

Christine Emerson, an elder, blessed the runners through the “curuk," a Quechan sacred ceremony.

"This ceremony is performed for special events," she said. "I was entrusted with the right to do the blessing, as were my mother, Thelma Augerro, and maternal grandmother, Hippah Collins, before me."

The runners listened to a message from Quechan Phil Emerson, an elder for the journey. Emerson, who has made several of the runs, and started this one from Chickaloon, Alaska, will continue on to the Panama Canal. He carried a symbolic staff. full article

Experts say Inuit lawsuit could cost Ottawa, revolutionize aboriginal law

BOB WEBER

EDMONTON (CP) - He has fought battles in the boxing ring, on the football field, in city council chambers, in courtrooms and against cancer. But Kiviaq's latest fight may have the most far-reaching consequences.

The Edmonton Inuk, formerly known as David Ward, filed a lawsuit last week alleging Ottawa discriminates against his people. Legal experts suggest his efforts to win new federal benefits for Canada's 50,000 Inuit deserve serious consideration.

They also say the action could rewrite the relationship between non-status Indians, the Metis, the provinces and the federal government.

"If he were successful, it would be quite a revolution," says Peter Russell, a retired University of Toronto political science professor, who specializes in aboriginal law. full article

Climbers urged to avoid sacred Washoe site

LAKE TAHOE, Nev. - An advocacy group with a lawsuit challenging a U.S. Forest Service ban on recreational climbing at a sacred Washoe site has asked its members to refrain from scaling Cave Rock this summer.

The Access Fund, a Colorado-based group representing more than 1 million climbers nationwide, agreed to the voluntary closure, which was first suggested by the Forest Service, "out of respect to the religious practices of the Washoe." The group put out the memo this spring urging its members not to climb the popular volcanic formation on the lake’s southeast shore during July and August of this year.

Last fall, the Forest Service updated its Cave Rock management plan announcing its intention to permanently ban climbing at the site in an effort to protect Cave Rock’s cultural, historic and archeological resources, which make the site eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. full article

Black Hills art may be 5,000 years old
Ben Shouse
Argus Leader

CRAVEN CANYON - The markings on these sandstone cliffs are at once a revelation and an unsolvable riddle.

The rock art reveals the undeniable presence of ancient people, who chiseled a menagerie of animals, humans, tools and symbols here starting perhaps 5,000 years ago. And it hints at societies dating back to the last ice age.

"I can't help but be moved. I mean, we're talking 13,000 years ago that humans were here, and as indigenous people, we can't help but see them as our ancestors," said Arthur Amiotte, an Oglala Sioux artist who lives near Custer. full article

Bolivian Guaraní Indians Fight to Keep Oil Company Off Their Land
Gustavo Capdevila
Inter Press Service (IPS)
23 July 2004

GENEVA, Jul 22 (IPS) - The Guaraní community of Tentayapi, in southern Bolivia, one of the last bastions of the indigenous group's traditional way of life, is fighting to keep a foreign oil company out of its ancestral territory.

One of the community's leaders, Saúl Carayury, told the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, meeting this week in Geneva, that Maxus Energy, a subsidiary of the Spanish-Argentine firm Repsol-YPF based in Spain, intends to explore and drill for hydrocarbons on communally-owned indigenous land in Tentayapi. full article

Forests thrive under control of indigenous people
By Vanessa Houlder in London
Published: July 23 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: July 23 2004 5:00

Developing countries are increasingly relinquishing control of tropical forests to their inhabitants in a trend that is helping to preserve endangered forests, a new report says.

The study was published just before delegates from 59 countries meet in Geneva on Monday to renegotiate the International Tropical Timber Agreement, a United Nations treaty first agreed in 1984 in response to concern about the destruction of tropical forests.

Forest Trends, a Washington-based non-profit group which published the report, criticised the new draft agreement for not mentioning local communities' efforts to protect tropical forests. It called on negotiators to give indigenous people a larger role in policy-making as well as strengthened rights to produce and sell forest products full article

Neocons the Real Present Danger

by Paul Craig Roberts
President Bush's neoconservatives have announced that they are relaunching the Committee on the Present Danger. The new CPD will be totally different from the original.

I was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. It was a bipartisan private organization consisting largely of former presidential appointees who distrusted naiveté about Soviet intentions. One concern was that the U.S. government, feeling pressured to reduce nuclear arms, would be outmaneuvered by the Soviets, who didn't have similar pressures, with a strategic advantage for the Soviets being the result.

The members were patriots committed to liberty, not warmongers. Some of the neoconservative members talked about "rolling back"Soviet gains, but the majority of the members rejected this as a romantic impulse not worthy of discussion. The committee's main concern was that U.S. capabilities not be rolled back more than, or in advance of, Soviet ones. full article

Outsourcing War Crimes
by Ted Rall

It was late fall 2001, and the U.S. conquest of Afghanistan was nearly complete. A passel of foreign war correspondents milled about the lobby of the Hotel Tajikistan, waiting for the Tajik foreign ministry to issue permission papers we needed to pass the checkpoints between Dushanbe and the Afghan border, so we could go on to cover the siege of Kunduz. I popped into the Soviet-vintage hotel's business center to check my email. That's when I met Jonathan Keith "Jack" Idema, the former Special Forces soldier charged on July 5 along with two other Americans for kidnapping and torturing Afghans as part of an unauthorized, vigilante anti-Taliban operation run out of a private home in Kabul.

"U.S. citizen Jonathan K. Idema has allegedly represented himself as an American government and/or military official," the U.S. military said in a statement. "The public should be aware that Idema does not represent the American government and we do not employ him."

That's their current story, anyway.

Agents of the National Security Directorate, Afghanistan's new intelligence agency, say they found eight starved Afghan detainees--three of them hanging by their feet--in Idema's rented house in central Kabul, along with a few AK-47 rifles and blood-soaked clothes. None of Idema's prisoners were working against the Karzai regime, so the NSD plans to release them. Idema, say officials, was probably hoping to torture his victims into telling him the location of Osama bin Laden so he could collect a $25 million bounty. full article

The hysterical skies
She survived a flight with 14 harmless Syrian musicians -- then spread 3,000 bigoted and paranoid words across the Internet. As a pilot and an American, I'm appalled.
By Patrick Smith

July 21, 2004 | In this space was supposed to be installment No. 6 of my multiweek dissertation on airports and terminals. The topic is being usurped by one of those nagging, Web-borne issues of the moment, in this case a reactionary scare story making the cyber-rounds during the past week.

The piece in question, "Terror in the Skies, Again?" is the work of Annie Jacobsen, a writer for WomensWallStreet.com. Jacobsen shares the account of the emotional meltdown she and her fellow passengers experienced when, aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Detroit to Los Angeles, a group of Middle Eastern passengers proceeded to act "suspiciously." I'll invite you to experience "Terror" yourself, but be warned it's quite long. It needs to be, I suppose, since ultimately it's a story about nothing, puffed and aggrandized to appear important.

The editors get the drama cooking with some foreboding music: "You are about to read an account of what happened," counsels a 70-word preamble. "The WWS Editorial Team debated long and hard about how to handle this information and ultimately we decided it was something that should be shared ... Here is Annie's story" [insert lower-octave piano chord here].

What follows are six pages of the worst grade-school prose, spring-loaded with mindless hysterics and bigoted provocation. full article


Thursday, July 22, 2004

articles july 22

U.S. tribe sues Canadian mine over waste
Superfund cited in case involving Columbia River


SPOKANE, Wash. - In what is believed to be the first case of Americans suing a Canadian company under U.S. Superfund law, a tribe is demanding that the owner of a huge smelter north of the border comply with environmental laws in cleaning up waste dumped for decades in the Columbia River.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Spokane, the Colville Confederated Tribes asked that Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. be ordered to immediately comply with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency order to pay for studies of pollution from the smelter in Trail, British Columbia.

The lawsuit contends that for nearly 90 years, the smelter dumped millions of tons of heavy metals into the river, with the pollution washed into the United States. The tribe, whose reservation borders the Columbia, says its members eat fish from the river for subsistence, as well as cultural and spiritual reasons. full article

Devil's Club:
A Medicine Cabinet for Alaska Tribe
Thorny Plant's Popularity May Endanger Its Sacred Role

July 27, 2004 -- In Sitka, Alaska, one of the most revered members of the community is the thorny devil's club. But the plant's popularity as a medicinal may endanger its sacred role in Tlingit culture. NPR's Ketzel Levine reports.

The Tlingit have turned to devil's club for a list of ailments you wouldn't wish on an enemy: from coughs and colds to stomach ulcers, tuberculosis and hypoglycemia. Tribe members steep it into teas, mash it into salves, chew, sip and steam it. It's also used to ward off evil. The plant, dubbed the "Tlingit aspirin" has not been approved for medicinal use by the Food and Drug Administration.

In a report for npr.org, Levine describes the devil's club characteristics and native habitats: full article

Chagos Islanders Lose Final Plea to Go Home

By Mike Taylor, PA News

The exiled Chagos Islanders – victims of one of the most shameful episodes in recent British history – have failed in their final bid to claim damages and the right to return to their homeland.

Three Court of Appeal judges in London today refused a plea by the Indian Ocean islanders and their descendants – more than 5,000 in all at the last count – for permission to challenge a High Court ruling last October striking out their claim against the UK Government.

The exiles say they were left destitute after being moved to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and 1970s to make way for the construction of the US military base on one of their islands, Diego Garcia.

Lord Justice Sedley said today the treatment of the islanders was “shameful”. full article

Karenni State: Statement at the WGIP

The Karenni is the smallest state in Burma. There is an indigenous people made up 14 sub-tribes. Kayah is the largest tribes among them. However, the most well known is the Kayan, which outsiders often refere to as long neck or giraffe women tribes, who are being popular for tourism in the northern part of Thailand. The total of the Karenni population is about 300,000. As the theme of this year is indigenous people and conflict resolution, the case of the Karenni is suitable to the theme.

Since, the time of de-colonization after the independence from Britain in 1948, the Karenni people have been in conflict with the Burmese military troops invasion in the Karenni state. The main course of conflict was made by the fact that Burmese government once promised the right of self-determination to the Karenni people according to the 1947 Panglong agreement and broke it.

The Burmese military forces have been carrying out systematically to destroy the Karenni cultures, traditions, language, and the large areas of natural resources. full article

Uncertainty looms over truce pact
Nagaland
Source: The Sangai Express

Dimapur, July 21: For the first time ever in seven years of the Centre - NSCN-IM ceasefire, struck on July 25, 1997, the possibility of another round of extension is under cloud.

Never in its seven-year of life span have the Centre - NSCN-IM ceasefire looked so uncertain and its immune system so vulnerable to breakdown.

Going by the past developments, the buzz here in Nagaland is that there would be another round of extension - so much so that many are even ready to guesstimate that it would be extended for yet another year.

But experts are worried because of a slew of reasons that is going against the spirit of the ceasefire.

This despite, fervent plea from the people here in Nagaland cutting across political divides as well as from the State Government.

Why? Because for one, the ceasefire, which was primarily meant to give breathing space to the NSCN-IM leadership to explore chances of finding a political negotiation to the vexed Naga problem has not yielded any positive, concrete outcome till date. full article

Mob Rule
"The Outfit" Rips the Lid Off America's Pious Myths
By CHRIS FLOYD

Anyone who wants to understand the reality of modern America should pick up Gus Russo's latest book, "The Outfit." With diligent research and relentless candor, Russo strips away the façade of America's pious national myths, showing in great detail how the criminal underworld ­ and the even more criminal "upperworld" of big business and politics ­ have fused in a deadly symbiosis that underlies the nation's power structure.

You could begin unravelling this dirty skein at almost any point in the last century, but let's join the story at a critical juncture: 1960, when Democrats Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson battled for the right to face Republican Richard Nixon in the presidential election. Of course, bribery, corruption, violence and vote-rigging have long been an integral part of America's glorious electoral heritage ­ a shining example to all the world ­ but the 1960 election was the first time that the country's mobsters had intervened so directly, and so decisively, in the national ballot. full article

Democracy and the neocons: a marriage of convenience

By Jim Lobe
Special to The Daily Star
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Of all the delusions that American neoconservatives perpetrated in their drive to take the US to war in Iraq, the most durable was the notion that they were committed to the spread of Wilsonian democracy. As someone who has watched the neocon movement over the past 30 years or so, I find this hard to accept.

My skepticism is based on several factors, including the obvious selectivity of the neocons. After all, one has only to look at their support for authoritarian regimes in Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Jordan - as opposed to their eagerness to invade Iraq in the name of bringing democratic rule there - to find some glaring inconsistencies. At the same time, it is the neocons who pushed hardest for US President George W. Bush to cease dealing with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, though he was elected by a substantial majority of eligible voters in the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, neocon hard-liners like former Pentagon official Richard Perle believe Palestinians should be denied self-determination altogether. full article

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

articles july 21

Brazilian Indian Leader Karaja Dies at 40

Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Idjarruri Karaja, an activist who worked to include Indian rights in Brazil's constitution, died of complications from kidney surgery, an Indian rights group said Tuesday. He was 40.

Karaja died early Sunday in Palmas, 900 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro.

"It's a big loss for the indigenous movement, of a leader who gave unconditionally to the cause of indigenous peoples," said Jecinaldo Barbosa Cabral, general coordinator of the Indian rights group Coiab. "He's gone, but his example will continue to inspire a new generation of leaders of whom he was a part."

Karaja, who like many Brazilian Indians used his tribe's name as his last, became active in the Indian movement in Brasilia, the nation's capital, at age 17. full article

U.S. Justice Department won't appeal Kennewick Man case

PORTLAND, ORE. - The U.S. Justice Department has joined Northwest tribes in clearing the way for scientists to study the Kennewick Man remains.
Blain Rethmeier, a Justice Department spokesman, told The Oregonian that the agency would not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 8-year-old case. The deadline for an appeal passed Monday.

The Umatilla, Nez Perce, Colville and Yakama tribes decided last week against appealing a ruling that anthropologists could study the 9,300-year-old skeleton.

The Umatilla's board of trustees said they would work with other tribes to strength the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which had been the focus of the lawsuit. full article

Senators Block Industry Lobbyist from Lifetime Judicial Post

Action Will Protect Environment, Long-Term Interests of All Americans, Says NRDC
WASHINGTON (July 20, 2004) - The American people won a major victory today when Senate Republicans failed to force a vote on the nomination of former industry lobbyist William G. Myers III to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, said NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).

The Senate voted against a proposal to end debate, denying Myers' supporters the 60 votes needed to bring his nomination to the floor.

The nomination of Myers, who has spent nearly his entire professional life representing the narrow interests of Western mining companies and cattle ranchers, generated strong opposition from a record number of Native American tribes and conservation groups. Ninth Circuit judges review federal cases and regulations pertaining to the American West, Alaska and Hawaii. full article

Tribal Elder co-writes book to help preserve language
NORMAN - At an age when many people are content to rest on past accomplishments, Creek/Seminole elder Linda Alexander, 87, still is working to preserve the language and culture of her ancestors.

Alexander, along with two co-authors, has written "Beginning Creek," a college-level textbook on the language and culture of the Mvskoke-speaking peoples, the Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole Indians.

The book was published earlier this year by the University of Oklahoma press. full article

Children coming along or left behind?

Posted: July 20, 2004 - 11:41am EST
by: Jean Johnson / Correspondent / Indian Country Today

PORTLAND, Ore. - No Child Left Behind? Perhaps for students - if there are truly any - who relate to the values implicit in "See Spot run!" and excited mothers in aprons who say things like "Look, look! See, see!" But for those in Indian country, the jury’s still out.

"If you want to see teachers’ eyes roll," president of the Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning in Opelika, Ala., Bobby Ann Starnes said, "just suggest that a group of government-selected programs can ensure that no child will be left behind." Starnes thinks that even the politically-catchy name of President Bush’s education reform agenda "is ridiculous" because inevitably kids will fall through the cracks in the system, just as they have historically.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 reinforces the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the main federal law regarding K - 12 education. While the ESEA primarily provided aid to disadvantaged students, NCLB makes funding conditional on performance standards set by the federal government.

Standardization is part of the problem because the process often resorts to "methods and materials that are the exact opposite of those known to be effective with Native American children," Starnes continued in her 2003 Phi Delta Kappan essay. "Sit-and-listen, and sit-and-memorize ... The short right answer is what counts ... Thinking, imagination and creativity are very low priorities, if they are priorities at all." full article

WGIP: Martinez claims a second Indigenous Peoples Decade

I would like to begin sincerely by thanking my colleagues for the proposal to continue to be the chair of the WGIP. It is an honor to me, which I gratefully appreciate. I would also like to express thanks for your presence and the content of your statement. I think you have addressed the very most important issue we have before us. Firstly, the continuation of this body’s work. Mainly this pioneer group in consideration of the situation of indigenous peoples of the world is now in the excellent company of the SR and the UN PFII. What I mean by this is that this is something I was already convinced of last year. We put into practice the cooperation between the groups and consolidating our strength to be effective. The HCHR has also drawn out key points. The continuation of this WGIP is essential to future work. She also spoke about the slow process of the WG DDRIP which we drafted in this WGIP and which was adopted by the Sub-commission ten years ago. full article

Aboriginals of Australia: National Indigenous body essential, committee hears
URGENT ACTION

A Senate select committee has heard that it is essential that a democratically-elected national body be set up to represent Indigenous people.

The point was raised at a public hearing on the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in Alice Springs. full article

What chance have they?
Ancestral Domain
Phillipines

Among the poorest in our country are the Lumads or indigenous people. They have always been poor by the civilized standard. But once, they were happy in their poverty by their own standard. Nature gave them enough by which to live and to enjoy life.

Then, the Christian settlers, ranchers and loggers came. Gradually, they were deprived of their hunting and fishing grounds and the forests from where they gathered products for lowland markets.

With the enactment of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, the Lumads could legally claim their ancestral domains owned in common by the tribe. And the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples was established to “supervise and rule over issues of ancestral domains and other rights of indigenous peoples.”

Did that improve the lot of the Lumads? Hardly. It would take time for them to get the approval of and titles to their ancestral domain claims. And once given, they did not have enough resources to develop these.

And worse, their ancestral domains were included in mining concessions, appearing that the Lumads own the skin of the earth, but the bowels belong to the miners. Their only consolation is that under the IPRA, the mining companies have to get permission from. full article

American Exceptionalism
A Disease of Conceit
By RON JACOBS

Any person who is honestly opposed to the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has got to wonder why the movement that developed against the US war on Iraq before the March 2003 invasion has faltered so badly and now seems to be caught up in the movement to electorally defeat George Bush, even though that means supporting John Kerry-a politician who not only supported the invasion and occupation, but talks openly about widening the war to include the NATO countries and tens of thousands more US troops. One could place the blame on the failure of the movement's politics, always more liberal than anti-imperialist. Or, one could place the blame on the leadership. In both cases, one would find some basis for their argument.

When it comes to the bottom line, though, the underlying cause for the US antiwar movement's current stasis is that most of its adherents believe in one of this country's basic tenets-a tenet that is ultimately religious in nature. For lack of a more descriptive phrase, we'll call this phenomenon American exceptionalism. On a basic political level, this phenomenon is the belief that, for some reason (America's system of democracy, or maybe its economic superiority), the United States system is not subject to the same contradictions and influences as those of the rest of the world. This belief in American superiority finds its foundation in some of our culture's basic religious and cultural constructs. It's there in the first settlers' belief that they were conducting a special errand into the wilderness to construct a city on a hill in the name of their heavenly father and every single president and wannabe always implores this same heavenly father to "bless America" at the end of every one of his speeches. This is no accident.

It is this belief that gave the Pilgrims their heavenly go-ahead to murder Pequot women and children and it was this belief that gave General Custer his approval to kill as many Sioux as he could. full article

Neoconservatives - never apologize, never explain

BY KEVIN HORRIGAN

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I like a guy who won't quit.

I like the Black Knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," his arm whacked off with a broadsword, saying, "It's just a flesh wound."

I like Wile E. Coyote.

I like Paul Newman in "Cool Hand Luke," letting George Kennedy beat the snot out of him.

I like Roy McAvoy, Kevin Costner's character in "Tin Cup," who only needs to lay up on the 18th hole to win the U.S. Open but decides to drive over the water to the green. And splashes a dozen balls. "Greatness courts failure," says Tin Cup.

And I like William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, the Rupert Murdoch-owned neoconservative newsweekly. Undaunted by the polls, undaunted by the events of the past year, Kristol forges on in defense of the war in Iraq that he and his neocon pals so desperately wanted. full article

Neocons Revive Cold War Group

by Jim Lobe
A bipartisan group of 41 mainly neoconservative foreign-policy hawks has launched the third Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) whose previous two incarnations mobilized public support for rolling back Soviet-led communism but whose new enemy will be "global terrorism."

The new group, announced at a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday, said its "single mission" will be to "advocate policies intended to win the war on global terrorism – terrorism carried out by radical Islamists opposed to freedom and democracy."

"The committee intends to remain active until the present danger is no longer a threat, however long that takes," said CPD chairman R. James Woolsey, who served briefly as former President Bill Clinton's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director and has often referred to the battle against radical Islam as "World War IV." full article

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Sherman Austin released from Prison

Sherman Austin was released from prison last week, to an L.A. halfway house, and faces 3 years of severely restrictive probation. He had served almost a year in prison.

If you're not aware of who Sherman Austin is, don't feel singled out because most Americans probably don't know who Sherman is either, let alone why he went to prison.

In a plea agreement, Austin agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of ""distribution" of information about making or using explosives with the "intent" that the information "be used for, or in furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence."

What material did Austin distribute? Well, none actually. Austin was the owner and webmaster for the website www.raisethefist.com. He provided free webhosting for anyone that wanted to build a webpage.

One of the people who utilized his service created a webpage and posted information on it that instructed people on protest tactics, flier making, smoke bomb construction as well as crude recipes for home made explosives. Sherman Austin did not write or distribute any of this material but simply provided free space to the person that created it. The person that actually created it was the son of a wealthy, politically connected republican and was not charged with any crime.

The website www.raisethefist.com was unapologetic in it's criticism of crimes commmitted by the U.S government, the FBI, city police departments, and promoted anarchist & progressive views among other things. The website also was utilized by the progressive/activist community to post news and to announce upcoming events and protests around the country. It was also the target of hack attacks by right wingers and it also received continous visits from Government Law enforcement agencies. The intensity of those attacks and the surveillance by the government intensified greatly after September 11, 2001.

On Jan 24, 2002, 25 FBI agents raided Sherman Austin's house and confiscated his computer equipment and other materials. They didn't arrest him or charge him with any crime, however. They left after several hours and most people thought they would be content with their little show of force.

On February 02,2002, Sherman was arrested by NYPD, while attending a protest in NYC. He was arrested on warrants that charged
1. distribution of explosive material with the intent
2. illegal computer activity
3. Possession of an unregistered firearm.
He was held for 13 days, 2 in an Oklahoma City Federal Prison and eventually released back to Los Angeles.

On August of 2002, Sherman Austin was offered a plea bargain. If he pled guilty "distribution," then the other 2 charges would be dropped. Facing 20 years in prison if found guilty, Sherman accepted the plea bargain.
The prosecution originally agreed to a one month sentence in prison but the agreement was rejected by Judge Stephen Wilson, 3 different times. Judge Wilson then imposed his own, harsher sentence.

On August 04, 2003, 20 year old Sherman Austin was sentenced to one year in a federal prison. His case is covered in-depth in the article "A Strange and Tragic legal journey-The Case of Sherman Martin Austin" Please read it as it goes into the ridiculous "evidence" that was the basis for the warrants in the first place. For instance, Chat room logs, "militia members" attempting to entrap Sherman via email, and attributing Chat room monikers to Austin that were in use while AUSTIN WAS IN CUSTODY.


As the cartoon strip observes, White Supremacy organizations are allowed to post "how to manuals" on their sites. One such manual"White Resistance Manual" contains topics like "improvised explosives" "selective assassinations""booby traps" etc. If you want to take a look at it, simply go to this website hosted out of Houston Texas. Nationalist Socialist Skinhead Front. You may be wondering why skinheads are allowed to post this kind of material while a much more rudimentary guide landed Sherman Austin, who didn't even post the information himself, in prison. I'll take a wild guess and say that the politics, ideology and goals of the skinheads are much more in line with this Administration than that of Austin's.

While he is no longer in prison, Sherman Austin faces 3 years of probation that restricts his use of computers and other technoloogical devices. It also restricts his ability to engage in political activities for the next three years. Here is one the restrictions.

"He shall not knowingly negotiate with any organization or member thereof which espouses violence or physical force as a means of intimidation or achieving economic, social or political change."

As one can see, this can be stretched or twisted to apply to all sorts of organizations and individuals that don't meet the approval of the government.

Several of us met Sherman in October of 2001. He travelled out to Denver for the Transform Columbus Day events and prominently featured the events on his website. His website was one of the first "anarchist websites" to make the link with the struggles of indigenous peoples. Sherman's efforts weren't for naught and imprisoning him did not extinguish that connection.

We wish him the best.

Please visit this website Freesherman.org

Indigenous uproar?

The New observer has an article on it's website that recounts some of the recent political coalescing, by Indigenous Peoples, across some countries in South America. The focus is mostly on the Indigenous Peoples living in the states of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador with a cursory mention of Brazil. Here is an excerpt.
LIMA, Peru (CSM) - Back in April, indigenous people in Ilave, on the shores of Lake Titicaca in southern Peru, lynched the town's mayor after accusing him of corruption, leaving the area in turmoil ever since.

That same month, across the Andes in Brazil, a dozen indigenous people in the Amazon massacred 29 miners who were believed to be illegally extracting diamonds from their land.

Next door in Bolivia, tens of thousands of indigenous protesters took to the streets last October to protest the government's energy policy, ultimately forcing the president to resign. They also killed a mayor for alleged corruption. And to the north in Ecuador, indigenous groups are asking the U.N. to step in to avoid bloodshed in an escalating conflict that they say is being stoked by the president.

Across South America, some of the region's 55 million indigenous people have been making noise lately - sometimes violently - fighting against abject poverty, inequality, and scant political representation in. While the problems vary from country to country, they reflect the difficulties facing indigenous movements here as they attempt to translate gains made over the past decade into lasting political victories.

"The challenge of the indigenous movement is to understand what it means to have political power, what we can do with it," says Tarcila Rivera, a Peruvian indigenous leader and chair of the Fourth International Meeting of Indigenous Women, held recently in Peru. full article


articles july 20

Tohono O’odham and Yaqui: ‘No more walls’
Posted: July 20, 2004 - 11:25am ESTby: Brenda Norrell / Southwest Staff Reporter / Indian Country TodaySAN XAVIER, Ariz. -
Tohono O’odham and Yaqui leaders told a United Nations representative that a proposed wall along the international border on O’odham ancestral land would bring further misery to indigenous peoples already suffering from the militarization of the border.
 
"They are planning to seal the border," said Tohono O’odham Ophelia Rivas, organizer of the O’odham Voice Against the Wall Project, opposing a wall planned for construction through O’odham lands on the international border."We do not want this wall," Rivas said at the Tohono O’odham elders center, as she welcomed Liberato C. Bautista, representative to the United Nations of the General Board of the Church and Society of the United Methodist Church.Bautista, Filipino, said he came to support the struggle for self-determination and preservation of traditional ways.
 
He said indigenous people have not been recognized by the nation states of the United Nations."We are issues, not yet people at the United Nations." full article

BIA plans to attend Shoshone gathering
By ADELLA HARDING, Staff Writer 

ELKO - U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has confirmed that agency representatives will answer questions at an Elko gathering about the new law allowing for cash distribution of more than $145 million.The meeting planned for 9 a.m. July 31 at the Elko Convention Center is an informal gathering for the people, according to Wayne Nordwall, Western regional director for the BIA out of Phoenix.

He said in a memo to all Western Shoshone tribal leaders that the "meeting is not a hearing and is not intended to elicit any kind of testimony."The claims steering committee that pushed for cash distribution arranged the meeting and invited BIA officials to come to Elko to answer questions about the bill President Bush recently signed into law full article

Sentencing disparity blamed on poverty
John-John Williams IV jjwilliams@argusleader.com
published: 7/20/2004
Report finds race isn't why punishments differVERMILLION -
A long-awaited report on the treatment of Native Americans in South Dakota courts will state that poverty, unemployment and other factors - rather than race - are to blame for disparities in punishment.
 
Some details of the report were released Monday by Richard Braunstein, a University of South Dakota professor who led the project."I don't believe there is an intentional bias against American Indians," he said. "This does not change the fact that severe disparities exist that negatively affect American Indians."As a group, Braunstein said, Indians receive longer sentences than whites. And they are less likely to get probation instead of prison time, he said full article

The Ghost of Gonismo
"Popular Participation" in Bolivia's Gas Referendum*

By FORREST HYLTON
When Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez gave the signal for the propaganda onslaught -- accompanied, coincidentally, by paramilitary threats and harassment -- in favor of his referendum in October 2003 (in which 81% of the Colombian population abstained from participating), some Colombian analysts reminded readers that Hitler had used referendums to build fascism.
 
Referendums can be demagogic instead of democratic. Brought to power on the strength of a popular, indigenous-led insurrection in October, Bolivian President Carlos Mesa is a different species of politician than Uribe or Hitler, of course, but his July 18 gas referendum -- one of the three pillars of the program imposed on the government (the other two being a constitutional assembly and an end to government impunity) -- fit squarely in the demagogic camp. full article

UN refugee agency ‘deeply concerned’ for indigenous community in Colombia
20 July 2004 – The United Nations refugee agency today voiced “deep concern” for the safety of more than 1,200 indigenous people in northwest Colombia who have returned to the homes they fled in March because of fighting, calling on the government to protect them from irregular armed groups that still remain in the area.

Although expressing fear about security at home, the Embera people said lack of their traditional foodstuffs and inadequate health services in the receiving communities compelled them to go back – despite the fact that authorities provided basic emergency assistance. They are among millions of people who have been displaced over the past 15 years by Colombia’s long-running civil war. full article

National Indigenous body essential, committee hears
A Senate select committee has heard that it is essential that a democratically-elected national body be set up to represent Indigenous people.

The point was raised at a public hearing on the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in Alice Springs.

Northern Territory central zone commissioner Allison Anderson told the hearing that the organisation should be made up of representatives from around the country and not necessarily based on state borders. full article

America, by an American
I hear a great deal of protests from Americans when world opinion does not subscribe to America"s points of view.  The foreign press is labeled anti-American when they disagree with America, and we launch righteous indignations from our perspective. 

Conversely, we seemingly do not have a problem with lambasting countries and governments - we have this notion that we should be immune but others may not.  I cite France"s position on the Iraq war.  We were hot with steaming emotions and wanted to tell them a thing or two. And, we pretty much did. We strained our relations with France, and France is not the first country we have had a war of words with. 
The question becomes why the dual standards.  Perhaps it is our attitudes that the world sees and doesn"t appreciate. 

We can"t seem to show respect, but we demand it. 

We send our missionaries abroad to convert people to Christianity.  We tell them their soul is damned to hell, God is going to strike them dead, and whatever else.  We insist that they adopt a belief system that is different than theirs. Why can"t we respect their belief system?  

Just after the Civil War, we slaughtered with impunity a whole civilization - the American Indian. We stripped them of their heritage and their past - without those two, we took away their future.  Everything west of the Mississippi is actually stolen land - our attitude is, so what. But it was still, in reality, Government level ethnic cleansing and genocide.  full article

Realists, Neocons in New Iran Argument

by Jim Lobe

A new round in the ongoing battle between realists and neoconservative hawks over Iran policy got underway here Monday with the publication by a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) of a new report urging Washington to engage Tehran on a selected range of issues of mutual concern.

The task force, which was co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under former President George H. W. Bush, argues that neoconservative and other analysts who are urging that Washington pursue "regime change" in Iran underestimate the staying power of the current government there. full article 

Iraq Scandals: Media Failures Next

by Danny Schechter 

In July of 2004, much of what was left of the pretexts and rationalizations for the US invasion of Iraq had unraveled.

Richard Clarke, President’s Bush’s own Terrorism coordinator went public with a view of the war as evidence of a FAILURE of policy. It was, he charged based on insider knowledge, not only NOT part of the war on terror but undermining of it.

Experienced Military leaders like General Zinni and others condemned it as military FAILURE.

A Senate Committee in the US and a commission headed by Lord Butler in the UK catalogued extensive intelligence FAILURES. The Senators condemned what they called “group think.”

These critics—including the 911 Comission—remain relatively narrow in their approach focusing on problems or process and organizational defects. Few look at the larger picture or dare to hold politicians directly accountable. The Butler Commision specifically exonerated Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Critics consider many of these inquiries as part of a cover-up, not signs of serious investigation to expose wrong doing and, more importantly, its consequences. In Intelligence circles, this is called a “limited hang out” in which some disclosures are dribbled out to avoid revealing more while creating an illusion of real candor. full article 



Monday, July 19, 2004

Vigil last night-meeting tomorrow night

The vigil for Frank Lobato, the man murdered by Denver cops, took place last night.  His family is in town and they were in attendance. The Rocky Mountain News  carried a report in today's edition.
The vigil held outside La Alma Recreation Center just blocks from the shooting site in a west Denver housing project inevitably turned into a political rally.

Fliers were handed out advertising a meeting with Mayor John Hickenlooper scheduled for Tuesday, to be followed by a rally Wednesday.

"We have to find some way to take charge of our city again, to make it ours instead of just the people with money, the people with power," said American Indian Movement activist George "Tink" Tinker.

"The police can't hurt him now," Tinker said, turning toward Lobato's family members.

Family spokesman LeRoy Lemos demanded changes in the Denver Police Department, beginning with the resignation of Chief Gerry Whitman and including charges filed against police officer Ranjan Ford Jr., who shot Lobato.

"At some point these tragedies and tears and vigils have to stop," Lemos said. "Denver police are never held accountable."  full article

 
The events referred to, the meeting with Hickenlooper and the rally take place, respectively, on Tuesday on Wednesday.
 
TUESDAY, JULY 20, 6 PM, INNER CITY PARISH BUILDING, 1212 MARIPOSA
Mayor Hickenlooper and Manager of Safety Al LaCabe have committed to bethere. A community group has come up with a set of demands regarding thisshooting and broader issues of police accountability that will be presentedto them. Family members of Frank Lobato will be there as well.
 
WEDNESDAY: (July 21) PROTEST RALLY AND MARCH, 6PM, EAST STEPS CITY AND COUNTY BUILDING.
After a rally protesting the wrongful death of FrankLobato we will march to the Police Administration Building.

Racism in Flandreau South Dakota?

Ever heard the term "man bites dog story?"It's typically used when referring to a news story that is unusual in that the expected roles have been reveresed. In the scenario of a "man bites dog story" the man has become the agressor and bitten a dog when the opposite scenario , a dog biting a man, is what people have come to expect.
 
The headline from this KSFY, a local ABC affiliate in South Dakota, has a story on their website with this headline "Racial Vandalism." Under the headline is the name of the city, where this story has taken place at, which is Flandreau South Dakota. Flandreau is located on the Santee Sioux Reservation.
 
Typically, when you see a story that includes "racial vandalism," "South Dakota," and a reservation, it's normally safe to assume that some Indians have been on the receiving end of the "racial vandalism." Not in this case, according to the story.
 
A Flandreau farmer found more than corn out in his fields this weekend. His tractor was vandalized with writing and symbols containing racial overtones.
 
...The vandalism includes some symbols, abbreviations and an explicative targeted at white people. Bothe enlisted the help of a friend and member of the Flandreau Santee-Sioux Tribe to explain the symbols. "He told me that A.I.M. right here...it's 'American Indian Movement.' And this sign right here is supposed to be an actual aim is what they call it...that's their A.I.M. symbol."

The reporter then goes on to quote some of the local indians, in town for a powwow.
 One Native American who wouldn't go on camera acknowledged that the graffiti happened and says that "it was just kids messing around."
 
Others were surprised by the news: "As far as Flandreau goes, I mean we all pretty much get along and I haven't even heard of any graffiti and you know, I've been up here about 5-years," said Flandreau resident Dean Renville

 
I wish one of the interviewees would have said"We always have gotten along with OUR WHITE PEOPLE. Sure they may get out of hand when the rodeo comes to town, but other than that, they mind their own business."
 
Jessica Hasvold puts the incident into into context.
"The discriminations always against the Indians. I mean, there's not a lot of it, but if I ever heard of anything, that's who it would be against. I've never heard of discrimination against White." full article 

 
If anyone has been sneaking around at night, writing AIM slogans on this farmer's tractor, please stop.  This gives the community a black eye and if it keeps up, the people of the community may be forced to undergo "racial sensitivity training."

articles-july 18

Bolivians Support Gas Plan and Give President a Lift
By JUAN FOREROPublished: July 19, 2004
L ALTO, Bolivia, July 18 - Two days ago, protesters in this gritty, largely indigenous city, the flash point for fierce antigovernment protests that already toppled one president, burned an effigy of President Carlos Mesa. They were furious that Mr. Mesa's government had refused to wrest private gas installations from huge foreign corporations.

Whether hard-line indigenous leaders - who say free-market reforms and Bolivia's ruling classes have ensured the country's long misery - will now cede space to the president is not clear. full article
 
Native Sun Dance, rare in the area, is being held
kevin abourezk
HALLAM - As a child, Leonard Crow Dog was hidden from agents of the U.S. government for fear he would be taken from his parents and forced to give up his language and culture.

Leonard Crow Dog , L, sun dance medicine man directs helpers in the raising of a decorated cottonwood tree that will be used as center pole in a sun dance ceremony just west of Hallam, NE on Sat. July 17, 2004. His elders taught him Lakota cultural and religious practices in secret as they were banned by the government at that time. At age 13, Crow Dog became a medicine man.On Saturday, the Lakota holy man and Native rights activist who became famous during the 1973 Siege of Wounded Knee came to Southeast Nebraska to share his culture and religion.This time, he did so in the open. full article
 
Utah schools to teach tribes' history
Utah officials are developing a more inclusive curriculum to fill instruction gaps

By Ronnie Lynn The Salt Lake Tribune

Curleen Pfeiffer could only sigh when an acquaintance asked recently whether, given her Navajo heritage, she could understand the Maori language.   
 
After all, the Maoris are indigenous to New Zealand, and Pfeiffer's ancestors hailed from what is now southeastern Utah and northern Arizona. That's a 7,000-mile gap.   
 
The exchange confirmed Pfeiffer's belief that many Utahns - American Indians included - haven't a clue about Indian culture and its significance to state and national history. full article
 
Fighting back
Tribal leaders say cycle of alcohol abuse must end
By MICHAEL MOOREThe Missoulian
ABLO - The news came to Fred Matt in the hazy mingling of present and past.

Two 11-year-old boys, Frankie Nicolai and Justin Benoist, dead in a frozen field on the east side of Ronan. Matt, chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal council, cycled through his emotions - sorrow, loss, rage, vengeance. Most uncomfortable of all - guilt.

"I had to wonder if we'd done everything we could for these folks," Matt said recently. "Had they somehow slipped through the cracks."

Then his own past crept in.
 
"It occurred to me how many times I might have been those boys," he said. "How many times I was that close to death because of alcohol." full article
 
An Informed Commentator
Hundreds of thousands are readingProf. Juan Cole's Internet log on Iraq, andlearning why he find 'no good news and no exit'
By Robert Haug

Juan Cole didn't set out to be a public intellectual. After joining the history department in 1984 as a specialist in Middle Eastern and South Asian history, he focused on what seemed to be obscure topics, the Shiite Islamic denomination, the rise of the Baha'i faith: Egypt's response to colonialism and various other matters that the world at large does not follow on its TV screens. But it's a fact of academic life that if your region of scholarly interest becomes embroiled in a war of strategic interest to the US government, your role may change to one on center stage. full article

Terrorism and the Election: Trial Balloons and Spin

by Norman Solomon

Tom Ridge, the federal official in charge of defending the United States against terrorism, was on message when he told a July 14 news conference: "We don't do politics at Homeland Security." Such high-level claims of patriotic purity have been routine since 9/11. But in this election year, they're more ludicrous than ever.

Days earlier, alongside a photo of Ridge, a headline on USA Today's front page had declared: "Election Terror Threat Intensifies." There was unintended irony in the headline.

While a real threat of terrorism exists in the United States, we should also acknowledge that an intensifying "election terror threat" is coming from the Bush administration. With scarcely 100 days to go until Election Day, the White House is desperate to wring every ounce of advantage from the American Flag, patriotism, apple pie -- and the subject of "terrorism." full article
 

Sunday, July 18, 2004

referendum in Bolivia

In addition to posting news about Indigenous Peoples in North America specifically, we will also post information about Indigenous Peoples generally.
 
Colorado AIM has always recognized the similar nature of the struggles of Indigenous Peoples around the world. Our members have traveled to their homelands  in acts of solidarity and support. What we have learned is that one small supportive act we can engage in is to publicize the struggle of Indigenous Peoples who’s efforts are marginalized in the media.  As American Indians, our homelands are located in the belly of the beast and we feel a certain responsibility to turn that into an advantage by utilizing our position to call attention to other Indigenous Struggles. 
 
Bolivia
 
Today the Government of Bolivia will hold a referendum that includes 5 questions. The purpose of the referendum is to determine how the county’s natural gas reserves should be used.  Bolivia has the second largest natural gas reserve in South America. If the voters answer “yes” to the 5 question in the referendum, that would nationalize the gas reserves, giving the Bolivian State owned Company control of the gas reserves.
 
The point of contention for the Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia is that there is no question on the referendum that would allow the citizens of Bolivia to determine how the Bolivian Government would utilize the gas reserves. The concern is that the Bolivian government would continue to exploit the resources by selling them to foreign companies & governments,  while the people of Bolivia would neither benefit from the royalties nor the actual energy of their natural gas reserves.
 
In most states,  the government simply ignores the concerns of the Indigenous Peoples but this is a risky option to pursue for the  Bolivian government . Indigenous Peoples make up roughly 60% of the country’s population. They now control a third of the 157 seat Congress. They also are in control of mayoral seats and key leadership positions in 200 of Bolivia’s 315 municipalities.  Their protests also forced the resignation of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada last year.
 
Says a Bolivian Government official
We go to a crime scene but the people tell us we will be lynched," said Marco Antonio Nina, a government investigator who has been unable to investigate the murder of a mayor and other crimes in isolated villages. "People see you, and see the white face, and they do not want to let you in.''
 
 "They have become even more radical and they seem more open to resorting to violent acts," Ricardo Calla, the indigenous affairs minister, said of Aymara groups in the highlands east of the capital. "You cannot underestimate its presence and how it is passing down to lowland regions."  
 
"Each community is like a semi-state: they regulate water, their internal conflicts, their politics," said Álvaro García, a sociologist who is close to Indian leaders. The state, he said, "has not been completely expelled, but there is semiautonomy."
 
In schools and town offices in the highlands, the posters of past presidents or Independence-era generals have been replaced by those of Túpac Katari, who led a insurrection against the Spanish in 1781. Local councils have banned officials from the state or central governments. Prospective investors with mining companies have been chased out. full article

 
One of the Aymaran’s spearheading this resurgence in Indigenous Resistance is Felipe Quispe. 
 
"If (the government) doesn't understand us, we could even be obliged to take up arms," Felipe Quispe, a former guerrilla who is one of Bolivia's most well-known Indian leaders, said on Friday, just days before a natural gas referendum on Sunday that the government must win to survive.
 
"The strikes, the marches, are getting worn out. We may have to opt for another form of battle," said the 62-year-old Quispe, an mobile-phone carrying Amyara Indian wearing a cowboy-style hat, denim shirt and leather jacket.
 
Quispe spent five years in prison in the 1990s for leading a group of guerrillas that tried to blow up power pylons. He named the rebels after Tupac Katari, an Indian who laid siege to Spanish colonists in La Paz and forced settlers to survive by eating rats. Around his office lie paintings of Inca leaders killed in battles against the Spanish empire.
 
"We have sacrificed so much, the dead and wounded. These were all Indigenous people, not mixed bloods or whites," said the man known as "Mallku", the Aymara Indian word for chief. Quispe wants Bolivia to revert back to "Ayllu", a basic form of Indian community self-rule since Inca times. He calls Mea a "bearded conquistador." "In many villages, inhabitants have expelled the police. There is now a parallel power," he said full article

Quispe is one of many Aymaran’s who are either advocating a boycott of the referendum or confiscating and burning of the ballots. The referendum takes place today.

Friday, July 16, 2004

articles-july 16

Temporary rail blockade only the beginning: First Nation
WebPosted Jul 15 2004 02:55 PM PDT PRINCE GEORGE -
Some people from the Seton Lake First Nation say their temporary rail blockade Thursday was only the beginning of their fight for justice.   
 
It came one day after the $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail to Canadian National was finalized.  
 
Members of the Seton Lake Indian Band stopped one freight train south of Lillooet before lifting their blockade. full article

Native Americans feel racist sting

By SARA KINCAIDSun Staff Reporter07/16/2004

Catherine Williams speaks three languages and is college-educated. But when she walks into a store, the store clerk does not always see the multi-lingual, well-educated woman. They see a Native American.

She is sometimes followed around by a wary store clerk, she said. "I was at the Goodwill by the Safeway Shopping Plaza looking for a spatula," she said. "The store clerk followed us around."

To see if maybe it was her imagination, she and her two other relatives kept an eye on the clerk as they browsed other areas of the store. It wasn't their imagination. It was as if the clerk was part of their shadow. full article 

Religious groups clash over Bear Butte

State park managers work to keep access for all groups, including 17 tribes.By Denise Ross, Journal Staff Writer PIERRE --

The religious freedom that the U.S. Supreme Court extended to American Indians in 1978 to practice traditional tribal religions at Bear Butte is now clashing with the same freedom granted to members of other religions.Relations between state officials and leaders of the 17 tribes that hold Bear Butte sacred have improved greatly in the past five years, but problems remain among various religious groups, state Game, Fish & Parks Department managers and one practitioner of traditional tribal religion told the state Legislature's State-Tribal Relations Committee Thursday.

"Some of these New Agers, they're really far out in doing their ceremonies. Sometimes, it's a direct insult to what I practice every day for our rituals," Sonny Richards, an American Indian from Rapid City who regularly goes to Bear Butte to perform religious ceremonies, said. full article 

Tribe marks raid with unity ceremony

CHARLESTOWN -

Healing, unity, perseverance, and the struggle for sovereignty.Those were the central themes on Wednesday, during an all-day ceremony held on tribal lands, as the Narragansett Indian Tribe marked the first anniversary of the now-infamous smoke shop raid.  

The remembrance began at the site of the tribe's tax-free smoke shop, a trailer located in a small dirt lot off Route 2.It was there on Monday, July 14, 2003, that more than 30 Rhode Island State Troopers, under order from Gov. Don Carcieri, entered the property - on sovereign tribal land - and confronted smoke shop customers and tribal members two days after the shop had opened for business.

It has been closed ever since, but now serves as the tribe's sovereignty headquarters.   A year ago, television cameras captured the disturbing images of troopers and their dogs confronting tribal members who resisted the execution of a search warrant on the property. Several people were injured.  full article

Tribes quit long fight over Kennewick Man's remains

The case appears to be over and the stage set for scientific study, barring a federal appeal to the Supreme Court Friday,

July 16, 2004 RICHARD L. HILL

The convoluted legal fight for Kennewick Man's bones -- the remains found along the Columbia River almost eight years ago that make up one of the oldest, most complete skeletons found in North America -- is likely over.

Four Northwest tribes seeking to bury the 9,300-year-old bones indicate they will not take their fight to the U.S. Supreme Court after losing in lower federal courts to scientists who want to study the remains. The bones now await a formal study plan by the scientists. full article 

WORKING GROUP ON INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS TO MEET IN GENEVA IN LARGEST ANNUAL EVENT

Over 1,000 representatives of indigenous peoples and communities from around the world will join Government delegates, non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies in Geneva from 19 to 23 July for the largest international meeting on indigenous peoples’ rights.

The gathering, the annual session of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, gives indigenous communities an opportunity to increase international awareness of the state of their human rights and allows participants to discuss solutions to existing problems, including the setting of standards on specific issues like land or cultural rights full article

Court Orders Restoration of Trinity River Flows

A Landmark Win for Salmon and the Tribes By DAN BACHER

In a landmark decision greeted with jubilation by representatives of the Hoopa and Yurok tribes, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the release of flows proscribed under the Trinity River Record of Decision (ROD) of December 2000.

"Nothing remains to prevent the full implementation of the ROD, including its complete flow plan for the Trinity River," the Court ruled on Tuesday, July 13. "We're just elated," said Clifford Lyle Marshall, chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. "Hoopa is a very happy town. The timing of the decision surprised us, since we were told the decision could go either way." Marshall said the decision would compel the federal Bureau of Reclamation to release 47 percent of river flows for fish and 53 percent for agriculture and power.

Prior to the ROD, up to 90 percent of the river had been diverted to agriculture and power users, resulting in dramatic declines in salmon and steelhead populations. full article

All Together Now

by Barbara Ehrenreich 

Their faces long with disapproval, the anchors announced that the reason for the war had finally been uncovered by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and it was "groupthink," not to mention "collective groupthink."

It sounds so kinky and un-American, like something that might go on in a North Korean stadium or in one of those sex clubs that Jack Ryan, the former Illinois Senate candidate, is accused of dragging his wife to. But supposedly intelligent, morally upstanding people had been indulging in it right in Langley, Va.

This is a surprise? Groupthink has become as American as apple pie and prisoner abuse; in fact, it's hard to find any thinking these days that doesn't qualify for the prefix "group." Our standardized-test-driven schools reward the right answer, not the unsettling question. Our corporate culture prides itself on individualism, but it's the "team player" with the fixed smile who gets to be employee of the month. In our political culture, the most crushing rebuke is to call someone "out of step with the American people." Zip your lips, is the universal message, and get with the program. full article  

Bush's tip top flip flops
Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.

Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.

Bush is against a WMD investigation; then he's for it.

Bush is against nation building; then he's for it. (Even before 9/11 it was part of his foreign policy, PNAC. So drop the "everything changed after 9/11" malarky.)

Bush said he'll provide money for first responders (emergency services); then he doesn't.

Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.

Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.

Bush said he'll reduce Greenhouse gases; then doesn't do it.

Bush is for a patient's bill of rights then; then he fights against it.

Bush say that "help is on the way" to the military; then he cuts benefits. Bush talks about helping education; then he cuts funding.

Bush says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea; then he says we will.

Bush campaigns at racist Bob Jones University; then says he shouldn't have.

Bush says he will demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq; then he announces he won't call for a vote.

Bush says the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the Navy; then he admits it was his advance team.

Bush is for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the US; then he's against it.

Bush is for a state's right to decide on gay marriage; then he's for amending the constitution to prevent it. (Cheney, whose daughter is a lesbian, shared this flippety-flop big time. "Gee thanks, dad." "Don't fret, hon, daddy's only playing up to the rubes!") full article





Thursday, July 15, 2004

Steven Shelton reflects on American Genocide

Media Monitors has an article written by Steven Malik Shelton entitled American Genocide. The article begins with this passage
"Modern, state sponsored genocide is, perhaps, the least obvious because it is always shrouded in patriotic covers and obscured with nationalistic platitudes and slogans. The mass media of nations that systematically erode the humanity of others, is usually engaged to simplify the process and to reduce the targeted people into objects."


Shelton writes that the origins of the American Genocide began with Christopher columbus. He details Columbus's crimes in Hispainola and examines some of the policies utilized by successive settlers, such as
biological warfare, starvation, forced marches, etc.

Shelton also examines the genocidal policies of the enslavement of the African Peoples and how Nazi Germany used the American examples as the foundation for their own genocidal policies.

Check out the whole article full article

Offier who murder Lobato threatened ex's boyfriend

The Denver Post is reporting that Ranjan Ford, the cop who murdered Frank Lobato, threatened to kill his ex-wife's boyfriend.
The Denver police officer who shot an unarmed man Sunday allegedly threatened to kill his ex-wife's boyfriend and take his daughter back last year, according to a court document.

Those allegations against Ranjan Ford Jr., who has a spotless police record, emerged during a bitter custody fight with his estranged wife over their only child, Tiffani, now 8.

In an Adams County court motion opposing the return of his daughter, Michelle Ford claimed her husband "has threatened, in the presence of the minor child, to 'keep' her and not return her to her home with her mother," wrote the wife's attorney, Patricia McEahern.

He also harassed his wife, who had petitioned for divorce, once calling her 10 times in 15 minutes and causing her "to fear for hers and the child's safety," McEahern wrote.

"He has additionally threatened to kill (Michelle's) boyfriend if Tiffani has contact with him."

Lest it's readers get the impression that Ford might not be the impeccable person that the post has been selling them, the Post uses the rest of the article to quote another cop who reminds people that Ford is a stellar officer.

David Olinger is the reporter and he is the same person that wrote the article that portrayed Frank Lobato, the unarmed victim of Ranjan Ford, as a "menace to society." Olinger also plays up Ford's "credentials" as an anti-racist officer so as to defuse the fact that Denver Police Officers primarily murder poor people of color.

The Rocky Mountain News has also gotten into the act by running it's own series of articles aimed at portraying Ford as a virtous, flawless cop who acted in the heat of the moment, when confronted by a 5'2, 120 lb, invalid, sleeping 63 year old, who may or may not have been armed with a deadly aluminum can. The headline in today's RMN's article is Officer lauded as generous, honest. Here is a blurb.
"I asked him once about being a police officer, and he said he wants to do a job and do it well. He just wants to be a good cop."

Ranjan Ford was well-known in Texas for his community involvement. He assisted with benefit golf tournaments and became involved with the Toys for Tots program as soon as he joined the Jasper Police Department.

"He spoke by his deeds, not by saying this or that," said Jasper Police Chief Stanley Christopher. "But if someone needed something or needed him, he was always there."

Jane Lackey, a member of the Sam Rayburn Country Club in Sam Rayburn, Texas, where Ford often played, said the young policeman was a devoted husband and father. "He's a real family person. It was real important to him." full article

By the time this is over, Ranjan Ford may be a serious contender for John Hickenlooper's job in the next Denver Mayoral race.

Larry Left Hand Bull and Leroy Lemos managed to get community views into the mainstream media as they were quoted in Tina Giego's column.
Here we go again.

I heard those words from a minister Tuesday as he thundered from a lectern during a news conference about the latest police shooting. I say "latest" because the past tells us that there will be others.

"Carousel of death," was the phrase used by Larry Left Hand Bull to describe the again and again and again of questionable police shootings. Catchy, isn't it?

Bull said he sat on the mayor's police reform task force for 108 days. It was formed to help prevent something, like, oh, I don't know, a cop climbing a ladder into a second- floor window and shooting an unarmed invalid in bed after the suspect had already escaped out a back window no one was watching. full article

Larry was recently named to the Public Safety Review Commission(PSRC). Let's wish Larry the best luck in taking on what seems to be an impossible task.

articles-july 15

Split widens between haves, have-nots among Indian tribes

DON THOMPSON
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO - The split between the haves and the have-nots among California tribes widened Wednesday, when disenfranchised Indians formed a new organization and asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to halt casino negotiations until tribes create courts to resolve membership disputes.

Several hundred Indians gathered on the Capitol steps to begin collecting signatures for an appeal to Schwarzenegger, and for a petition asking Congress to hold a hearing on current law that gives tribal councils nearly unfettered freedom to decide who belongs to a tribe.

"As soon as they get casinos, they start looking to kick people out," said Eddie Vedolla Sr., formerly chairman of the Guidiville Rancheria of Pomo Indians near Ukiah. "We want some kind of protection from the wrongs that tribal councils are doing to members." full article

IHS targets diabetes

Posted: July 14, 2004 - 2:17pm EST

The Indian Health Service, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, has announced the availability of $24.7 million in competitive grant funds to be awarded to IHS/tribal/urban Indian programs. The grants are to be targeted at efforts to prevent diabetes among American Indians and Alaska Natives, and to address cardiovascular disease risk factors, one of the most serious complications of diabetes.

"In the last decade, the prevalence of diabetes among American Indians and Alaska Natives has increased more than 50 percent, making this grant funding of timely and vital importance," stated Dr. Charles W. Grim, director of the IHS. "These grants will help to reduce the effects of this devastating disease, which is daily taking its toll on the health of Indian people and the vitality of Indian communities." full article

Tribesmen step up river battle

MEMBERS of four American Indian tribes are meeting the Scottish Greens leader today to continue their battle against energy giant ScottishPower.

The delegation, which also includes environmental and United States commercial fishermen’s groups, will meet Robin Harper MSP for a tour of Pitlochry Dam and Salmon Ladder in Perthshire.

The delegation is campaigning for the restoration of the River Klamath in Oregon which they claim has been damaged by dams operated by PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of ScottishPower. full article

Lake Poinsett remains might be 500 years old
Peter Harriman
Argus Leader

published: 7/15/2004

Indian burial mounds found in development area

One year ago, archaeologist Michael Fosha visited the site of a proposed golf course and residential development on the north shore of Lake Albert, just west of Lake Poinsett.

Fosha said it was evident the area between the lakes contained burial mounds that preceded European settlement.

Faron McFarland said he paid heed to that assessment. McFarland and Tim Hogan, both of Brookings, are partners in the Lake Albert Development Corp.

"Before we ever turned dirt, we brought the Historical Society out here," McFarland said. "We listened to their advice and obeyed it. We laid the project out around areas of high probability" for being burial sites "and we made parks out of them." full article

American Indian children learn their history

By: ADRIENNE A. AGUIRRE - Staff Writer

SAN PASQUAL INDIAN RESERVATION ---- Growing up on the reservation, life wasn't easy for Shanta Chaloux. Now a college graduate, he hopes to prepare the path to success for other American Indians while preserving their culture.

Chaloux, 29, works with children at the North County Resource Center, on the San Pasqual reservation in Valley Center, one of 17 reservations of the Kumeyaay Nation that runs through San Diego and Imperial counties and 60 miles into Mexico.

Chaloux said that when he was a boy, there was no electricity or running water on the reservation, let alone a center for children.


"I grew up here without anything," he said. "I know what it is like not to have a place to go." full article

Aboriginal sovereignty never ceded
On May 20, with the start of the inquiries into the death of the Gamilaroi youth in Redfern/Waterloo and the subsequent "riot", activists around Aunty Isabell Coe and returned campaigners against gold mining on sacred sites at Lake Cowal established an Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Victoria Park adjacent to the University of Sydney.

The current coroner's inquiry that started on July 5 is planned to conclude by this Friday, July 16, and notorious right-wing newspaper Daily Terrorgraph has gone on the attack against the tent embassy with a full page article describing it as an eyesore and a waste of ratepayers' money. The paper claims that there has been an agreement for the embassy to wind up by the end of this week, and pressured progressive independent City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore to insist on this alleged agreement in word and deed. Clover Moore had been supportive of the embassy in words and deeds starting with its welcome on "her council's land". full article

Lu says media misrepresented remarks on aborigines

2004-07-15 / Taiwan News, Contributing Writer / By Jason Pan
Vice President Annette Lu (§f¨q½¬) refuted opposition charges yesterday that she was unsympathetic to the victims of landslide and flooding damage brought about by tropical storm Mindulle's torrential rains, denouncing media outlets that accused her of intending to "exterminate Taiwan's aboriginal peoples."

Backed by the opposition Kuomintang and People First Party alliance, some aboriginal legislators yesterday condemned the vice president for trying to drive out local aborigines from their traditional mountain lands. They demanded that Lu issue an apology within 24 hours and vowed to organize large protests in the coming weeks. full article

After flight from Vietnam, cold jungle
RATANAKIRI PROVINCE, Cambodia Cambodia Ksor, a member of Cambodia's Jarai minority hill tribe, stepped quietly through what appeared to be an impenetrable barrier of trees, thorns, bushes and creepers in the dense jungle of northeastern Cambodia's border with Vietnam. Twice each day, for weeks now, the 25-year-old Ksor has slipped out of his village at dawn and again under the cover of nightfall and entered the jungle to bring what supplies he can to assist some of the estimated 250 Montagnard asylum seekers - including infants, young children, the sick and elderly - who have fled neighboring Vietnam's Central Highlands and sought refuge in Cambodia. More than 120 of the Montagnards, interviewed at their makeshift jungle lairs over the past five weeks, have appealed for international assistance as they languish in dire conditions in these rain-soaked jungles, fugitives from Vietnam and hunted as illegal immigrants by the Cambodian police and military. full article

Dumping on Yucca Mountain
Native Americans Lose their Land as our Presidential Hero Revives Old-time Nuclear Tensions with Moscow

by AL Kennedy

But the Bushies' joy doesn't end there, because the Nevada test site isn't even on United States land - it's on territory which belongs to the Western Shoshone nation and is protected by treaty (should you feel that treaties between the US and indigenous peoples are in any way binding). The Yucca Mountain site earmarked for America's nuclear waste depository is also on Western Shoshone land, as is the planned Federal Counterterrorism Facility. And what is probably the world's third largest gold-producing area.

Which is why Karl Rove and George W have both visited Nevada lately and why seizures of Shoshone livestock have already started. Despite formal opposition from 80% of the Shoshone population, Amnesty International and the National Congress of American Indians, Congress has just passed the Western Shoshone distribution bill - which distributes 15 cents on the acre for huge tracts of land in four states, whether the owners intended to sell or not. full article

Bush's Twisted Idea of 'Safer'

by Juan Cole
President Bush gave a speech on Tuesday in which he made specific claims about how the United States is safer as a result of his military action. I dispute assertions about particular Middle Eastern or South Asian countries.

This is a nice soundbite but bears no resemblance to reality. The major jihadi groups in Pakistan are still operating, and the Pakistani government has been largely unable or unwilling to stop them. The Pakistanis did arrest some 500 al-Qaeda Arabs, but Pakistani courts have not cooperated with its attempts to subject the jihadis to mass arrests. A major jihadi leader was sitting in parliament until he was assassinated recently!

Moreover, Pakistan remains virtually a military dictatorship, where parliament is not sovereign and where Gen. Musharraf basically appoints and removes prime ministers by fiat (PM Jamali was recently forced out). full article

'Homeland Security' Beyond US Borders

by Paul Weinberg
TORONTO - In the novel 1984, George Orwell depicts a world where powerful and secretive authorities – "Big Brother" – scrutinize the intimate details of citizens' personal lives. That fiction may be closer to reality than most people think.

Earlier this month, for instance, CNN reported that police officers across the United States are carrying handheld wireless computers on which they can access private details from large commercial databases about anyone they encounter on their beat.

Emboldened by a new post-Cold War role in the U.S.-led "war on terrorism," security and intelligence agencies are exploring new electronic technologies that will enhance the collection and dissemination of the private records of citizens across international borders. full article

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

articles-july 14

Janklow won't have to pay

published: 7/14/2004

Taxpayers would assume any damages in civil suit

Former U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow was on duty when he caused a fatal accident last summer, so taxpayers should pay any civil damages in a wrongful-death lawsuit, according to a court ruling Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Arthur Boylan sided with U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger's conclusion that Janklow, 64, was on official business Aug. 16 when he sped through a stop sign near Trent and collided with motorcyclist Randy Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn.

Boylan concluded that the federal government, not Janklow, should be listed as the defendant in the lawsuit filed by Scott's mother, sister, son and daughter. full article

Tortured road to destiny
His tale is legendary, but it almost didn't happen. Twice, Billy Mills pondered suicide. Here's his story.
By John Schumacher -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Wednesday, July 14, 2004
His mom died when he was 7. His father passed away five years later, but not before taking Billy Mills fishing and sharing with him the secret to reaching your dreams.
The half-white, half-American Indian boy, at 8 full of sorrow from his mom's death and anger from feeling he didn't fit in anywhere, listened intently as his dad told him to look beyond his pain and find his passion.

"He puts his arm around me, just hugs me, strokes my arm and says, 'I know you have broken wings, but I'll share something with you,' " Mills recalled. " 'If you follow it, someday you're going to have the wings of an eagle.'
full article

DPS' first Indian principal hailed

By Will Shanley and Karen Rouse
Denver Post Staff Writers

Farrell B. Howell wasn't supposed to know about the celebration Tuesday evening honoring his service to Colorado's Indians, but even after an accidental peek at an e-mail tipped him off, he remained as humble as ever.
"I suppose I immediately reacted like an Indian - quiet and not to make a big deal out of it," said the 64-year-old Pawnee Indian and educator who was the Denver Public School system's first American Indian principal. "Indians are stoic. Good or bad, that's what we are."

And in Howell's case, revered.

Dressed in white sneakers, charcoal slacks and a peach colored dress shirt, Howell sat in a wheelchair and watched more than 125 friends, colleagues and well-wishers pack the gymnasium at the Denver Indian Center on Tuesday, each paying homage to a man's 31 years as an educator and Indian activist in Colorado. full article

RIGHTS-COLOMBIA:Gov't Ordered to Respond to Indigenous Cry for Help

Constanza Vieira

The Colombian government has until Thursday to report to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights the steps it has taken to protect the Kankuamo indigenous people from mass killings by the right-wing paramilitaries.

BOGOTA, Jul 13 (IPS) - The Colombian government has until Thursday to report to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights the steps it has taken to protect the Kankuamo indigenous people from mass killings by the right-wing paramilitaries.

The Costa Rica-based Court, which forms part of the Organisation of American States (OAS) system, ordered authorities in Colombia to adopt, without delay, the measures necessary ''to protect the life and personal integrity'' of all members of the Kankuamo indigenous communities. full article

Move to recognise Aborigines as WA's first custodians barred
By TIM CLARKE
July 14, 2004

ABORIGINAL advocates have condemned the WA opposition for objecting to government plans to give Aborigines more recognition.

The state government had proposed to amend the constitution at a joint sitting of Parliament later this month, being held to mark the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Swan River colony.

The proposed amendment would have recognised indigenous people as the original custodians of the state.

The government was seeking a consensus on amendments to the preamble to the Constitution to effectively acknowledge the Aboriginal people of WA as the first people of the state. full article

Indigenous diabetes rate rings alarm bells
Wednesday, 14 July 2004

Western Australia's director of Aboriginal Health is alarmed that the incidence of diabetes in Indigenous communities is getting worse.

Continuous research shows that between 20 to 30 per cent of the adult Aboriginal population suffers from Type 2 diabetes.

Terry Murphy says in some remote areas, the incidence rate is up to 50 per cent. full arricle

Church, tribesfolk hit NCP on mining issue
By Williamor A. Magbanua / MindaNews / 13 July 2004

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Oppositors to the planned mining activity in the town of Columbio in Sultan Kudarat are worried over the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ (NCIP) participation in the planned mining activity there.

Opposition spokesperson Fr. Peter Geremiah, PIME, said that the NCIP is supposed to serve the indigenous people but was apparently influenced by the mining firm behind the multimillion-peso project.

The priest’s statement came after the NCIP in Sultan Kudarat province invited last Saturday the Tribal Filipino Program (TFP) of the diocese of Kidapawan in a dialogue regarding the plan of the Sagittarius Mining, Inc. (SMI) to conduct mining exploration in sitio Datablao in the town of Columbio. full article

Chittagong Hill Tracts: New Muslim settlers occupying land in CHT

More than 100 new Muslim settler families arrived in Lalchari area under Ramgarh sub-division in Khagrachari hill district in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in the beginning of this month. They reportedly occupied indigenous lands in the area and built foundations for house construction.
On 11 July 2004, Jumma indigenous activists destroyed some foundations of the houses.

Hundreds of Muslim settlers led by MP and CHT Development Board chairman Md. Abdul Wadud Bhuyan organized a rally in Ramgarh on last Sunday to protest the incident under the banner of the Parbatya Sama Adhikar Andolan (CHT Equal Rights Movement), an organization of the Muslim settlers.

The administration is, as usual, trying to settle the new settlers families in the area. full article

Head-hunting comes to and end in Nagaland
India News > Kohima (Nagaland), June 12: In an effort to preserve their indigenous culture, a tribe - once the head-hunters - in Nagaland celebrated an annual function with great fanfare.

The Phom community in Nagaland celebrated the 52nd anniversary of "peace day" or "Phom day" which concluded recently to commemorate their pledge to put an end to the perpetual strife and head-hunting.

On June 6, 1952, the village chiefs and leaders of the tribe had assembled in a village and pledged to bury all their differences with other tribes in the region and vowed to live in peace and harmony. During the six-day celebrations, the members of the Phom community organised several programmes reflecting their indigenous culture. Young participants demanded the government to open cultural institutes to revive their dying culture and traditions.

"In today's generation, everyone is striving for individuality which leads to the back-staging of one's history and culture. Today we are trying to revive our history. In order to encourage folk culture, we expect the government to open cultural institutes so that the revival of folk culture will encompass the society at large," Hanyuk Phom, a dancer, said. full article

Advocates of War Now Profit From Iraq's Reconstruction
Lobbyists, aides to senior officials and others encouraged invasion and now help firms pursue contracts. They see no conflict.

by Walter F. Roche Jr. and Ken Silverstein

WASHINGTON — In the months and years leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, they marched together in the vanguard of those who advocated war.

As lobbyists, public relations counselors and confidential advisors to senior federal officials, they warned against Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, praised exiled leader Ahmad Chalabi, and argued that toppling Saddam Hussein was a matter of national security and moral duty.

Now, as fighting continues in Iraq, they are collecting tens of thousands of dollars in fees for helping business clients pursue federal contracts and other financial opportunities in Iraq. For instance, a former Senate aide who helped get U.S. funds for anti-Hussein exiles who are now active in Iraqi affairs has a $175,000 deal to advise Romania on winning business in Iraq and other matters. full article

Why the Press Failed
By Orville Schell

When, on May 26, 2004, the editors of the New York Times published a mea culpa for the paper's one-sided reporting on weapons of mass destruction and the Iraq war, they admitted to "a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been." They also commented that they had since come to "wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining claims" made by the Bush Administration. But we are still left to wonder why the Times, like many other major media outlets in this country, was so lacking in skepticism toward administration rationales for war? How could such a poorly thought through policy, based on spurious exile intelligence sources, have been so blithely accepted, even embraced, by so many members of the media? In short, what happened to the press's vaunted role, so carefully spelled out by the Founding Fathers, as a skeptical "watchdog" over government? full article

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

judicial inquiry into assassination of DudleyGeorge begins.

From Yahoo News.

Commissioner warns inquiry into death of Dudley George may open old wounds

Tue Jul 13, 1:31 PM ET

FOREST, Ont. (CP) - A long-awaited judicial inquiry into the nine-year-old police killing of an unarmed aboriginal protester at Ipperwash Provincial Park finally got underway Tuesday with a pointed warning about the dangers of tearing open old wounds.

"I am mindful of the fact that revisiting the events that took place almost nine years ago may reopen wounds and rekindle feelings and tensions," commissioner Sydney Linden said in launching the inquiry in this town of about 5,000 near the park where Dudley George was gunned down in September 1995.

"The establishment of the inquiry may also raise unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved through the inquiry process."

The community hall housing the inquiry was packed with George's family members and supporters for the start of three days of hearings, during which Linden is expected to hear from more than a dozen witnesses.

George was 38 when he was felled by a pair of police bullets after Ontario Provincial Police moved in on the group of unarmed native protesters occupying the southwestern Ontario park on Sept. 6, 1995. full article


We will be adding more background information into the 1995 assassination of Dudley George as well as related articles.

Denver cops-more details

More details are emerging in the case of Frank Lobato, a 63 year old, unarmed man who was murdered by the Denver cops.

On Sunday evening, Cathy Sandoval phoned police from a McDonald's to report that she had been assaulted by her husband, Vincent Martinez, in their apartment. She reportedly gave the police a description of the 2 men who were in the apartment. The first was her husband, Vincent Martinez, the suspect in the case. She described Martinez as being 5'6 and weighing 280 pounds. She also told the police another man was in the house and that he was disabled. She described him as being around 5'2 and 120 pounds. She also told the cops that Vincent was unarmed.

The Police arrived at the house around 8 pm and knocked on the front door. No one answered so they requested a ladder from the Denver Fire Department. Neighborhood youngsters reportedly told cops that they had seen a man jump out the back window and run off. Vincent Martinez was the man they saw and he had run away as the cops were pounding on the front door. 30 minutes later, the cops used it to climb in the second story window.

According to accounts from neighbors, the police didn't identify themselves as they climbed into the house. A single shot was heard about 5 minutes later and at that point, eyewitnesses report that the cops began yelling "Get your hands up!' Presumably, the cops were shouting at Frank Lobato, whom Denver cop Ranjan Ford had shot in the chest as he lay in bed. Ford is claiming that Lobato "flashed" a soda can at him, causing him to shot him in the chest.

Those are the basic details at this point.

Meanwhile, city officials and Denver Cops are patting each other on the back in a display of self-congratulatory solidarity.

A headline in the Rocky Mountain News declares Police hailed for 'prompt release of facts' in killing. So who is haling the police? Well, one person is Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Mayor John Hickenlooper, who was flying to Washington, D.C., on Monday and could not be reached for comment, issued a statement that, in part, commended Whitman's "openness, honesty and prompt release of the facts of this incident." full article


Really, what other viable option did they have? They couldn't have covered this up if they had wanted to, as they had learned from the Mena Case. You had several people who witnessed the events who were sharing their version with reporters before Police Chief Whitman even publicly announced the "release of the facts." The man the police were looking for, Vincent Martinez, wasn't in police custody and several eyewitnesses had seen him leave the house before police had entered the house(eliminating a scapegoat for Lobato's murder). Cathy Sandoval had informed police, beforehand, that Vincent was unarmed and that Frank Lobato was also in the house. The cops couldn't claim that they were unaware of Frank's presence in the house. And seriously, how were the cops going to explain the sudden disappearance of Frank Lobato, a recognizable figure in the neighborhood, when the whole neighborhood saw him taken from the house, nude on a gurney, after cops crawled in the window and fired a shot. There was no way to cover this up and they knew it. Fessing up to it was the only viable option, so city officials should be more circumspect before they decide to heap praise on the cops for admitting that they killed an unarmed man.

The Denver Post is also doing their familar "blame the victim" routine. In an article with the headline Shooting victim had long police record, Denver Post reporter David Olinger writes.
Frank Lobato had a long history of trouble with police before a Denver officer shot him to death Sunday night.

As a young man, he had been sentenced to prison on burglary charges. He had been accused and acquitted of rape. In Colorado and California, he had faced charges ranging from urinating in public and driving with a defective taillight to disturbing the peace, assault, using illegal drugs and failing on various occasions to appear in court, according to state records.

Just two weeks ago, a Denver judge sentenced him to three years intensive supervised probation at a Salvation Army rehabilitation center.

....According to Denver court records, Lobato was not supposed to be living in his nephew's apartment. full article


The implication in this article is that Frank Lobato probably deserved to be shot. Granted, he was neither a suspect in beating Cathy Sandoval, nor was he wanted on any outstanding warrants, but he had a criminal past and Denver is a safer city now that he is dead. Never mind the fact that he was an invalid and needed help to perform the most basic of human functions. Never mind the fact that he was in his own room either watching TV or sleeping. Never mind the fact that he was never a threat to the cops who busted into his room. Never mind the fact that the closest thing he had to a weapon was an aluminum soda can.

No, these things don't matter as long as the Denver Police confine their murders to poor communities of color.

Press Conference Today

PRESS CONFERENCE

TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2004
4:30 P.M.
G.I. FORUM
1717 FEDERAL BOULEVARD

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM THE DENVER POLICE
DEPARTMENT AND THE CITY!


This is in response to the latest murder committed by the Denver Police Department.

articles-july 13

Secret Papers Show Papuan Self-Determination Sacrificed to U.S. Courtship of Suharto
Jim Lobe
OneWorld US
Mon., Jul. 12, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jul 12 (OneWorld) - On the 35th anniversary of the so-called "Act of Free Choice" (AFC) that resulted in West Papua's annexation by Indonesia, newly declassified documents depict the administration of President Richard Nixon as unwilling to raise any objections to the process despite its assessment that the move was overwhelmingly opposed by the Papuan people.

The memos were released by the independent National Security Archive (NSA) Friday.

Washington's Cold-War courtship of Gen. Suharto, who had come to power in a military coup d'etat in 1966 and ruled Indonesia with an iron fist until his ouster in 1998, was considered a much higher priority than a plebiscite on independence "which would be meaningless among the stone age cultures of New Guinea," according to a memo by then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger to Nixon on the eve of a meeting with the Indonesian strongman in Jakarta in June, 1969. full article

Suits claim Indian school abuses
By Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer

PIERRE - Former students who allege they were abused at Indian boarding schools in South Dakota are suing the Roman Catholic Church and the religious organizations that ran the schools.

The lawsuits, which seek damages for students allegedly hurt at St. Paul's School in Marty and St. Francis Mission School on Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, will be filed in state circuit courts today in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, according to Gary Frischer, a legal consultant in the cases.

Many of the same former students are plaintiffs in a similar lawsuit filed last year against the federal government. That lawsuit contends that the federal government failed in its duty under treaties to protect the Indian students who were sent to boarding schools nationwide. full article

Tribes don't compete for dollars

By: M.B. 'Sonny' Magante - Commentary

Rincon Tribal Chairman John Currier should stop complaining about the five tribes signing new compacts with the state and be thankful for his own tribe's casino near the main highway. The joint venture with Harrah's of Las Vega has made the Rincon tribe successful in the casino business.

The Pauma Band of Mission Indians was very happy to see Rincon grow from a temporary, midsize casino to a permanent structure with 1,700 to 2,000 slot machines and a large hotel. Several years ago, the Paumas contemplated building a larger casino and hotel, but the tribe decided to hold off until the Pala and Rincon bands finished their projects.

When the Rincons expanded their business, Currier wasn't concerned about the Pauma casino and how much business the Rincons may take away from our tribe. full article

Fallon tribe concerned over sacred sites

ASSOCIATED PRESS
7/12/2004 11:48 pm

FALLON (AP) — Leaders of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe are asking for more protection of area sites sacred to them that are being desecrated as more people move to Churchill County.

The tribe is urging creation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern on 22,477 acres surrounding the Grimes Point Archaeological Area off U.S. 50, about 11 miles east of Fallon, and on nearly all of the Stillwater Mountain range northeast of there.

Their proposals, submitted to the Bureau of Land Management in April, contend that mining activity, off-roading, vandalism and looting have disturbed sacred places in these areas. Although the tribe submitted the proposals on April 29, the BLM did not release them until last week. Important Indian sites are spread out over the Grimes Point area, said BLM official Teresa Knutson, and several of them have been sacked by looters over the past few years.

“It’s been pretty pathetic,” Knutson said. full article

Scientists Mobilize To Conduct Nutrition Research Among American Indians
By Rosalie Marion Bliss
July 13, 2004
Agricultural Research Service scientists have identified several nutritional and physical activity factors that affect chronic health diseases among American Indians.

Jacqueline S. Gray, a postdoctorate researcher with the ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC) in Grand Forks, N.D., used a mobile nutrition research laboratory to access powwows and reservations to collect data. This month, she returns to the tribes to present research findings.

American Indian tribes, considered sovereign domestic nations, are among the most impoverished of minority groups in America. They experience a disproportionately high incidence of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Native Americans also have the highest per-capita suicide rate, nearly two-and-a-half times the national average and more than four times the national average among 15- to 24-year-olds. full article

Uighur Militant Reported Executed by China
Jim Lobe
OneWorld US
Tue., Jul. 13, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jul 13 (OneWorld) - The reported execution of an alleged Uighur "separatist" in China's Xinjiang province is adding to concern by human rights groups that Beijing is taking advantage of the ongoing "war on terrorism" to crack down on the predominantly Muslim indigenous population in its westernmost territory.

Kuerban Tudaji was reportedly sentenced to death on June 30 after his conviction for "manufacturing explosives, firearms and ammunition" as part of an effort to "split the country" and "organize terrorist training" between 1998 and 2000.

Amnesty charged in its report released last Wednesday that tens of thousands of people in XUAR have been detained since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York and the Pentagon. After the attacks, Beijing swiftly pledged its cooperation in the "war on terror" and intensified its crackdown against the Uighur population of about seven million.

"China has repackaged its repression of Uighurs as a fight against 'terrorism,'" Amnesty said in its latest report. "Since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the USA, the Chinese government has been using 'anti-terrorism' as a pretext to increase its crackdown on all forms of political or religious dissent in the region." It noted that the crackdown has continued despite the fact that the head of XUAR's government admitted last April that "not one incident of explosion or assassination took place (there) in the last few years." full article

A colourful mix of cultures seek justice
July 14, 2004

A landmark case is being played out in the Kalahari Desert to determine the fate of the San Bushmen. David Blair reports from New Xade, Botswana.

Bushmen wearing antelope horns mingled with lawyers in flowing robes yesterday when Botswana's High Court assembled in a remote desert outpost to hear a landmark case that will decide the future of the Kalahari's oldest residents.

Three judges began hearing an appeal against the Government's policy of evicting Bushmen from their desert homes and to allow those who have left the right of return.

The case opened with all the ceremony of the British colonial era in the Kalahari settlement of New Xade.

It follows Botswana's removal of 1550 San Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the past seven years and represents their last chance to salvage something of their way of life. full article

The CIA and Iraq
An Intelligence Debacle...and Worse
By RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA analyst

In our various oral and written presentations on Iraq my veteran intelligence officer colleagues and I took no delight in sharply criticizing what we perceived to be the corruption of intelligence analysis at CIA. Nothing would have pleased us more than to have been proven wrong. It turns out we did not know the half of it.

Several of us have just spent a painful weekend digesting the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee on prewar intelligence assessments on Iraq. The corruption is far deeper than we suspected. The only silver lining is that the corrupter-in-chief, George Tenet, is now gone.

When the former CIA Director departed Sunday, he left behind an agency on life support-an institution staffed by sycophant managers and thoroughly demoralized analysts. The analysts are embarrassed at their own naiveté in believing that the passage carved into the marble at the entrance to CIA Headquarters-"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free"-held real meaning for their work. full article

Whitewash!

by Paul Craig Roberts
The real purpose of a government report is to place the blame where it does the least damage to the political party in office.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's "Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq" carefully follows this time-honored rule. At the July 9 press conference heralding the release of the committee's report, Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kans.) blamed the misinformation used to start a war on a "flawed process" that would be fixed with "reforms."

The Republicans hope to shift the media's focus away from those responsible for launching a war to a debate over how a "flawed intelligence process" should be reformed. Fox "News" and other Republican propaganda organs will fall in with the program. full article

Monday, July 12, 2004

Denver's Finest does it again.

Here we are again. Topping their last murder, that of 15 year old mentally disabled Paul Childs, the Denver Police Department shot and killed an unarmed, 63 year old man last night.

DENVERPOST.COM: The man shot and killed Sunday night by police investigating a domestic-violence report was not the suspect officers were seeking, authorities said today.

Police Chief Gerry Whitman said the man who was shot was staying at the apartment and was unarmed.

The dead man was identified as Frank Lobato, 63. full article


More to come as this story, and the community response, develops.

The Rocky Mountain News-protecting against vultures

Yesterdays’ edition(7/11/04) of the Rocky Mountain News featured a board editorial entitled “Protect ruins, verify claims.” The subtitle was “Secure Site against threats.” The editorial went on to argue that the recent publicity about the “newly discovered” Range Creek Site in Utah, and the resulting looting of the site, necessitated a defense against “vultures”. The editorial then went on to advise that the site should be secured against looters and American Indian tribes.

The RMN editorial argues that a legal defense needs to be made against any possible claims, by American Indian nations, under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. (NAGPRA) Presumably, the RMN editorial board is instructing the the State of Utah in how to oppose the non-existent claims of American Indian Nations, as the Range Creek Site was purchased by the Utah Trust for Public Land.

So what tribes are making these claims? Well, none at this point, as the RMN admits

Such claims in the Utah case are also likely, and could even prove justified given that the site is much more recent. Under the act, (NAGPRA)Indian tribes are entitled to the return of human remains and cultural objects if they can prove they have a cultural or ancestral connection to the items.


Here is what NAGPRA actually does

“Establishes procedures and legal standards for the repatriation of human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and cultural patrimony by federal agencies and certain museums, educational and other institutions, and state and local governments. “

And

“Recognizes certain tribal, Native Hawaiians, and individual rights in regard to burial sites located on federal and tribal lands.

The procedure requires that Federal Agencies and Museums(museums is defined as: any institution that receives federal funds which possess or controls Native American cultural items and encompasses state & local governments along with educational institutions) complete an item by item inventory and consult with tribal governments and traditional leaders.

Repatriation of items begins

1. Upon request of a direct descendant of the deceased , or
2. Upon request of an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization where the tribe or organization has a “cultural affiliation” with the human remains and associated funerary objects."

“To establish Cultural affiliation
*it must be determined that it is likely that the remains are those of a member of a particular tribe or group which existed at the time the deceased lived; and
*based on all the circumstances and evidence, a reasonable connection(shared group identity) must be shown between the present day tribe or organization making the request and the earlier tribe.

Some of the evidence that can be used to determine cultural affiliation includes “geographical, kinship, biological, archealogical, anthropological, linguistic, folkloric, oral traditional, historical or other relevant information or expert opinion.

Utah’s state law repatriates to lineal descendants or the tribe that has the closest cultural affiliation that states a claim. If the tribe with the closest cultural affiliation cannot be ascertained, then the tribe that is recognized as aboriginally occupying the area can make the claim.

The Rocky Mountain News continues
But there has to be proof of some sort; the mere possibility of a connection is not sufficient. Without such proof, claims by contemporary Indian tribes should not interfere with or prevent scientific studies of these almost completely undisturbed ruins and relics.


Anticipating that one link may be established by oral history, the RMN goes on to question the validity of oral history.

Range Creek is believed to have been inhabited most recently by the Fremont culture, from A.D. 900 to 1250. That's a long time for oral history to be reliable - 30 to 40 or even 50 generations. We know a lot about 11th-century England because William the Conqueror ordered it all to be written down in the Domesday Book. If the only knowledge we had of his times were what was handed down in families, it would be scant indeed.


In an attempt to cast doubt on the legitimacy of oral history and collective tribal knowledge, the RMN unwittingly uses an example that bolsters the veracity of any tribal claims to Range Creek, based on oral history.

Using their own example we can conclude this; Had the history of 11th century England been passed down orally, it would survive in scant form, just as any history of Range Creek ancestors may exist in scant form. If that were the case, there could still be no denial that the history of 11th Century England had taken place and that the collective memory of modern English people, though not complete as it might have been in written form, would be grounded in historical fact.

The same reasoning should apply to any American Indian nation that wishes to make a claim for repatriation of items from the Range Creek site.

That may be a mute point at any rate. As posted above, Utah law allows for the aboriginal occupants(Utes? Goshute? Etc.) to make the claim if no other American Indian Nation can establish a “cultural affiliation”.

In the closing paragraph, the RMN dismisses all forms of evidence allowed under NAGPRA by putting forth it’s own criteria.

What would be proof? DNA evidence would be incontrovertible, if it can be found. In 1997, a 9,000-year-old skeleton, buried at Cheddar, England, was matched to one of his remote descendants still living in the same place. The irony is that if a tribe does obtain custody of ancient bones, and reburies them without study, it relinquishes all hope of learning who their descendants really are today.


As stated already, DNA evidence isn’t the only form of proof allowed. This statement is merely the RMN arguing what they believe NAGPRA should say, not what it actually states.

The last sentence is essential in understanding the mentality of those that penned this RMN editorial. What they believe, is that whole nations of American Indians are incapable of understanding who they are or where they’ve come from unless it’s explained to them by "experts". Is this really a suprise for a paper that has yet to apologize for the role they played in the Sand Creek Massacre?

We agree with the RMN that the State of Utah should guard against 2 types of Vultures. The state of Utah should be on guard against looters. It should also be on guard against an out-of-state editorial board, with a history of anti-indian stances bearing uninformed, silly advice.

articles-july 12

Apology is fine but justice is better
MARK TRAHANT
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER COLUMNIST

I did wrong. I am sorry. I will change.

Three-word sentences that all of us have to say from time to time. We learn from our mistakes, we change our behavior and we progress on through life.

In our generation, our institutions have become apology minded, too.

Congress is now considering an official apology to "all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States."

Argue all you want over the apology, this is where the story turns ironic. While Congress considers how sorry it is -- it also acted to steal more native land (one more time, for old time's sake). full article

Massacre in Colombia
Violent drug competition traps peasants, indigenous tribes in middle

By Galle Sévenier
Special to The Denver Post

Madeleine Diaz / La Verdad
Colombia’s civil war between paramilitary groups and guerrillas has resulted in a massive migration of Wayuu Indians into cities and neighboring countries. More than 700 Wayuu, including those above, live in poverty in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Cabo de la Vela, Colombia - At least 34 farmers near the Venezuelan border were massacred June 15 in the latest violent competition to control drug production and distribution.

The killings followed an incident two months earlier in which a Wayuu Indian village in the Guajira desert of Colombia was wiped out, with more than 100 people dead or missing, according to survivors.

On one side of this lethal struggle are right-wing paramilitary organizations; on the other are leftist guerrillas called the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Their conflict, once ideological, now includes control of drug-making territories.

In the middle are peasants and indigenous tribes that, with few weapons and few choices, are pressured into growing coca, from which cocaine is processed. Wayuu are streaming across the border into Venezuela, whose officials have denounced what they call the "Wayuu genocide." full article

Counting on Indian Country

Terry Woster
Argus Leader
published: 7/11/2004

GOP hopes to end Democratic hold on reservations
EAGLE BUTTE - Attention spans used to be shorter in Congress when Harold Frazier traveled to the nation's capital to lobby for programs or funding for his Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

That was before a heavier than normal, heavily Democratic vote from Indian Country helped provide the 524-vote victory margin that re-elected Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson in the 2002 election.

"I could see the change the next time I went to Washington," Frazier, the Cheyenne River chairman, said. "They were paying more attention. It used to be, I'd go there, and the attention span was something like 10 minutes, 12 if you were lucky, then they were on to other things."
The influence of the Indian Country vote in the Johnson race against former Republican Rep. John Thune raised the awareness level for Native American issues on Capitol Hill, the chairman said. full article

New Sault chairman sworn in as bitterness continues to divide

July 11, 2004, 6:34 PM

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) -- A new chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians took office Sunday and promptly barred his predecessor from the reservation.

Aaron Payment's temporary order against former chairman Bernard Bouschor underscored the bitter division within the 31,000-member tribe, which owns five Upper Peninsula casinos and is primary owner of the Greektown Casino in Detroit. full article

The Dots Never Existed'
A damning report on Iraq intelligence failures throws the administration a Curve Ball

By Michael Isikoff
Investigative Correspondent
Newsweek

July 19 issue - The more he read, the more uneasy he became. In early February 2003 Colin Powell was putting the finishing touches on his speech to the United Nations spelling out the case for war in Iraq. Across the Potomac River, a Pentagon intelligence analyst going over the facts in the speech was alarmed at how shaky that case was. Powell's presentation relied heavily on the claims of one especially dubious Iraqi defector, dubbed "Curve Ball" inside the intel community. A self-proclaimed chemical engineer who was the brother of a top aide to Iraqi National Congress chief Ahmad Chalabi, Curve Ball had told the German intelligence service that Iraq had a fleet of seven mobile labs used to manufacture deadly biological weapons. But nobody inside the U.S. government had ever actually spoken to the informant—except the Pentagon analyst, who concluded the man was an alcoholic and utterly useless as a source. He recalled that Curve Ball had shown up for their only meeting nursing a "terrible hangover." full article

Senate WMD Report Whacks CIA, Not Bush

by David Corn

The United States went to war on the basis of false claims. More than 800 Americans and countless Iraqis have lost their lives because of these false claims. The American taxpayer has to pay up to $200 billion--and maybe more--because of these false claims. The United States' standing in the world has fallen precipitously because of these false claims. Two days before the war, when George W. Bush justified the coming invasion of Iraq by saying "intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal" weapons of mass destruction, he was dead wrong. And when he later claimed his decision to attack Iraq had been predicated upon "good, solid intelligence," he was dead wrong.

The debate is over--or it should be. According to the report released today by the Senate intelligence committee, the intelligence community--led by the CIA--"overstated" and "mischaracterized" the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, produced hastily and haphazardly in October 2002, the intelligence community concluded that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed chemical and biological weapons, was "reconstituting" its nuclear weapons program, was supporting an "active" and "advanced" biological weapons program, and was developing an unmanned aerial vehicle "probably intended to deliver" biological weapons. All of these critical findings, the committee report says, "either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting." full article

Saturday, July 10, 2004

articles- July 10

SHARING SAME STRUGGLE Global event aims to protect Medicine Lake

By Alex Breitler, Record Searchlight
July 10, 2004

FALL RIVER MILLS -- Lucas Naikuni's story sounds frighteningly familiar for north state American Indians.

Eyes widening with worry, he describes how a British company is trying to extract minerals from a lake in Kenya considered sacred to his indigenous Maasai tribe.

The company will get rich, he says, while his people fear the lake will be defiled. They won't see a penny of the royalties.

"Instead, they're subject to poverty," said Naikuni, 39. full article
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Tribes Want Salmon Way Over Klamath Dams
By Jeff Barnard
Associated Press Writer

Published: Jul 10, 2004 7:22 AM EST

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - American Indian tribes, commercial fishermen and conservationists are going to Scotland to pressure utility PacifiCorp's parent company to give salmon a way over dams on the Klamath River.


The group plans to make its case at the July 23 annual general stockholders meeting of Scottish Power in Edinburgh.

"They need to see we have culture and traditions that have been here since the beginning of time," said Troy Fletcher, executive director of the Yurok Tribe, whose reservation lies along the lowest reach of the Klamath. full article

Maori party breaks into Kiwi Parliament

Associated Press

Wellington — New Zealand's first indigenous Maori political party won its first seat in parliament on Saturday in a by-election.

Tariana Turia, a representative of the new Maori Party, beat five other candidates to win the North Island electorate of Te Tai Hauauru.

Mr. Turia held the same seat before resigning from the Labour party because of disagreements over its Maori policies. It was his resignation that prompted the by-election. full article

Bushmen fight for ancestral lands
Landmark legal case may be last hope for displaced San people of Botswana

Rory Carroll in Kukama
Saturday July 10, 2004
The Guardian

It was a little court in a big desert, and the lawyers grew uneasy as the shadows lengthened: lions are nocturnal hunters. Gordon Bennett, a British barrister, suggested the court adjourn. "Dusk is almost upon us and we are camping tonight."
To everyone's relief, the three judges wedged in the Land Cruiser agreed, and the convoy dispersed to collect firewood before another night under the stars.

It was a surreal safari, where baseball caps and sunglasses replaced wigs and robes, but there was no doubting the seriousness of this week's effort to bring justice to the Kalahari.

The San people, also known as bushmen, have challenged the government of Botswana over their expulsion from ancestral lands in what could be a landmark case for indigenous rights in Africa. full article

Gene Warfare in Oaxaca
Genetic Mutation of Mexican Maize
By CAMELO RUIZ MARRERO

Scientists from Mexico, Canada and the United States met on March 11th this year in the Hotel Victoria in Oaxaca for a symposium on the effects and possible risks of the presence of genetically modified maize in Mexico. The furtive and growing presence of this maize has been documented in small plots of land belonging to rural workers first in the southern State of Oaxaca and more recently throughout the whole country. This discovery could have serious implications for agricultural biodiversity since maize is the third most important crop in the world after wheat and rice and Mexico is the center of its origin and diversity.

Alejandro de Avila, director of the Oaxaca Ethnobotanic Garden reported that the most recent archaeological studies indicate that maize was discovered and domesticated in Oaxaca ten thousand years ago, not six thousand or eight thousand as had been believed until recently. Maize is considered to be humanity's greatest agricultural achievement and the greatest treasure Christopher Columbus took back to Europe from the American continent. full article

Wither the Empire
The Rise of Global Resistance
By OMAR BARGHOUTI

Mahmoud Darwish, arguably the Arab world's leading contemporary poet, wrote in his recent poem, Nothing but Iraq, the following

Dead blacksmiths awaken from their graves to make our shackles
but we never dreamt of more than a life like life
and of dying our own way

One doesn't have to be endowed with the eloquence of Darwish to identify with his quest. When a "life like life" becomes too much to dream of, humanity as such is essentially defied.

The tens of millions of war-protesters who blossomed on the world's Main Streets like belated spring flowers, days before the war on Iraq, did not look alike, speak the same language, belong to the same culture or religion, read the same papers, watch the same TV news or hold the same political thought. But, they were all motivated by a far grander and more noble cause than mere opposition to yet another war on a battered nation of the South: they shared the ideal of resisting empire.

Perhaps the fervor and intensity of protest have relatively waned since the images of the "sweeping victory" over Iraq, carried by not-so-free western media, inundated us. But after the US war crimes in Falluja, the racist torture orgy at Abu Ghraib and the wedding massacre were revealed, the motivation for resisting empire is on the rise again, globally. This essay goes back and explores the formative stage of this resistance: the critical period before and right after the start of the war on Iraq, arguing that such a resistance is not just ethically laudable, but also practically winnable. full article

The Senate Report
NYTimes editorial
Published: July 10, 2004

In a season when candor and leadership are in short supply, the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the prewar assessment of Iraqi weapons is a welcome demonstration of both. It is also disturbing, and not just because of what it says about the atrocious state of American intelligence. The report is a condemnation of how this administration has squandered the public trust it may sorely need for a real threat to national security.

The report was heavily censored by the administration and is too narrowly focused on the bungling of just the Central Intelligence Agency. But what comes through is thoroughly damning. Put simply, the Bush administration's intelligence analysts cooked the books to give Congress and the public the impression that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons and was developing nuclear arms, that he was plotting to give such weapons to terrorists, and that he was an imminent threat. full article

Friday, July 09, 2004

articles-july 09

Peru's indigenous peoples reawakening to power of social protest

BY TYLER BRIDGES AND CARLA N'NAN BASS
Knight Ridder Newspapers

ILAVE, Peru - (KRT) - For 23 days and nights, Aymara Indians filled the town square in freezing weather to demand the ouster of a mayor they said had stolen the public's money.

On the 24th day, a mob pulled Mayor Cirilo Robles from a house, dragged him through the streets and finally beat him to death in the square.

Lost in the headlines of that brutal act in Ilave, Peru, was the rare Aymara protest, the latest sign of the growing activism by the large indigenous populations in the Andean nations of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. This political awakening threatens the countries' elected presidents and the traditional ruling elites descended from Spanish colonizers. full article


Bury the Truth at Wounded Knee
Dennis Banks's new memoir - and the murder that won't go away
Bury the Truth at Wounded Knee

By Mike Mosedale

Before the Indian civil rights movement, before the Hollywood friendships and the movie auditions, before the FBI shootouts and the fugitive years, before the murder of an idealistic young activist--before all of this, there was a 31-year-old ex-con who was tired of getting arrested at bars. It was 1968 and Dennis Banks, outraged by the abuse of Native Americans at the hands of the Minneapolis police, was determined to do something. His early efforts were pretty modest. After an organizational meeting in the basement of a run-down church, Banks and a ragtag crew of tough young natives painted three old cars bright red. They then donned identical red berets, got their hands on some walkie-talkies, and started patrolling the streets of south Minneapolis. Their goal: to police the police.

In those days, as Banks tells the story, the cops routinely raided the Indian bars along Franklin Avenue, where they'd fill their arrest quotas by indiscriminately rounding up patrons on drunk-and-disorderly charges. Banks figures he was personally caught in such dragnets about 25 times. So sometimes Banks and his partners would spend their evenings standing guard outside the saloons. If they saw cops coming, they would rush inside and alert the customers of an impending raid. If they were too late, they would use cameras to document the arrests. full article

On their way to Panama

Dozens of Native Americans pass through SLO County on a journey to reconnect with their roots
Serena Daniels

The Tribune
SAN LUIS OBISPO - Dozens of American Indians from throughout the West Coast made stops in San Luis Obispo County on Thursday as they continued a spiritual run that began in Alaska and will end in Panama City, Panama.

Participants in the fourth Peace and Dignity Run, an indigenous spiritual journey that takes place every four years, made stops in Templeton and at Cuesta College Thursday in their second month of running. full article


Congressman blasted for ties to Guatemala

By MOLLY PARKER

Of the Journal Star

PEORIA - U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller should denounce his Guatemalan fiance's father as an evil dictator before the congressman ties the knot, his opponent, Tari Renner, said through a spokesman Thursday.

Weller, R-Morris, announced plans Tuesday to marry Guatemalan Congresswoman Zury Rios Sosa following the November election. Both will remain residents of their perspective countries and travel to see one another.

Her father, former Gen. Effrain Rios Montt, became Guatemala's president for a year after a 1982 military coup, in the midst of a civil war that had raged in that country since 1960.

According to a U.S. Department of State profile of the country, "Rios Montt's brief presidency was probably the most violent period of the 36-year internal conflict, which resulted in about 200,000 deaths of mostly unarmed indigenous civilians." full article

WA scientists make germination breakthrough
By Holly Nott
09jul04
WEST Australian scientists have become the first in the world to isolate and identify a potent molecule of smoke that stimulates seed germination. The discovery is said to be one of the most significant advances in seed sciences.

The research, published today in the international journal Science, has potential application world-wide for the agricultural and horticultural industries.

Scientists from the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, in collaboration with the University of Western Australia and Murdoch University, carried out the research.

Dr Dixon said scientists realised about 15 years ago what indigenous Africans had known for centuries:(emphasis mine) that the smoke from burning plant material promoted germination of some seeds of plant species. full article

The Lie That Will Not Die
Cheney and the Iraq / al-Qaeda Link
By GARY LEUPP

In this context, Vice President Cheney, even more (and more creatively) than President Bush, defends the indefensible war against Iraq, pursuing the original immediate post 9-11 strategy of linking Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. He says it over and over again, in steady, studied, weariedly impatient tones: We know. We have so much evidence! So much overwhelming evidence of longstanding official contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq. The irresponsibility and laziness of the media, he avers (alluding to what has in fact been criminally complicit mainstream journalism), has denied the American people information that would better establish the connection (which, in fact, in the real world, bogus journalism and political hype has consistently ingrained in the impressionable public mind). Cheney knows that tendentious talk, plus racist predispositions, persuaded the majority long ago that Saddam Hussein, in some way, attacked the U.S. on 9-11. He knows that all the efforts of reasonable humans since to challenge this idiotic falsity have failed to educate a population usefully vulnerable to (officially deplored) Islamophobia. The ignorance is useful, since it allows millions disinclined to sort through all the complicated facts to merely conclude: Saddam and bin Laden both hated the USA. That's the link. And of course their evilness connects them, as evil connects everything not American. full article

The October Surprise?

by William S. Lind
Shortly before I left Washington for the summer (in the good old days whose passing I regret, few stayed in Washington in summertime), my informal intelligence network gave me an interesting report: Iran was beginning to mass troops on the Iran-Iraq border. Did this portend overt Iranian intervention in Iraq? I said I didn't think so. Events in Iraq are not unfavorable to Iran, and the risks of direct intervention would be great.

However, there is a potential situation that could lead to Iranian intervention: if it were in response to an American-Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Such an attack may very well be on the agenda as the "October Surprise," the distraction George Bush desperately needs if the debacle in Iraq is not to lead to his defeat in November. full article

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The coming of the Whiteman-Yank Badhand

Our homepage has a photo of an AIM elder carrying the AIM staff. That elder is Yank Badhand. Every year, Yank carries the banner on Columbus Day. Though surrounded by AIM security, it still takes a tremendous amount of courage to walk into a gang of cops, who protect themselves with riot equipment & weapons in addition to hiding behind plastic shields.


Columbus Day 2002

When not facing off with the Denver Riot Police, Yank works at the Four Winds Survival Project, keeping the place running and in order. Yank is also a writer. The following column was first published in 1971. It was republished in 1991 and we are putting on the blog in addition to adding it to our website.

The coming of the Whiteman
By Yank Badhand

The “Whiteman” came across the great salt waters and discovered (by mistake) the “Redman” of the “new world” as he called it. To us the “Indian”(another whitemans mistake in definition) this “new world” was as old as time itself.

Since that black day in 1492 we, the native inhabitants of this great land, have weighed the whitemans contributions to our lives against the great injustices he has heaped upon us. In every category the “whitemans” gross wrongs have far outweighed his contributions.

With craftiness and cunning and inherent greed he bartered with us for our sacred land. For glass beads, mirrors and steel utensils, woolen blankets, iron kettles and woven cloth he took our most prized possession, our Mother the Earth. Over two billion acres of God’s creation fore mere trinkets. When he could not barter and trade for our land he stole it by merciless slaughter and bloody massacre of our ancestors. His offer of trade was then an ounce of lead from the end of a gun barrel for all the land soaked with our blood.

The whiteman gave us the great message of love from Jesus Christ while he systematically destroyed our spiritual way of life.

He gave us a dream of equality for all men, while carefully and craftily destroying our form of government, our economy(the buffalo) and our other ancient social institutions.

He gave us strong drink to blot our sense and took our fair young maidens in exchange for his pleasure.

He took our corn, our potatoes, our herbs and our medicines and in return he gave us hunger, poverty, disease and a bleak existence on barren lands

He gave us his technology and took away our communion with Wakontanka-“God”

He gave us his inventions and took away our strength, our stamina and our courage.

He gave us his Christian love and taught us suspicion, hate, distrust, greed, envy, lust and prejudice.

He gave us syphilis, gonorrhea, the “clap”, T.B, small pox, alcoholism, malnutrition, diabetes, paranoia, schizophrenia and other psychosis.

He gave us rags to wear, shacks to live in and surplus commodities to eat in exchange for fifty million buffalo.

He gave us natural gas, electricity, the split atom and the laser in exchange for susceptibility to colds, pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema, death by radiation and instant annihilation from a beam of cohesive light.

He gave us the internal combustion engine, the pneumatic tire, the jet, the rocket, the hydrofoil boat and took away the strength of our arm, the keenness of our eyes, the sturdiness of our legs and the stoutness of our bodies.

He gave us the deep freeze, the vacuum pack can, the cellophane wrapper and the instant T.V. dinner at the same time he gave us unbreathable air, undrinkable water and the stench of his garbage heaps.

He gave us doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, engineers, politicians, statesmen, architects, philosophers, businessmen and countless other kinds of professionals in exchange for our national beauty.

But such beauty came from WAKONTANKA and in the final balance the whiteman will be weighed by him.

(Yank Badhand, Sicangu, wrote this article in 1971. He believes it means a lot even today.)

Beware ye indians, when entering Boston.

From the Herald Tribune
As city leaders work to burnish the shine on the "new Boston" for this month's Democratic National Convention, a group of northeastern Native American tribes is calling on the state to formally repeal a very "old Boston" anti-Indian law.

Passed in 1675 during King Philip's War and never formally wiped from the books, the Boston Indian Imprisonment Act orders the arrest of all American Indians entering the city. full article


The article assures the readers that the law poses no threat to American Indian Delegates attending the Democratic National Convention.

Yet another school ceases to honor us

The latest from Vermont.
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Rice Memorial High School officials plan to retire the school's mascot, a caricature of an American Indian that has come under criticism over the years.

During the 1990s the school administration began to cut down on use of the mascot's image on uniforms and school letterhead, although the Little Indians nickname remained.

Officials say the mascot will change within the next few weeks. An announcement about the mascot switch will follow meetings with the school board and sports boosters club.

A student vote during the latest academic year yielded two alternatives: the Saints or the Green Knights. full article

Since the mascot supporters have adamantly insisted they are trying to honor us, are they going to call for congressional hearings to address the growing wave of "dishonorable actions," in the form of mascot transformation, directed at American Indians? Curiously, they don't seem to be voicing much outrage over these actions that, if we are to beleive the mascot supporters, clearly dishonor American Indians. Wait, you don't think that their lack of "concern" over our self-esteem can be attributed to the notion that their assertions of honoring us with mascots was simply a cover for their racist attitudes. Nah, the mascot supporters are probably visiting American Indian communities in droves, at this very moment, to console the people, devastated by the loss of their caricatured images.

October Suprise ...July Suprise..or both?

The New Republic has an article July Suprise, posted on it's website. Link The article was written by John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari. According to the article, sources who work in Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) relate that the Bush administration is putting heavy pressure on the Pakistanis to either kill or capture High Value Targets (HVT) by the November elections. High ranking al Qaeda members , including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri are believed to be living inside of Pakistan's borders.

A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.


The article details some of the recent quid pro quo's between the Bush administration, gives some of the political considerations that would compel the Bushies and Pakistan to orchestrate a "July/October Suprise and expounds on how both would benefit from such a calculated stunt.

None of these scenarios may come to pass, but does anyone familar with the machinations of the Bushies doubt they would actually try to pull this off?

articles-july 08


Regulators affirm decision to allow coal mine expansion

DALE WETZEL
Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. - State regulators have affirmed a decision to allow a 17,000-acre expansion of North Dakota's largest coal mine, saying the plan included sufficient protections for American Indian graves and cultural artifacts.

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes had challenged the permit, which the state Public Service Commission first granted in April. The tribes argued they were not notified about the approval of a cultural resource protection plan that is part of the document.

The Defenders of the Black Hills, a Rapid City, S.D.,-based organization that represents American Indian interests, also had asked North Dakota regulators to reopen the mining permit debate. The commission held a June 9 hearing to consider the arguments. full article

Goshutes protest handling of Range Creek

By Greg Lavine and Michael Yount
The Salt Lake Tribune

    The Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians on Wednesday issued a statement questioning whether the land transfer of property in eastern Utah containing ancient Fremont Indian sites violated U.S. historic preservation laws.
    Leon Bear, chairman of the band, and Melvin Brewster, tribal historic preservation officer, said the transfer of land, from private to federal to state ownership, violated the National Historic Preservation Act, the Indian Sacred Sites Act and the Native American Grave and Repatriation Act.
    "It was done in complete silence and secrecy as if native Indians of Utah do not exist," the pair said in the statement. full article

Leonard Peltier Support Group calls for boycott of PayPal and eBAY

by the Boston Area Leonard Peltier Support Group
Leonard Peltier

Last week both the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee and the Boston Area Leonard Peltier Support Group received notification from PayPal, our website credit card verification and payment processing service, that our accounts had been closed. Neither the defense committee nor the Boston support group is currently able to receive donations via the internet.

This disruption is having a direct impact on our ability to fund the work of the committee. Therefore, the Boston Area Leonard Peltier Support Group is calling for a boycott of PayPal and its parent company, eBAY. full article


Bush Signs Measure to Pay Western Shoshone for Land

Most tribe members favor the settlement, but others vow to press fight for ancestral territory.
From Associated Press

July 8, 2004
LAS VEGAS — Some Western Shoshone tribe members pledged Wednesday to refuse federal payment for their ancestral land after President Bush gave final approval to paying more than $145 million to settle a decades-long land dispute.
But an apparent majority of the 6,000 eligible tribe members support the measure, contending that seeking the return of millions of acres is not realistic and the money would help buy basic necessities.
"The needs of our people are simple. Most of our homes don't have telephones, 98% don't own computers," Nancy Stewart, co-chairwoman of the Western Shoshone Claims Steering Committee, said after the House passed the bill in June.
"I'm not taking the money," said Carrie Dann, a tribal member active in the Western Shoshone Defense Project in Crescent Valley. "That land is sacred to us. This Earth is our mother. It's not for sale." full article


Another Attack on the Arctic

By BRUCE BABBITT

BARROW, Alaska — Thwarted by the public in its efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Bush administration and the oil companies are now quietly turning their attention to the balance of the Arctic region of Alaska, all the way west to the Chukchi Sea, within sight of Siberia. In advance of its efforts, the administration has jettisoned environmental safeguards and is now threatening the traditional-use rights of the Alaska Natives who have hunted caribou and waterfowl along the Arctic slope for thousands of years. full article

Montagnards: Behind the razor’s wire; Montagnards of Vietnam
excerpt
The decisions of Phnom Penh to allow humanitarian aid to the Montagnard refugees and to open two offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Mondulkiri and Rattanakiri have exposed the Hanoi’s attempt to sweep aside the crisis in the Central Highlands by terming the asylum seekers as “illegal immigrants.” Since the violent crackdown of the peaceful and democratic protests on 2-6 February 2001 in the Central Highlands, the flow of the refugees have been consistent, indicating deteriorating human rights situations.

Hanoi attempted to subdue the ethnic minorities through repression and humiliation. A court in Central Daklak province of Vietnam sentenced eight indigenous Ede people, majority of whom are Christians, on 25 December 2002, the Christmas Day, for organizing the demonstrations in Gia Lai and Dak Lak provinces in February 2001. Alleged group leader Y Thuon Nie, 30, was sentenced to 10 years in jail, while the other seven men were given eight years each at the one-day trial. They were also given four years of house arrest after their jail terms. They were accused of "organizing illegal migration to Cambodia" and "undermining state and Communist Party policy" and contacting former members of the guerrilla group FULRO, Front Unifie de Lutte des Races Opprimes, to "sow disunity" among the hill tribes in the Central Highlands.

On 31 August 2002, around 30 Ede indigenous people were arrested for allegedly planning to hold a protest in the Sao village under Madrak district of Dak Lak province of Central Highlands on 2 September 2002, the Vietnam's National day. full article

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Columbian suspect in 1999 FARC murder of activists released

Reuters is reporting that the only jailed suspect in the murders of Terence Freitas, Ingrid Washinawatok, Lahee'Enae Gay, was sent back to Columbia, after U.S authorities decided he was not who they were looking for.
Nelson Vargas was freed in Colombia last week, a year after he was extradited to the United States accused of being a Marxist rebel who participated in killing three Americans in eastern Colombia in 1999, police said.

It was the first time Colombia had extradited a person it believed to be a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the 17,000-strong rebel army known by the Spanish initials FARC.

President Alvaro Uribe approved sending Vargas to U.S. custody in what was meant to be a tough message to the FARC.

But there was already official confusion about his identity, and Colombia's inspector general tried to get the case against him dropped in 2002, saying evidence was "contradictory, confusing, incomplete or full of lies."

Vargas spent 13 months in U.S. custody following 30 months' jail in Colombia after he was accused of being involved in killing three U.S. American Indian activists who were trying to help Colombian Indians in the eastern province of Arauca.


Lahe'ena'e Gay worked with the Pacific Cultural Conservancy International. Ingrid Washinawatock was from the Menominee Nation and with the Indigenous Women's Network. Terence Freitas 24 was working with the U'wa Defense Working Group

All three were kidnapped. reportedlyby FARC members, on February 25, 1999. They were taken near a village of Royota, in the Arauca province of northeast Colombia as they were leaving the area. On March 4, 1999, a farmer found their bodies near the Venezuelan border.

The three activist had been invited by the U'wa to help them establish a cultural education system for their children and support their continuation of their traditional way of life.

This Indigenous Womens Network letter explains the U'wa's struggle, the complexities of the region and the sacrifice made by the three activists.

"The U'wa people live in the Arauca province in northeastern Colombia. The U.S. oil multi-national corporations, Occidental Petroleum and Shell Oil had been carrying out oil exploration in the area known as the Samore Block, the ancestral homelands of the U'wa people. It is estimated that these oilfields hold less than l.5 billion barrels of oil, equating to less than a three month supply for the US. The U'wa people had threatened to commit mass suicide if these oil companies were successful in their exploitive endeavors.

"US and Colombian government officials were prompt to lay blame on the left wing guerrilla forces of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). This situation is not one that blame can be established through words of government officials without conducting an investigation. It is a much more complex crime."

"The reality is that the Indigenous community and the US State Department had both been involved in negotiations for the release of these three humanitarian workers. Apesanahkwat, Chair of the Menominee Nation was active in attempting to negotiate the release of the hostages as soon as he heard of their capture."

"I sent a direct communique to the leadership of FARC two days after she was captured.... The FARC leadership had sent a response by e-mail the morning of the hostages' death," Apesanahkwat said. "They sent greetings to us as a relative Indigenous group, and said they were optimistic about seeking her release," he said."

"Yet, as Apesanahkwat noted, the US government sent money for arms to the Colombian government four or five days after the kidnappings, knowing that those arms might be used against the rebels who may have held the kidnap victims, and that the kidnap victims might well be executed in retaliation. Tensions were high."

"We, the Indigenous Women's Network join with the Menominee Nation in calling for a congressional committee inquiry into the State Department actions in Colombia, with regards to this incident. We also request, on behalf of our sister Ingrid, that her death not be used to forward political ends of the US State Department, but that instead, it be recognized as a crime, a continuation of the Indian wars."

"It is a crime against humanity. Against the mothers whose daughter's and son's moccasins no longer walk on our Mother Earth. It is a crime against the sane, the Indigenous Peoples and all peaceful citizens of the world. This crime was committed by the insane, the greedy, the corrupt and those that will ignore the exploitive trade agreements which allow and accept these practices as business as usual, all in the name of protecting "National Interests," and subsequently the interests of multinational corporations. We believe that responsibility for these deaths rests with all of these parties."

"Ingrid and her companions gave the ultimate sacrifice ‹ their lives ‹ in the struggle for the attainment of human rights for Indigenous Peoples. State Department support will increase the militarization of a country already fraught with one of the highest rates of violence in the western hemisphere, and a state continuing violence against Indigenous peoples. It is against violence, and for the life of the people and the land, that Ingrid, and the others stood. Ingrid, as well as her companions, viewed the situation of the U'wa as a part of the global struggle for Indigenous self determination as well as the preservation of the natural environment. The deaths of our three companeros must be understood as having a direct relationship to the many thousands of deaths of those who seek human justice not only in Colombia but throughout the world."

"The Indigenous Women's Network and others will do our utmost to see that justice is done and that we will continue Ingrid's fight in her support of the U'wa Peoples and all those who work for social justice."

"We also demand that financial support to the Colombian military be withdrawn until the true facts surrounding the deaths are revealed. As women, we are the Mothers of our Nations. We share the responsibility of being lifegivers, nurturers and sustainers of life ‹ as Mother Earth is a life giver. The Indigenous Women's Network is committed to nurturing our children and planting seeds of truth for generations to come. We do not want to repeat past mistakes. We will continue our work to eliminate the oppression of colonization, and to end the Indian wars."

"The Indigenous Women's Network demand that the parties responsible for the abduction and execution of Ingrid Washinawatok, Terence Freitas, and Lahe'ena'e Gay, be brought to justice."

"In the Spirit of Mother Earth, The Indigenous Women's Network"
full article

At this time, there are no other suspects in custody.


Ingrid Washinawatok 1957-1999


Lahe'ena'e Gay 1960-1999


Terry Freitas 1975-1999

Please visit these websites
U'wa Rainforest Portal
Indigenous Women's Network

Will Cheney ever see the light?

The Vice-President of the United States continues to hide in the darkness of denial. Whenever it appears the rays of reality may penetrate his lair, Cheney rushes forth to block the illumination with his draperies of delusion.

In an earlier blog entry, we gave some background on the 4 most popular Iraqi/al Qaeda connections. Though objective investigations conducted by countless writers, journalists and the 9/11 commission have found that there was no collaboration or cooperation between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, Dick Cheney has continued to insist that there was a "connection." This "connection" was a series of contacts, in the Sudan, occuring in 1994. All available evidence has led analysts to conclude that the contacts never developed into a collaborative relationship. All credible evidence suggests that the overtures from al Qaeda to Iraq began and ended in 1994.

Cheney has used a rhetorical ruse to give the impression that this isolated interaction was merely one incident in a long term collaboration. What Cheney usually says,citing this Sudan incident, is"al Qaeda and Iraq have ties that stretch back a decade." A more appropriate phrasing would be"al Qaeda and Iraq tried to establish ties, a decade ago, but nothing ever came of it."

When the New York Times reported that a 9/11 staff report established that there was "no collaboration" between Iraq and al Qaeda, Cheney was quick to condemn the NYT. He then took to the talk show circuit to repeat that Iraq and al Qaeda had ties and hinted that he was in possession of evidence that would support his claims.

Cheney is trying to confuse the issue by blurring the meaing between the words connection & collaboration. He is correct in stating that there was a connection . Just as there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and the United States. Just as their was a connection between Osama bin laden and the United States. However, there was no collaboration between al Qaeda and Iraq, at least before the U.S invaded Iraq. Collaboration means to work with one another as on a project. A connection is a link between 2 things, and doesn't signify a working relationship.

Today, the 9/11 commission once again clarified that they had no evidence that established a collaboration between Iraq and al Qaeda.

"The Sept. 11 commission is standing by its finding that al-Qaida had only limited contact with Iraq before the terrorist attacks.

The 10-member, bipartisan panel issued a one-sentence statement Tuesday saying it had access to the same information as Vice President Dick Cheney, who suggested strong ties between ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida.

That assertion was one of the justifications the Bush administration gave for going to war with Iraq. In a preliminary report released last month, the Sept. 11 commission cited contacts between Saddam's regime and Osama bin Laden but said there was no ``collaborative relationship.''

``After examining available transcripts of the vice president's public remarks, the 9/11 commission believes it has access to the same information the vice president has seen regarding contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq prior to the 9/11 attacks,'' the commission said.

Since no information was provided, the panel wished to make clear that after some double-checking it was basing its findings on the same intelligence and material that Cheney had, Democratic commissioner Timothy Roemer said in an interview.

``Our position is firm, unchanged and committed to our previous finding,'' said Roemer, a former congressman from Indiana. ``We have not discovered collaboration-cooperation between al-Qaida and Iraq in general terrorist activities across the world, against the United States.'' full article


Perhaps not trusting his self-restraint, Cheney had his spokesperson reply with this non-sequitor.

"`We are pleased with today's statement from the 9-11 commission, which puts to rest a non-story,'' Kevin Kellems said. ``As we have said all along, the administration has provided the commission with unprecedented access to sensitive information so they can perform their mission."

Kellem's answer may be puzzling but it was a more decent response than the type that Cheney has been making recently. A couple of weeks ago, Cheney had this to say to Sen Patrick Leahy while both were on the Senate floor.


Will Cheney ever see the light? By that I mean, will he ever acknowledge that there was no collaboration between al Qaeda and Iraq, prior to the U.S invasion? Or will he continue to hiss and snarl whenever he is approached with evidence that contradicts his ideological views?

Perhaps,in the coming months, Cheney will one day rise to find that all his efforts to protect himself from seeing the light will have been for naught. How he will respond I cannot say. But this is an image that comes to mind.

Bush signs Western Shoshone Bill

George Bush signed the "Western Shoshone Claims Distribution" bill into law this morning.

Excerpts from email announcement.

Stated Raymond Yowell, Western Shoshone National Council"I am utterly disappointed. It's unbelievable that the U.S. body that makes the laws has acted in this manner. The fight is not over. A fraud is a fraud - Individuals cannot sell out a nation and the bill, although a threat politically, does nothing to change our inherent rights or our Treaty rights. Congress and the President were informed of all the facts that touch upon this issue. We will use the Treaty of Ruby Valley to
stop Yucca Mountain and to protect our lands. Our title is still intact."

"The self-described, private group who pushed for this money are not members of any federally-recognized council and have no authority to speak on behalf of our Tribe or the Western Shoshone Nation.The Nevada legislators and the Bush Administration have been well-advised of this fact. The way this legislation was handled makes an absolute sham of the stated government to government relationship and responsibility of the U.S. government."Stated Hugh Stevens, Chairman of the Te-Moak Tribe of the Western Shoshone Nation. "Senator Reid has made numerous public commitments regarding resolving land issues for our communities. We will be looking for him to stand by that commitment in an expeditious fashion. We demand that our land issues be resolved in good faith in the same fashion as the distribution." He added.

Mary Gibson,"It's not over, we still exist and we still have our
rights to our land. It makes me sad and angry that myths continue to cloud the Truth in this country. This struggle isn't a Shoshone v. Shoshone battle, the underlying issue here is the U.S. responsibility and accountability for a Treaty with the Western Shoshone Nation. As long as the people in the U.S. allow this to happen it will
continue to happen."

We will post more information as it becomes available

articles-July07

Brazilian Indians defend homeland
Massacre over diamond rush
The Associated Press

July 7, 2004

ROOSEVELT INDIAN RESERVATION, Brazil · The diamond lode deep in the Amazon rain forest promised riches, that it was in a reservation belonging to a fierce warrior tribe seemed a mere detail to Antonio Jose Alves dos Santos.

He braved the Roosevelt River's swift currents, his gear tied tight in a sack, to slip past federal agents guarding the reservation. He hiked through the jungle for five days, carrying two weeks' worth of food on his back.

But something snapped with the reservation's Indians. They massacred 29 garimpeiros, as prospectors are known. full article

Graham inferno overruns towers

The Arizona Republic
Jul. 7, 2004 12:00 AM

SAFFORD - Fire swept over a $2 million cluster of communication towers in the Pinaleno Mountains on Tuesday as firefighters struggled to keep flames from reaching more than 100 summer cabins and a multimillion dollar observatory atop Mount Graham.

Fire management officers were unable to assess the damage to the towers and buildings atop Heliograph Peak late Tuesday night because of the heat but said pilots flying overhead reported they appeared to be standing. full article

Ottawa Hills to have new mascot

Wednesday, July 07, 2004
The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- Ottawa Hills High School is expected to have a new mascot by the end of the month.

Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Bert Bleke on Tuesday told board members Ottawa Hills Principal Martha Williams was continuing to talk with alumni and staff about a new name to replace Indians. full article

Maternal Mortality is Higher for Indigenous Groups

Washington, July 7, 2004
(PAHO)—Rates of infant and maternal mortality in indigenous communities are among the highest in the Americas, according to a new bulletin published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

In its most recent edition, "Healing our Spirit Worldwide"—PAHO's bulletin on indigenous health—notes that national averages often mask significant regional differences in these rates, citing the examples of Bolivia, Honduras and Guatemala. While overall maternal mortality in Bolivia, for example, stands at 390 per every 100,000 live births, in the department of Potosí, which has a larger indigenous population, the figure climbs to 496 per 100,000. full article

India-Research project to protect indigenous knowledge launched

New Delhi, July 7. (PTI): Delhi-based NGO Gene Campaign today launched a project to protect the indigenous knowledge (IK) of the local communities in India and said the intellectual rights of the tribal communities were in serious threat from the neglect visible in national and international policies.

"IK developed about biodiversity is the mainstay of the food and livelihood security of rural and tribal people and the key to sustainable growth. This is under serious threat today from the callous neglect visible in national and international policies," participants during the launch of 'Protection of Indigenous Knowledge of Biodiversity' said. full article

The way we were

In the Driver's Seat
By Tom Engelhardt

Here we are just past our Independence Day, past that moment in memory when the United States was, by active example, a "beacon of freedom" to the world, past the moment in memory when, as Barbara Ehrenreich reminded us in the New York Times on July 4th, the signers of the Declaration of Independence penned their names to the following line (Their George and Ours): "And for the support of this Declaration… we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." She adds:

"Today, those who believe that the war on terror requires the sacrifice of our liberties like to argue that 'the Constitution is not a suicide pact.' In a sense, however, the Declaration of Independence was precisely that. By signing Jefferson's text, the signers of the declaration were putting their lives on the line… If the rebel American militias were beaten on the battlefield, their ringleaders could expect to be hanged as traitors. They signed anyway, thereby stating to the world that there is something worth more than life, and that is liberty."

Now, let's leap a couple of centuries-plus and consider another group of Americans who signed onto what's looking more and more like an inadvertent (political) suicide pact. Our media washes over us like some mind-cleansing drug, so today, in the shambles of Bush administration Iraq policy, in the wake of Abu Ghraib, just beyond the "transition to Iraqi rule," it's difficult to recall what life was like back when the press was simply a lapdog; CBS's Dan Rather was burbling, "George Bush is the President, he makes the decisions and, you know, as just one American, he wants me to line up, just tell me where"; war was a swift, smiting blow (when was the last time you heard the phrase "shock and awe"?), and we were about to be anointed as the New Rome. full article

Translator in Eye of Storm on Retroactive Classification
By Anne E. Kornblut
Boston Globe

Monday 05 July 2004

Washington - Sifting through old classified materials in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, FBI translator Sibel Edmonds said, she made an alarming discovery: Intercepts relevant to the terrorist plot, including references to skyscrapers, had been overlooked because they were badly translated into English.

    Edmonds, 34, who is fluent in Turkish and Farsi, said she quickly reported the mistake to an FBI superior. Five months later, after flagging what she said were several other security lapses in her division, she was fired. Now, after more than two years of investigations and congressional inquiries, Edmonds is at the center of an extraordinary storm over US classification rules that sheds new light on the secrecy imperative supported by members of the Bush administration. full article

permit update

The city council postponed last nights hearing on the permit bill. It will be held next monday.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

A couple of examples of FOX's "balanced reporting"

There are a couple of newbites on FOX's website that summarize articles that have appeared on our blog as well. Those 2 articles are the change of mascots, by Southeast Missouri, and the renaming of squaw flat to switchback flat.

Here is how FOX lead to the first story about mascots


The Associated Press reports that Southeast Missouri State University will drop the Indian nicknames it uses for its sports teams in order to appease those who find them demeaning to Native American culture.full page


Notice the use of the word appease. One definition, and the context that FOX is attempting to place this action in, is to "yield to demands at the expense of one's principles." Recall that prior to the invasion of Iraq, France and Germany were derided as "Saddam appeasers."

Another way to rephrase that sentence would have been "Southeast Missouri State University will drop the indian epithet in an effort aimed at stopping the dehumanization of American Indians." You won't ever see that sentence on FOX.

Here is an excerpt from the second story entitled, "Squawking"
The state of Oregon has agreed to change the name of a spot near Klamath Falls from Squaw Flat to Switchback Flat following complaints from some locals that the former term is derogatory to Native Americans, reports the Herald and News.

The state Legislature has encouraged communities to go around changing the names of places around the state because the term "squaw" is considered derogatory in some circles even though etymologists have roundly dismissed the negative origins


In the first paragraph, the phrase "some locals" is substituted for "american indian community." This gives the impression that a couple of malcontents are making an issue out of a trivial matter.

In the second paragraph, they use "some circles" instead of the correct descriptor. The correct phrase could be "american indians." The claim that etymologists have "roundly dismissed the negative origins" contains at least 3 problems. First, their is no consensus among etymologists about the origins and the issue is hotly debated. Second, American Indians know what the word means regardless of the debate between etymologist. Thirdly, even if the origin was not negative (which it is at any rate)the present day connotation is derogatory.

I can claim that Peckerwood is simply an inversion of woodpecker, the origin of the term, and woodpeckers are majestic birds. Any sane person would recognize that peckerwood is considered an insult by present day standards. That is, unless their views are shaped by the "fair and balanced" reporting of FOX news.

Columbus curriculum article

We assume most Colorado AIM members have now seen yesterday's Karen Rouse article,Columbus' story getting native voices in curriculum,that was featured on the front page of the Denver Post. If not, here is the link to the article. link to article Bill, Steffi, Darius, Lance, Glenn and others did a lot of work on this curriculum and they should be congratulated for their efforts.

There are two words that don't appear in this article. Those words are "allege" and "claim." The word "allege" means to assert without proof. Every year, the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post coverage characterizes Colorado AIM's historically documented facts as "allegations." The conclusion their readers draw is that there is no proof that Columbus engaged in slavery, genocide, thievery etc. Every year, Colorado AIM submits the historically documented records to both papers, and every year both papers continue to ignore the material and imply that no proof exists for our fact based assertions. That neither of those words appear in this article may be a sign that the Denver Post has finally conceded that our arguments are based on documented facts. Whether the Rocky Mountain News can bring itself to recognize historical reality remains to be seen.

There is also an accurate timeline of TCD actions in relation to the columbus day weekend. It appears at the end of the article. What could have been added to the 2000 entry was that the reason over 100 TCD members were arrested was for attempting to enforce an agreement between TCD and Parade organizers. That was the year that the city of Denver and Community Relation Service (CRS) mediated an agreement between TCD and parade organizers, in which parade organizers agreed to drop Columbus while TCD agreed not to protest the parade. The city of denver stipulated that, if the parade organizers didn't uphold their end, their permit would be revoked. The parade organizers did renege and city officials, as well as CRS, claimed they couldn't enforce the agreement. 150 TCD members were arrested for attempting to enforce the agreement.

The article also quotes parade organizer, George Vendegnia, claiming his first amendment rights are being "assaulted" by protestors. This is the typical line used by parade supporters. It demostrates their ignorance of what the first amendment states.

The first amendment states"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "

TCD members ARE NOT members of Congress nor do they represent any government institution. If they would read the first amendment, they would see that TCD, as citiznes, also have a right to peaceably assemble. Keep that in mind whenever parade organizers continue to repeat their misinformed, 1st amendment mantra.

In a related matter, members of the Denver City Council are having their second reading of a proposal that would "tighten the permitting process"

City reining in parades
Columbus Day woes spur plan to tighten permitting process

By Kim Nguyen, Rocky Mountain News
June 24, 2004

City officials are trying to change the application process for parade permits before next Columbus Day to prevent clashes between Italian and American Indian groups.

Members of the Denver City Council Safety Committee approved a plan Wednesday that will make it harder for protest groups to get permits, while reducing the

"We want to accommodate the people who are legitimately interested in holding a parade," Assistant City Attorney Mary Toorman said.

In the past, the department has been flooded with applications from Columbus Day protesters. The new plan is designed to reduce the number of parade or special-events applications.

Specifically, the plan shortens the application period from 90 days to 70 days.

Also, applicants would have to pay a $50, nonrefundable fee for each request. Currently, applicants have to pay the fee only after they are granted a permit.


Anyone interested in this should attend the reading today. The City Council session begins at 5:30 pm, on the 4th floor of the City and County building.

Also, please pay a visit to the website of "Facing History and Ourselves" website

articles-July 06

Indigenous youth lose the will to live amid conflict in Colombia

Fri 2 Jul 2004

These children have little reason to smile as they face the threat of displacement in Unión Chogorodo along the Domingodo river, a tributary of Colombia's Atrato river.

APARTADO, Colombia, July 2 (UNHCR) – "The great beast is coming to devour our children" is how the elders of the Embera and Wounaan peoples describe it. In just over one year, 17 young people from indigenous communities in north-western Colombia, some as young as 12, have committed or attempted suicide.

"This is not normal. Suicide is never acceptable in indigenous culture," explains Gerard Fayoux who, as Head of UNHCR's Field Office Apartado, has worked for nearly four years in the region. "This is a sign of great distress in the communities."

The "great beast" that the elders refer to is none other than encroaching western civilization, brought by outsiders who during the last 500 years have been steadily usurping the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples of Colombia, forcing them deeper and deeper into the forest to escape death and destruction full article

Tribe asks people to visit, respect bridge
Marker of graves not to be climbed, has been harmed

By Alex Breitler,
July 6, 2004

HAYFORK -- It was known as "Kok-Chee-Chup-Chee" -- a sacred limestone arch where the Nor-Rel-Muk people received guidance from the spirits, and where elders taught youths the ceremonial ways of life.

In that year, at least 150 of the tribe's women and children were slaughtered by an angry posse near the cavelike formation.

Today the descendents of those killed in that brutal attack say the arch, now known as the "Natural Bridge," has been desecrated by rock climbers, partying teenagers and off-highway vehicles roaring over the many unmarked graves.

"We look at it like a slap in the face," said Nor-Rel-Muk chairman John Hayward of Trinity Center. "Even just the beauty of the place alone cries out for respect." full article

Arizona Tribe makes history

9 of 22 have elected female leaders

Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Jul. 6, 2004 12:00 AM

TUCSON - Herminia Frias on June 10 became the first woman ever elected to the job of leading the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, but statewide she has company: Nine of the state's 22 federally recognized tribes have female leaders.

The second- and third-largest Arizona tribes in terms of membership, the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, both with reservations in the Tucson area, each has broken with a long history of patriarchal tribal governments to elect chairwomen instead of men. The Navajo Nation, which is the state's largest American Indian tribe in terms of both membership and size, has yet to elect a female leader. full article

Official Western Shoshone Opposition to H.R. 884

July 02, 2004

Official Western Shoshone Opposition to H.R. 884
Apparently, there is some confusion over the number Western Shoshone Government Councils that are opposed to "The Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act" (H.R. 884). To provide some additional clarity here is the roster of Western Shoshone Tribal Council Resolutions opposing H.R. 884

LIST OF TRIBAL COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS IN OPPOSITION TO THE WESTERN SHOSHONE CLAIMS DISTRIBUTION BILL (H.R. 884/S. 618)
Western Shoshone Tribal Council Resolutions in Opposition to the Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Bill full article

Fleeing Guatemala
Central Americans Risk Lives to Reach El Norte

By LISA VISCIDI

In late April, Guatemalan President Oscar Berger visited Washington, DC to meet with various U.S. officials, including President George Bush. The two heads of state agreed to expedite the negotiation of open borders for the trade of goods between the United States and Guatemala, but the frontiers will remain mostly closed to immigrants. Although Bush promised six-month work visas to Guatemalan immigrants already living in the United States, he refused to grant them Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which affords greater benefits.

Meanwhile, border officials are cracking down, not only on immigrants entering the U.S. but also at the Mexican-Guatemalan border, which they are dubbing a new frontier in the war against terror. Mexico's 'Plan Sur,' initiated in 2001, is a U.S.-backed attempt to use Mexico's southern border as a buffer zone against illegal immigration from Central America. Increased control has drawn attention to this very porous border and to the rising flow of immigration in this part of Latin America. full article

The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War
A Study by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus

I. Costs to the United States

A. Human Costs

U.S. Military Deaths: Between the start of war on March 19, 2003, and June 16, 2004, 952 coalition forces were killed, including 836 U.S. military. Of the total, 693 were killed after President Bush declared the end of combat operations on May 1, 2003. Over 5,134 U.S. troops have been wounded since the war began, including 4,593 since May 1, 2003.

Contractor Deaths: Estimates range from 50 to 90 civilian contractors, missionaries, and civilian worker deaths. Of these, 36 were identified as Americans.

Journalist Deaths: Thirty international media workers have been killed in Iraq, including 21 since President Bush declared the end of combat operations. Eight of the dead worked for U.S. companies. full article

Disappearing Prisoners
Nat Hentoff

Are they dead? Are they alive? Where is the media? Does anybody out there care?

In a front-page article December 26, 2002, The Washington Post revealed that prisoners at a CIA interrogation center at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan were being subjected to abuses that veered on torture:

"The picture that emerges is of a brass-knuckled quest for information . . . in which the traditional lines between right and wrong, legal and inhumane, are evolving and blurred."

The media largely ignored the story, with the notable exceptions of The Economist and the indispensable Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker.
full article

Saturday, July 03, 2004

be back on tuesday

Be back on tuesday.

And now, some words from Frederick Douglas.

Given July 04, 1852

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced.

What to the American slave is your Fourth of July I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy's thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the every-day practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.
full speech

Friday, July 02, 2004

Marlon Brando-Blood brother to the Redman.

Okay, sorry about that title but I thought it captured the ridiculous 60's/70's headlines when the subject was Marlon Brando's support for American Indian activism. It was either that or "Marlon Brando-On the Reservationfront." Before anyone sends a chastising email, keep in mind that Brando tended to act in ways that were unconventional(in the WASPY sense), so he probably wouldn't mind a little diversion from the somber path.

For those that may not know, Marlon Brando passed away yesterday evening. He suffered lung failure at the UCLA medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He was 80 years old.

Marlon Brando was renowned as a brilliant actor. He played charcters that seared themselves into the consciousness of American pop culture. Brando's filmography in the 1950's includes;"A Street Named Desire,""The Wild one," and"On the Waterfront." He won his first Academy Award, for Best Actor in a lead
role, as Terry Malloy, in "On the Waterfront." In this film, Brando's character spoke the often repeated and imitated line "I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody instead of a bum, which is what I am."

Marlon Brando's work in the 1970's includes Colonel Kurtz, in "Apocalypse Now," and Vito Corleone, in "The Godfather." It was for playing Vito Corleone that Brando won his second Academy Award for Best Actor in a lead role.

This Academy Award Presentation was held on March 27, 1973. This took place during AIM's liberation of Wounded Knee. Rather than accept the Academy Award, Brando sent Sacheen Little Feather to decline the award and read a brief statement in support of the people in Wounded Knee. The media chose to portray this act as a bizarre publicity stunt but Indian people were aware that it was consistent with Brando's unapologetic support for American Indian activists and issues.

Marlon Brando was a friend of Clyde Warrior, one of the progenitors of the "Red Power" movement via the National Indian Youth Council. Along with the NIYC, Brando joined the Puyallups in their "fish-in" struggles in the early 60's. "Fish-ins" was the term used to describe the tactics by the indigenous Nations of the U.S Northwest in which they cast fishing nets in the traditions of their ancestors who signed treaties, guaranteeing their right to fish in such a manner. There were 6 treaties guaranteeing this right, beginning with the 1854 Treaty of Medicine Creek. Their method of fishing was illegal, according to state law, and they were routinely arrested by Washington State authorities.

On March 02, 1964, Marlon Brando and Clergyman, John Yaryan, were arrested for participating in a fish-in, alongside Puyallup leader, Bob Satiacum. Brando's arrest brought enormous media attention to the cause and the fish-ins politicized a whole generation young indian people.



Marlon Brando also gave support to the Occupation of Alcatraz. From November 20, 1969 to June 11, 1971, American Indians from all over held the island of Alcatraz. Alcatraz fueled the growing movement for Native rights and also created another generation of activists. Some of the people who organized the occupation or participated in it include, Richard Oakes, Wilma Mankiller and John Trudell. Brando, along with other celebrities, gave material support and visited the island in a show of solidarity.

Brando's support for the American Indian Movement became widely known when he declined to accept the Academy Award. His support didn't end with the liberation of Wounded Knee.

In "Ojibwa Warrior," Dennis Banks tells of Brando's aid when he was a fugitive with Leonard Peltier. Banks states that he and Peltier visited Brando's home in the fall of 1975. According to Banks, Brando gave them the keys to his motor home and handed Dennis a roll of money to help them on their way. Banks later counted the money and the amount came to $10,000 dollars. It was in Brando's motor home that Banks, Peltier, Anna Mae Aquash and Kamook Nichols were pulled over in, while driving on an Oregon Highway. Banks escaped, driving Brandos' motor home before abandoning it a few miles down the road, where Oregon State troopers shot it up.

Marlon Brandos' support for American Indian issues became less public over the years. Since the 70's, no actor of Brando's caliber has expressed the same level of support for American Indian issues. No actor ever may. Just as the era of activism in the 60's and 70's may never be duplicated, so may the conscientous actions of Marlon Brando be consigned to the past.

Marlon Brando. 1924-2004

Vernon and the spade

There is an interesting email posted on another site. It was sent by Willis Kills and he relates an observation that he made during the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud. I can't vouch for the veracity of his observation, but it does raise some interesting questions if his observation is accurate. His email is posted on another site but I'll post the first couple of paragraphs.

"My Relatives:

I have known this information for months as I seen it with my own eyes and it has been on my mind since that time. Now I'm thinking I must share it with the people so the people will know and can think on it.

I was at Arlo Looking Clouds trial. I was at that federal court building there in Rapid City that first morning. It was then that I seen Vernon Bellecourt going into the FBI building across the street. This was that first morning pretty early. I went over there like I was going to that little post office in same building and I seen Bellecourt go up to the feds in the elevator. full article

articles july 02

Feds investigating missing Indian Health Services funds

The Associated Press
PHOENIX - Federal authorities are investigating the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked to build new clinics and to rehabilitate structures in four Western states for American Indian health care.

Indian Health Services administrators in Phoenix said the investigation centers on whether a former director siphoned off a portion of those funds from the patient business office.full article

NCAI cool to apology

July 02, 2004
by: Jim Adams
UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Before accepting a Congressional resolution apologizing for past government misdeeds toward Indians, delegates at the National Congress of American Indians mid-year session had one question: Would it include a future apology for the bad things the government was doing right now?

In an angry floor speech, Barry Dana, chief of the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine, reported that his island reservation was the victim of a questionable Environmental Protection Agency decision weakening clean water controls on the river named for his tribe. "We want to go forward with a partnership," he said, "but it’s extremely difficult when the tribes are the only party living up to the treaty."

"An apology is just words on paper," he saidfull article

Protecting voting rights in Indian country
July 02, 2004
by: Sen. Tom Daschle

Two years ago, Native Americans across South Dakota set records for voter participation. Dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to register those eligible and get those voters to the polls. Their efforts produced amazing sights: young people voting for the first time, elderly men and women casting their first votes ever. We saw people reminding friends and family members to vote, telling them: "Every vote counts."

They were right. Sen. Tim Johnson was re-elected by just 524 votes.full article

Judge won't rule on gold mine suit

By Karen Ogden
Tribune Regional Editor

MISSOULA -- A federal court judge has declined to rule on whether the federal government broke its trust responsibility to the Fort Belknap Tribes in its oversight of the Zortman-Landusky gold mines.

Judge Donald Molloy said that his court has little relief to offer the tribes unless they directly challenge a 2002 environmental study and record of decision on the reclamation work.

The tribe's complaint with the court fails to challenge a specific agency action, Molloy said.full article

Ancient site a siren call to looters
Denver Post
Friday, July 02, 2004 -

Range Creek Canyon, Utah - Hundreds of tiny flags marked artifacts amid the ruins of a 1,000-year-old Fremont Indian village. The flags were the kind the cops use to identify evidence. So the place looked like a crime scene as much as an archaeological study.

In a way, it was.

University of Utah graduate student Joel Boomgarden stood amid the flags.

He said a pair of 3-inch stone knife blades discovered a few days before were missing.

Weeks after newspapers reported its existence, one of America's newest archaeological discoveries is under siege.

By the time a national media tour made its way to the rugged, remote site southeast of Salt Lake City on Wednesday, thieves already had arrived to begin spoiling a secret that rancher Waldo Wilcox protected for half a century:

Thousands of undisturbed ruins of ancient Native American habitats straddle a 12-mile stream here, dotting more than 1,000 acres and reaching as high as majestic mountain peaks.

With the help of federal money, the state of Utah bought Wilcox's jewel. Whether the government can now preserve it is a crapshoot.full article

Restoring Some Balance
by Alan Bock
July 02

There is certainly some justification for being less than completely satisfied, as Elaine Cassel certainly is, with the Supreme Court's decisions this week on people detained without trial or access to friends, family or lawyers by the Bush administration, notably Jose Padilla, Yaser Esam Hamdi and the 600 or so foreign fighters held in the military prison at Guantanomo. The decisions did, after all, affirm relatively broad powers for the president, during time of war or congressionally-affirmed crisis.

On balance, however, civil libertarians should be somewhat pleased with the outcomes here. One could argue that the court slapped down the Bush administration – as it did, if not as firmly as some of us would have liked – in part because the original claims the administration made for its powers during wartime were so breathtakingly outrageous that the judicial branch had to act, and that by making such extreme claims the administration might have achieved as much as it really wanted with the final outcome. But some conservatives are screaming (though it's not out of line to consider that some commentators are part of the coalition of the duped), and the administration's freedom of action really has been circumscribed, at least a bit.

The bottom line, as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor put it in the Hamdi case, is that the court "made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."full article

Moore's Public Service
Published: July 2, 2004

Columnist Page: Paul Krugman

Since it opened, "Fahrenheit 9/11" has been a hit in both blue and red America, even at theaters close to military bases. Last Saturday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his Nascar crew to see it. The film's appeal to working-class Americans, who are the true victims of George Bush's policies, should give pause to its critics, especially the nervous liberals rushing to disassociate themselves from Michael Moore.

There has been much tut-tutting by pundits who complain that the movie, though it has yet to be caught in any major factual errors, uses association and innuendo to create false impressions. Many of these same pundits consider it bad form to make a big fuss about the Bush administration's use of association and innuendo to link the Iraq war to 9/11. Why hold a self-proclaimed polemicist to a higher standard than you hold the president of the United States?

And for all its flaws, "Fahrenheit 9/11" performs an essential service. It would be a better movie if it didn't promote a few unproven conspiracy theories, but those theories aren't the reason why millions of people who aren't die-hard Bush-haters are flocking to see it. These people see the film to learn true stories they should have heard elsewhere, but didn't. Mr. Moore may not be considered respectable, but his film is a hit because the respectable media haven't been doing their job. full article

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Canadian Gov't regroups after "Luna (Tsuxiit) Rescue" debacle

On Wednesday, June 16, Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans(DFO) set out to lead a 4 year old killer whale(Luna)into a pen before relocating it to an area off Puget Sound. The Whale was living off Vancouver Island, in the traditional territory of the Mowachaht / Muchalaht First Nations.

The Mowachaht/Muchalaht call the area Yuquot(Friendly Cove).


They also had their own name for the whale, Tsuxiit.The Mowachaht/Muchalaht believe that Tsuxiit embodies the spirit of a deceased leader and they were opposed to the plans to remove Tsuxiit in the manner proposed by the DFO. The Mowachaht/Muchalaht felt the whale should not leave until the community had a memorial potlatch that signals the end of their mourning period which can last from 1 to 4 years. The Mowachaht/Muchalaht explained the reverence they hold for Orcas and why they opposed the DFO's tactics for removing Tsuxiit.

"The community affirmed their spiritual and cultural ties to Tsuxiit and resolved that the whale be treated with the greatest of respect in all aspects of its life and our life"

"For us there is a spiritual significance to it all," said Maquinna."Throughout our culture the whale and the wolf are very prominent mammals and animals in our teachings."

"It is unacceptable to the Muchalaht people that Tsuxiit be incarcerated in an aquarium if the experimental relocation fails"

"There is a power of the whale that has been offered to us," Maquinna said. "It is a story that needs to be told."

"We have consistently told people to remember to have high respect for the whale," Maquinna said.

Maquinnas' people first encountered the killer whale swimming alone in Nootka Sound the day after their elder chief, Ambrose Maquinna, died. He was Mike Maquinnas' father and one in an ancient line chiefs. Before his death, the chief expressed his desire to return to his people as a kaka win, or killer whale, a supernatural being of great significance to native people in both Canada and the United States. Killer whales are the enforcers of the natural laws of the sea, just as wolves are the enforcers on land, according to a written explanation issued by the Muchalaht community.
full article

The DFO's plans were to lead Tsuxiit into a net pen. After undergoing medical tests, he would then be put into a sling which a crane would lift into a container. The container would then be transported 200 miles, by truck, to the area of relocation. He would then be held in a pen until his pod swam by. It was hoped that he would swim out to meet them when released. If Tsuxiit failed to leave the pen, the DFO had a contingency plan to place him in an acquarium.

The Mowachaht/Muchalaht were concerned that Tsuxiit would be harmed or would likely end up imprisoned in an aquarium if the DFO followed through on it's plan. The band's chief, Mike Maquinna, proposed that they lead Tsuxiit to the relocation by canoes. It was felt this was a safer method and eliminated the possibility of Tsuxiit being put in an aquarium. The DFO rejected this alternative.

On April, 08, 2004, DFO officials met with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht council.
Questions of "What if" started to rise towards DFO and Vancouver Aquarium. "What if he doesn't take to his pod, then what?" asked Mike Maquinna. "What if he plays with the boats down there, then what?"

Marilyn Joyce(DF0) responded with, "I have to come up with a plan if he does not take to his pod in the next couple weeks, and the final decision will be coming from the Ministry."

"With your plans of removing the whale you are infringing on their religious beliefs and they (Mowachaht/Muchalaht) have met the requirements in documentation. Can you lay out all the options you may have?" said Roger Dunlop of the NTC Fisheries.

"Our first option is to help him reunite with his pod if they go by here. Our second option is to let him swim into a pen on his own, or third we use a tail rope to get him into the pen or finally enclose him with a net," said Joyce. "Being a sensitive topic of using an aquaculture pen we have had discussions with Conuma Hatchery to use one of their pens," said Marilyn.

"So you are going to do this regardless of what we say, aren't you?" said Jerry Jack.

Hesitantly Marilyn Joyce responded with a "Yes".full article

The DFO went ahead with it's plans to lure Tsuxiit into a pen. Unbeknownst to the DFO, the Mowachaht/Muchalaht had a plan of their own and had reached Tsuxiit first.
Plans to capture Luna the killer whale have been thwarted by First Nations protesters who have led the orca away from the pen set to trap him.

a group of aboriginals set out in war canoes on Wednesday morning and led Luna away. At last report, the whale was 10 kilometres down Nootka Sound.

CBC News reporter Alan Waterman reports the aboriginals are singing to the orca and using drums to lure him from the scientists on DFO boats.full article



Said Maquinna,"Some people see it as a protest. We don't. It's just some people getting in canoes and singing some songs and a whale happens to be about. We've done this for thousands of years."

After a few days, the DFO postponed their efforts to capture Tsuxiit, vowing to resume the effort the following week. They succeeded in leading Tsuxiit into an inlet on June 22.
Luna close to capture
WebPosted Jun 22 2004 05:16 PM PDT

GOLD RIVER, B.C. - The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has led Luna the killer whale into an inlet off the west coast of Vancouver Island, near the pen where scientists hope to trap him.

DFO spokesperson Marilyn Joyce says they are letting him get used to the area before trying to lure him into the pen. full article

However, the next day, Tsuxiit swam out of the underwater pen, located in the inlet.

Close, but no capture.

The elusive lone orca nicknamed Luna remained free last night, swimming in and out of an underwater net pen off the northwest coast of British Columbia's Vancouver Island before swimming off to join nearby Indians paddling canoes

Yesterday, a trio motorboats from Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, led Luna for several hours toward the pen, but the orca became distracted by the singing canoers and turned awayfull article


The next day, Tsuxiit again managed to avoid capture.
Luna continued to elude his Canadian captors yesterday, swimming with canoes paddled by Vancouver Island Indians who oppose plans to catch the wayward killer whale.

On Tuesday, officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were able to repeatedly lead Luna with motorboats into underwater net pens.

But each time, the 4-year-old orca slipped out before the net was closed. It appeared that Luna, known scientifically as L-98, thought the exercise was a game. He would even push the lead boat into the pen and then escape.

At one point, he corralled three boats into his presumptive cage before slipping away.

Capture efforts are expected to resume today, and government officials and Indian leaders are still in negotiations.full article


The DFO is now facing criticism for the debacle. Questions are also being raised as to why they ignored the First Nation peoples when they tried to work out a solution.
Forced to suspend the operation a week ago after running into stiff resistance from local Indians, Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans is now being chastised by members of its own international advisory panel.

The plan to capture the orca, named Luna, was abruptly called off after a band of Vancouver Island Indians derailed the effort for more than a week by entering Nootka Sound in dugout canoes and drawing the whale to them by making a racket -- singing and banging paddles.

Critics say the aquatic tug of war waged by the Mowachaht/Muchalaht band with the government may have been averted had First Nation representatives been included in the planning process, as recommended.

"The band has a legitimate grievance here," said Paul Spong, a member of the advisory panel and executive director of OrcaLab, a B.C.-based research group.

Some of the 17-member panel's independent scientists are also publicly questioning the underlying strategy calling for Luna's capture and urging consideration of an alternative reunification plan, including one supported by the Native Canadians. That alternative calls for leading the orca by boat from the northwest coast of Vancouver Island to the Puget Sound pod from which he became separated three years ago.

Although some responsible for the capture say the Mowachaht/Muchalaht protest was "unexpected," the band's position on the matter was no secret.

At least as early as last fall, Indian leaders told the government they were opposed to his capture. They said they had spiritual and cultural ties to Luna and wanted to be included in the relocation planning.

Spong said the government "heard what the band said and went along on their merry way -- and ended up in a situation where there were decisions made by (the government) exclusively, and the band was informed of the decision."

Now the $450,000 project is on hold -- the underwater net pens have been dismantled and the crew of some two dozen orca experts has departed -- while Fisheries and Oceans officials and First Nation representatives attempt to negotiate a solution.

"Mowachaht/Muchalaht went through the process of meeting with (Fisheries and Oceans) and writing (to) them and expressing their concerns, which were ignored at their peril," said Roger Dunlop, the band's fisheries biologist.

"You're starting to see some people asserting their rights," he said. "This was something that couldn't be tolerated."full article

Acting in a way that ignores the righs of Native Nations while dismissing their spiritual knowledge is nothing new for government officials. It's an attitude and behavior that leads to conflicts that could have been resolved, had Native people been given even a modicum of respect and treated as equals. Had the Mowachaht/Muchalaht not taken to the water, their aspirations would not even be a matter of discussion to Canadian officials. By doing so, they have gained the attention of Canadian officials as well as serving as an inspiration to Indigenous peoples who are tired of being ignored.

9/11-the first act of terrorism in this land?

Today, Media Monitors Network has published an essay entitled "The Terrorism in my Homeland: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives" by Frank M. Afflitto. The focus is on the genocide of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas.

Most Indigenous Peoples understand that terrorism did not begin on September 11, 2001. Our histories contain stories of genocide and the extermination of our relatives. This is a history that isn't well received by your average U.S citizen. So it's refreshing to see people like Frank Afflitto taking an honest look at the history of the U.S and the historical amnesia of "terrorism" prior to Sep 11.

An excerpt

Frank M. Afflitto
(Thursday 01 July 2004)

"It has often been parroted that the September 11th attacks were the "worst terrorist events on U.S. soil", etc. The propagandists claim that never before had such violence, on such a scale, been conducted on U.S. soil. I heartily disagree and here's why..."

Defining Terrorism

While I won’t go into defining terrorism, saving those long-winded thoughts for an academic article that I am working on, it is important to note that there exist well over one hundred definitions based in academic, political-governmental, human rights and law enforcement literatures. In the most recent twist, the U.S. has claimed that the attacks of September 11th were, in fact, terrorist because they were acts of violence, primarily aimed at civilians, when no war was, in fact, officially declared. This weak definition, though I don’t argue against the qualifying of the September 11th acts on the World Trade Center as abominations, allows, perfunctorily, for the killing of civilians en masse from bombers and shooting and shelling, as long as there exists an officially-declared state of war.

Thus, like many definitions of terrorism, the one currently in vogue by Federal powers of the Bush regime allows the U.S. governmental forces to escape prosecution or admonition while engaging in anti-civilian slaughter, qualifying it as “collateral damage”, unintentional and lamentable, as long as it takes place in the course of somehow declared hostilities. The Israeli regime has pretty much the same take on the matter.

If one were, however, to concentrate on the mass extermination, or threatened extermination, or generation of fear of extermination, of civilians, one would have to, forthwith, come to the conclusion that terrorism in the U.S. has a long history. Such terrorism does not need to be instantaneous… it can be slow, over extended periods, as I am about to claim and hopefully demonstrate.

The First Peoples

The First, or Original, Peoples, of the North American continent, forever misnomered Native Americans, or American Indians, have been, arguably the worst victims of terrorism in this country. Such terrorism continues today, in many sordid forms and manifestations.

For example, we all know that many nations of original peoples were simply exterminated in what is now the United States of America. Their extermination in many cases, or near-extermination in some cases, for the historical record, included:full article

articles-july 01

The Oldest Americans May Prove Even Older (as if we didn't already know this)
June 29, 2004
By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD

ARNWELL, S.C., June 24 - On a hillside by the Savannah River, under tall oaks bearded with Spanish moss, an archaeologist and a graduate student crouched in the humid depths of a trench. They had reason to think they were in the presence of a breathtaking discovery.

Or at the least, they were on to something more than 20,000 years old that would throw American archaeology into further turmoil over its most contentious issue: when did people first reach America, and who were they?

The sandy soil of the trench walls was flecked with pieces of chert, the source of flint coveted by ancient toolmakers. Some of the stone flakes appeared to be unfinished discards. Others had the sharp-edged look of more fully realized blades, chisels and scrapers. Long ago, it seemed, Stone Age hunter-gatherers had frequently stopped here and, perhaps, these toolmakers were among the first Americans.full article

Out of Africa move almost completed

Laura Dobbins
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 1, 2004 12:00 AM

FORT MCDOWELL - With the exception of 14 large animals that require extra care, critters from Out of Africa Wildlife Park have been moved in time to a new home in the Verde Valley.

The wildlife park had until Wednesday to relocate most of the more than 300 animals, but the Fort McDowell Tribal Council is allowing park operators until July 30 to moved the rest: a pair of giraffes, five zebras, four wildebeests and three sables. Those animals require special handling and transportation.full article

Green Party Supports Clemency for Leonard Peltier
Via email notification

The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has just received a phone call
from the office of David Cobb informing us that Cobb and his running
mate, Pat LaMarche fully support clemency for Leonard Peltier. We were
also informed that the phone call was in response to the several emails
that Cobb has been receiving regarding Leonard. Leonard's supporters
have spoken and the voices have been heard. Good job everyone!

David Cobb, a California lawyer originally from Texas, has been
nominated to be the Green Party's Presidential candidate. Pat LaMarche,
who has formerly run for Governor of Maine will be Mr. Cobb's running
mate for vice-president. A statement regarding Leonard will be made
during their major speeches and a formal statement will be issued
shortly.

Mitakuye Oyasin

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Monteau: Coyote Valley, The legacy of the Supreme Court’s Inyo County decision builds

Posted: July 01, 2004
Harold A. Monteau / Partner / Monteau & Peebles, LLP

In my last article (Vol. 23, Iss. 49), I asked the question, "Who’s next?" to receive overly aggressive police state tactics in the name of law enforcement. Well, we now know the answer; it is the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians Rancheria in California.

The Inyo County atrocity has happened again, right before the national holiday dedicated to remembering the soldiers who have fallen while fighting to retain the freedom of this country and when our people honor the Indian men and women now serving in combat zones around the world in disproportionate numbers in comparison to our representation in the overall population. We honor these gallant men and women because we, as Indian people, believe in the cause of freedom and the promises made to us. Promises guaranteed not only in Indian treaties, but also in the United States Constitution. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure is one of the fundamental rights granted citizens in the Bill of Rights. Yet the current attitude of federal, state and local governments of this country, emboldened by the recent decisions of the Supreme Court, seems to be that Indians have no rights with regard to the protections found in the U.S. Constitution.full article

A cut-and-run transition
Tom Dispatch

When the "transition" moment occurred in Baghdad -- so tightly was the secret held that not even comrade-in-arms Tony Blair knew the schedule -- George Bush, in Turkey for the NATO summit, is reported to have turned to the British Prime Minister. "Stealing a glance at his watch to make sure the transfer [of sovereignty] had occurred, Bush put his hand over his mouth to guard his remarks, leaned toward Blair and then put out his hand for a shake."

That was in keeping with the moment. And momentary it was. An unannounced five-minute, "furtive" ceremony, two days early, on half an hour's notice, in a "nondescript room" in the new Iraqi prime minister's office, under a blanket of security, with snipers on adjoining rooftops in the heavily fortified Green Zone, "before only a handful of Iraqi and U.S. officials and journalists." A few quick, polite lies (L. Paul Bremer III: "I have confidence that the Iraqi government is ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead"), a few seconds of polite clapping by the attendees. That was it. Sovereignty transferred. The end. full article

CIA Felt Pressure to Alter Iraq Data, Author Says
Agency analysts were repeatedly ordered to redo their studies of Al Qaeda ties to Hussein regime, a terrorism expert charges.
By Greg Miller

July 1, 2004

WASHINGTON — In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA analysts were ordered repeatedly to redo intelligence assessments concluded that Al Qaeda had no operational ties to Iraq, according to a veteran CIA counter-terrorism official who has written a book that is sharply critical of the decision to go to war with Iraq.

Agency analysts never altered their conclusions, but saw the pressure to revisit their work as a clear indication that Bush administration officials were seeking a different answer regarding Iraq and Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the CIA officer said in an interview with The Times.full article