DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: BREACH OF TRUST
SUBSECTION: NATIVE AMERICANS
Washington Post 2/26/99 Editorial "...Judge Lamberth on Monday held Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in contempt of court for the government's failure over more than two years to produce discovery material related to a class-action lawsuit by a group of Native Americans. The plaintiffs allege that the government mishandled money held in trust on their behalf, and demand an accounting of the trust, a restoration of the true value of the trust accounts and an end to the trust's abuse. Because Judge Lamberth is prone to harsh language, particularly when government conduct is at issue, one may be tempted to read with a certain cynicism statements such as, "The federal government here did not just stub its toe. . . . I have never seen more egregious misconduct by the federal government." Yet the government's conduct in the litigation is, as Judge Lamberth alleges, "a shocking pattern of deception of the court." This is particularly so in light of the gross mismanagement that gave rise to the litigation. This money is not a welfare program but the property of individual Indians, proceeds of the use of land that was allotted to them but held in trust by the federal government.... "
Indian Country Today 6/10/99 David Melmer "... It was a long time coming, but the courts must now decide whether or not the federal government was derelict in its trust responsibility to 300,000 American Indian people. The largest class action lawsuit in history is about Individual Indian Money accounting procedures..... District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered an investigation and report on the condition of the records throughout the BIA system. The appointed special master submitted the report to the court June 2 with the provision it would not become public before Judge Lamberth ordered it opened. Jim McCarthy, spokesperson for the plaintiffs, said they expect the report to show that records were kept in barns and other buildings that were condemned, verifying massive disarray. He also said the report will show continued destruction of records. The IIM trust fund problem carries the label of the largest, longest, financial scandal in the nation, according to Cobell and attorneys for the Native American Rights Fund. The 300,000 account holders demand accountability. Cobell accused the BIA and Department of Interior of losing, misplacing or destroying documents that could reconcile lost funds. According to the Cobell, the loss amounts to billions of dollars. "Justice is just around the corner for Native Americans," said Robert Peregoy, counsel for the plaintiffs. "It was estimated that it would cost $281 million just to reconcile those IIM accounts and at the end of the day any information they came up with would be virtually worthless because of the missing, lost and destroyed records," he said. The money belongs to individuals, not the federal government, but is managed in trust by the U.S. Treasury and administered by the Department of Interior...... "The federal government in actuality has no idea how much of our money it has; how much of our money it should have; how much of our money it has lost; or how much of our money that could easily be and may be stolen every single day.....The government readily admitted documents were lost and a change in the reconciliation is required. In fact, in affidavits from former members of Solicitor's Office in the Department of Interior, the assertion is that some of the records were deliberately destroyed. This accusation is strongly denounced by Babbitt and Gover. The road to trial is paved with controversy and mountains of legal paperwork including a contempt charge against Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, Assistant Secretary Kevin Gover and Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin. Judge Royce Lamberth issued the contempt charges for failure to follow a court order to submit documents...... Babbitt and Gover were subjected to harsh criticism from Congress. Former Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee John McCain, R-Ariz., criticized the BIA for its handling of the trust funds and when Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., became chairman of the same committee he continued the barrage of criticism......."
Washington Post 7/10/99 Bill Miller "…Portraying himself as an ardent supporter of Native Americans, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt told a federal judge yesterday that he is committed to overhauling a problem-ridden trust fund system maintained on their behalf. … Babbitt's testimony came at the trial of a class action lawsuit by the Native American Rights Fund that accuses the federal government of mismanaging billions of dollars in Indian trust accounts. The presiding U.S. district judge, Royce C. Lamberth, has repeatedly criticized the government's failure to improve an antiquated record system and has openly considered naming a special master to oversee reform….. It's not the first time Lamberth and Babbitt have tangled. Earlier this year, the judge held Babbitt, Assistant Interior Secretary Kevin Gover and Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin in contempt of court for failing to ensure that records essential to the case were turned over to attorneys for the Indians…. The trial will determine what to do with roughly 350,000 trust accounts held by individual Indians. The trust funds were established more than 100 years ago to compensate Indians for use of their land; the government is supposed to manage the accounts and pass along royalties from the sale of petroleum, timber and other natural resources taken from the land. In all, the government deposits approximately $350 million per year into the accounts. Both sides agree that record-keeping historically has been a mess and that there has never been an adequate accounting. The Indians contend they should be eligible to collect billions of dollars in damages. Attorneys for the Native Americans maintain that the trusts have been mishandled and neglected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) -- an arm of the Interior Department -- and the Treasury Department, which invests the money. Much of Babbitt's testimony dealt with his response to legislation passed by Congress in 1994 requiring massive trust reforms. The legislation called upon Clinton to name a special trustee for Indians, and he chose Paul M. Homan, a trust specialist and former president of Riggs National Bank. Although Babbitt initially recommended Homan for the job, the two had a public falling-out that led to Homan's resignation earlier this year. Homan has testified that Babbitt never gave him enough money or staff to make significant progress. Among other things, he complained that Babbitt opposed his plans to create an outside agency to handle the trust system…."
Landow, a friend of Gore, raised a total of $600,000 for Clinton/Gore in 92 and 96, allegedly pressured Kathleen Willey to be silent, was involved in a hotel/casino project with Joe Nesline, Edward Cellini and a representative of the Gambino crime family, sought a multi-million dollar contract with the Cheyenne/Arapaho Indian tribes and offered to lobby for the tribes with Peter Knight, former Clinton/Gore campaign manager. Michael Copperthite stated that Landow urged him to lie to investigators about the Indian tribe land deals/fundraising.
Sacramento Bee 7/27/98 Mary Lynne Vellinga "In the months leading up to the June primary, the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians emerged as a generous backer of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gray Davis. The tribe, which operates the Fantasy Springs Casino outside Palm Springs, spent nearly $ 10,000 to charter airplanes for Davis on four separate occasions, and donated an additional $ 100,000 in cash to Davis' campaign, according to campaign reports.Moreover, two executives of the Cabazon Band were indicted in June for allegedly laundering thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to candidates for federal office, including President Clinton."
AP 3/10/99 "…President Clinton asked Congress for $15 million Wednesday to cover Interior Department expenses defending itself in a lawsuit over Indian trust funds. … The lawsuit, filed on behalf of some 3,000 individual Indian money accounts against the Interior and Treasury departments, alleges mismanagement of $500 million in Indian trust funds. The money includes lease revenue, royalties and court settlements. A federal judge last month found Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in contempt of court over their delay in producing records sought by five account holders who filed the lawsuit. The administration was ordered to pay legal fees the plaintiffs incurred while waiting for the records…."
WorldNetDaily 2/16/99 Charlton Heston at Harvard "….Let me read a few examples. At Antioch college in Ohio, young men seeking intimacy with a coed must get verbal permission at each step of the process from kissing to petting to final copulation ... all clearly spelled out in a printed college directive. In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who had been infected by dentists who had concealed their AIDS --- the state commissioner announced that health providers who are HIV-positive need not. .. need not ... tell their patients that they are infected. At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school team "The Tribe" because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs truly like the name. In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for transsexuals to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery. In New York City, kids who don't speak a word of Spanish have been placed in bilingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely because their last names sound Hispanic. At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially set up segregated dormitory space for black students…. Finally, just last month ... David Howard, head of the Washington D.C. Office of Public Advocate, used the word "niggardly" while talking to colleagues about budgetary matters. Of course, 'niggardly' means stingy or scanty. But within days Howard was forced to publicly apologize and resign. As columnist Tony Snow wrote: "David Howard got fired because some people in public employ were morons who (a) didn't know the meaning of 'niggardly,' (b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the meaning, and (c) actually demanded that he apologize for their ignorance." What does all of this mean? It means that telling us what to think has evolved into telling us what to say, so telling us what to do can't be far behind….. It scares me to death, and should scare you too, that the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason… Right now at more than one major university, Second Amendment scholars and researchers are being told to shut up about their findings or they'll lose their jobs. Why? Because their research findings would undermine big-city mayor's pending lawsuits that seek to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from firearm manufacturers. I don't care what you think about guns. But if you are not shocked at that, I am shocked at you…."
Washington Times Jerry Seper 3/22/99 Freeper A Whitewater Researcher "…EXCERPTS: "An Interior Department official who told a Senate committee this month the department's oversight of Indian trust funds was being properly administered and sufficiently funded took a contrary position in a confidential memo last year...Thomas Thompson, apparently changed his mind after being named to replace Special Trustee Paul Homan, his former boss, who oversaw the fund. Mr. Homan resigned amid accusa tions that Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt stripped him of the independence, authority and funding he needed to do the job....Mr. Thompson, in a July 1998 memo...said he was "grateful" he did not run the program and outlined numerous concerns he had abou t the department's ability to implement the Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994. The act directs the department to oversee "effectively and efficiently" the fund and to provide the necessary budget to get the job done....An audit by the Arthur Anders en accounting firm said the BIA could not account for $2.4 billion in transactions …"
Washinton Times 4/1/99 Jerry Seper "... A former aide to President Clinton who warned against White House involvement in the Interior Department's denial of an Indian casino license has testified in an expanding grand jury probe. The investigation has broadened to include records subpoenaed from several key players, including a Miami businessman who owned a dog track that Wisconsin Chippewas wanted to convert to a casino to bolster their flagging economy. The businessman, Fred Havenick, has told independent counsel Carol Elder Bruce that Clinton-Gore Re-election Campaign officials were involved in denying the license, that a top campaign aide bragged about helping to kill the application by three Chippewa tribes, and that an Interior Department official told him "politics" was the reason. The grand jury is probing accusations that Mr. Clinton and White House officials -- including Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes and Deputy Counsel Bruce Lindsey -- ordered Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to deny the license in July 1995 after rival tribes, looking to protect their own gaming interests, promised $500,000 to Mr. Clinton's re-election...."
AP 6/7/99 "...A court-appointed investigator found the government still handles American Indian trust records carelessly more than three months after two Cabinet officials were held in contempt of court over them. In a report issued Monday, the official said trust documents are stored in ``patently substandard conditions'' at several Bureau of Indian Affairs offices he inspected recently. At Anadarko, Okla., records were kept in wooden sheds. Files were spilled loosely around and stuffed in unmarked boxes strewn among truck tires, the report said. Alan Balaran was appointed a special master in a lawsuit against the government after U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth found Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in contempt for delaying the turnover of trust records. The judge said he had ``never seen more egregious misconduct'' by the government. The lawsuit alleges the government has been mishandling the accounts for decades. They include 300,000 accounts held by individual Indians, subjects of the lawsuit, and an additional 1,600 tribal accounts worth $2.5 billion. The money includes lease revenue, royalties and court settlements. Balaran recommended the judge order safeguarding of the documents. ``The absence of an order affirmatively mandating the preservation of Indian trust records risks the possibility that the deficiencies ... will continue unchecked and that the opportunity for a meaningful accounting will be forever lost,'' Balaran wrote....."
Universal Press Syndicate 6/9/99 JOHN LEO "....LEFT-wing censorship is not yet a major issue, but observe the tide rising: campus speech codes and conduct codes monitoring "verbal behavior," the theft and destruction of dissenting college newspapers, government attempts to ban Indian team nicknames, campaigns to cancel or shout down speakers opposed to affirmative action, the increasing use of harassment policies to silence opponents or get them fired. If you wonder where the slippery slope leads, take a look at Canada, which is a bit ahead of the United States in sensitivity censorship. In Ontario, it's an offense to say or write anything that might incite someone to violate any of 15 listed grounds of discrimination. And under Canadian human rights legislation, truth is not a defense....."
THE WASHINGTON TIMES 7/1/99 Jerry Seper "...Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt testified yesterday before a federal grand jury probing whether his 1995 denial of a casino license to three Wisconsin Indian tribes was based on promises by rival tribes to make campaign donations to President Clinton's 1996 re-election. His testimony came as independent counsel Carol Elder Bruce begins to wrap up a 14-month investigation into accusations that Mr. Babbitt's July 14, 1995, decision against three Chippewa tribes was the result of political influence. The Chippewas' application had been pending before the Interior Department for two years and had been approved by the department's regional Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mr. Babbitt's reversal set into motion a "campaign strategy" by anti-casino tribal leaders, who eventually gave $270,000 to the Democratic Party for the 1996 campaign. In a lawsuit filed after the license was denied, the Chippewas argued that the access of their rivals swayed Mr. Babbitt's decision, in particular because of promised campaign donations.....In a final draft of their report on campaign finance abuse, Republicans on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee concluded that Mr. Babbitt was not truthful. The report said Mr. Babbitt "had both Harold Ickes and political contributions on his mind on the day of the decision." "From all the circumstances, there appears to be a direct relationship between the activities of the Department of the Interior and contributions received by the [Democratic National Committee] and [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] from the opposition tribes," the report said.....The grand jury has heard testimony from Loretta Avent, a White House specialist on Indian affairs, who counseled Mr. Ickes on the "legal and political implications of our involvement." She said in an April 1995 memo it would be "disastrous" for the White House to be involved in any decision by Mr. Babbitt on the license. Mrs. Avent wrote that the issue should stay within the Interior Department, adding: "The press is just waiting for this kind of story. We don't want to give it to them." On the same day Mr. Babbitt denied the license, Patrick J. O'Connor, a lobbyist for the rival tribes, wrote in a diary that the tribes had begun their donation strategy. He outlined plans to contact Mr. Ickes, Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler and Terry McAuliffe, chief fund-raiser for the Clinton-Gore committee. In April 1995, Mr. O'Connor met Mr. Fowler and rival tribal leaders to discuss a "generic donation" to the DNC. The meeting occurred after Mr. O'Connor had spoken to Mr. Clinton about the license at a Minnesota fund-raiser....."
AP 8/10/99 H Josef Hebert "...A federal judge ordered the government Tuesday to pay more than $600,000 for failing to produce documents promptly in a lawsuit concerning the trouble-plagued Indian trust fund. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said the payment is to cover "all expenses and reasonable attorney fees'' incurred by Indian plaintiffs because of government delay and misconduct in not providing records that detail trust fund mismanagement. Lamberth said that he was dismayed that taxpayers "will be forced to pay for the misconduct of their government's officials and attorneys.'' He said in his 45-page opinion he wished he could hold individual government attorneys liable but is precluded from doing so. The order does not address the merits of the class-action lawsuit brought by the Indians, who demand the court take over the trouble-plagued trust fund, overhaul its error-filled accounting system and make restitutions to Indians who lost money. The award of fees stems from a two-year period in which lawyers for the Indians were blocked repeatedly from obtaining documents on individual Indian accounts. The legal fees and other expenses, totaling $624,643.50 to be awarded to seven attorneys, cover from November, 1996, to January this year. "It is gratifying that the judge is holding the government accountable,'' said Jim McCarthy, spokesman for the Indians. "The Department of Interior's tactics of delay and denial and cover-up against American Indians will no longer be tolerated.'' ..."
Washington Weekly 8/16/99 Marvin Lee "...[Lamberth] His ruling of contempt of court against the "scofflaws" in the Clinton administration last February in the Bureau of Indian Affairs trustee lawsuit was a truly courageous act. He set the fine last week to $625,000 for the government's willful failure to produce documents he had ordered produced. Excuses offered by government attorneys included the almost Clintonian suggestion that documents had been so tainted by rodent droppings in a New Mexico warehouse that to disturb them would put department officials at a health risk. An audit by the accounting firm Arthur Andersen said the Bureau of Indian Affairs could not account for $2.4 billion in transactions involving the funds. Such ridiculously shabby practices by a federal government would never have passed muster in a banana republic, would they? The U.S. is slowly but surely sinking below the status of a banana republic in its internal government and legal affairs while outwardly presenting a healthy look with its stunning economy. Rare heroes like Judge Lamberth are fighting a Sisyphean fight in trying to prevent this slide...."
Fox Newswire(AP) 9/8/99 Matt Kelley "…Despite high-profile successes of a few American Indian tribes with casinos, most tribes still need hundreds of millions of dollars more each year to meet basic needs, a federal report says. Meanwhile, 166 of more than 550 tribes had casinos in 1996, with 28 tribes losing money and only 54 tribes making casino profits worth more than $10,000 per tribal member. The basic BIA funding to those tribes is only about $10 million a year, or about $185,000 per tribe, the report said. "The results of shifting federal Indian policies, coupled with limited resources and investments in Indian communities and Indian people, cannot quickly be reversed by a few good years of casino revenues,'' said the report. …"
MSNBC 9/17/99 Deroy Murdock "...August saw the conclusion of a lawsuit by American Indians trying to recover $2.4 billion in royalties for natural resources extracted from their lands. Washington deposited the royalties in a trust fund for 300,000 Indians. Federal officials mismanaged the money and now cannot account for it. When the Indians sought trust fund records, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin dragged their feet. The U.S. government "did not just stub its toe," federal judge Royce C. Lamberth declared. "It abused the rights of the [Indians] to obtain these trust documents, and it engaged in a shocking pattern of deception of the court." Lamberth cited Babbit and Rubin for contempt of court and ordered the Administration to compensate the Indians' lawyers $625,000 for delaying their case...."
Newslink 10/6/99 Scott mcMillan "....American Indians want a stronger voice in the management of Yellowstone National Park and its resources, representatives of several tribes said here Wednesday. Nineteenth century treaties with at least seven tribes grant their members certain rights within the park, including the right to hunt on traditional grounds, said Tim Wapato, executive director of the InterTribal Bison Cooperative. "Some are interested in reinstating a subsistence hunt," which would be conducted under regulations to be negotiated, Wapato said...."
The Arizona Republic 10/11/99 Suzanne Starr "....Tribes likely to gain big share of water If water is power -- and in the arid West, water is everything -- the balance of power in Arizona is about to shift. State and federal negotiators are working on an agreement that could leave 10 Indian tribes in control of nearly half the Colorado River water that flows through the Central Arizona Project Canal. It's enough water to serve an urban population of more than 3 million, and someday it just might. ...."
Associated Press 10/13/99 H Josef Hebert "....A special prosecutor has concluded there is insufficient evidence to indict Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt or anyone else in connection with a federal Indian casino investigation, The Associated Press was told today. Special Prosecutor Carol Elder Bruce was expected to issue a statement on her 19-month investigation into Babbitt later today with a report to be issued within a few weeks, said sources familiar with the case. ...... The case involved allegations that Babbitt had lied to Congress in his explanation as to why the Interior Department in 1995 rejected a permit for a proposed casino by three Wisconsin Indian tribes. The tribes charged that promises of campaign contributions by other Indians opposed to the casino had influenced the decision. ..."
http://www.newsday.com/ap/rnmpwh09.htm AP 10/14/99 "....Two officials of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally routing thousands of dollars in tribal money to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign. Mark Nichols and Greg Cervantes, both non-Indians, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor federal charges of using tribal money to make illegal ``conduit'' campaign donations-- contributions made in the name of someone who is then reimbursed the money, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office. Such a scheme hides the true source of the money and allows donors to get around campaign contribution limits. In this case, the true and unwitting donor was the Cabazon Band, Mrozek said. Nichols, chief executive officer of the Cabazon Band, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing the donations. Cervantes, director of special affairs for the tribe, pleaded to one. They admitted to a scheme involving donations to Clinton-Gore during 1994 and 1995, according to U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas' office...."
Fox newswire Linda Ashton 10/15/99 "….Kennewick Man, one of the oldest and most complete human skeletons ever found in North America, may have had Asian or Polynesian roots, but a scientist said Friday there are still a lot of questions to be answered. "It's similar to what we're seeing with other ancient skeletons in both North and South America - there's some difference between them and any modern people anywhere in the world,'' said Joseph Powell, a professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico……. "
Frontpagemag.com Lowell Ponte 10/5/99 "….COULD A FEW BONES require the re-writing of every American history textbook? Could they discredit the politically correct party line that we and our children have been taught for generations about Indian origins and European conquest in the New World? On September 21, a federal judge in Portland, Oregon, all but ordered a DNA test of these disputed relics. Such a test stands a good chance of proving that some of the first "Native Americans" had white skin and European ancestry. No wonder the Clinton Administration has moved heaven-and 500 tons of earth-to prevent a thorough scientific investigation of where one very old skeleton came from. Two young men found a human skull while wading at the edge of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, on July 28, 1996, and notified the Sheriff. Asked to investigate by the county coroner's office, anthropologist James Chatters found more bones in the shallow water. ….."
Frontpagemag.com Lowell Ponte 10/5/99 "….But even more surprising was Dr. Chatters' analysis of the bones. The skull revealed that Kennewick Man had a long, narrow face, protruding nose, receding cheek bones, a high chin, and a square mandible. "None of these features is typical of modern American Indians," reported the journal Archeology in January/February 1997. Chatters' analysis, wrote New York Times reporter Timothy Egan, "adds credence to theories that some early inhabitants of North America came from European stock." ….. Some ancient paleoindians on the East Coast nine millennia ago exhibited skull features resembling Kennewick Man's. University of Washington anthropologist Donald K. Grayson objected to use of the term "Caucasoid" to describe the skeleton, calling it a "red flag, suggesting that whites were here earlier and Indians were here later, and there's absolutely no reason to think that."…."
Frontpagemag.com Lowell Ponte 10/5/99 "….Five Indian tribes claimed ownership of the skeleton under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which grants control of human remains to the tribe most likely to be their descendants or relatives. These tribes announced their intention to return Kennewick Man to Mother Earth by burial and to prevent any further religious or cultural affront such as DNA testing…..The Clinton Administration was also passionately interested in burying these bones and the revision of history they might require. No sooner had public discussion begun about whether Kennewick Man was Caucasian than the Army Corps of Engineers took and locked away the bones from scientists. ACE officials, however, allowed Indians access to the remains and indicated the government's intention to turn over the skeleton to Native Americans for reburial as soon as possible.
Frontpagemag.com Lowell Ponte 10/5/99 "….Dr. Doug Owsley, curator and division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum, along with seven other scientists, filed a lawsuit to prevent the government from turning the skeleton over to Indians and to seek research access to the remains. ……But despite their loud protests, the scientists could not prevent another Clinton cover-up. On April 6, 1998, responding to a never-before-noticed urgent need to shore up one tiny spot along the banks of the Columbia River, the Army Corps of Engineers buried the site where Kennewick Man was found…..Orders directly from the Clinton White House apparently prompted this anti-scientific vandalism. As journalist Mark Lasswell reported in the January 8 Wall Street Journal, even the Army Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla, Washington, acknowledges the "participation and interest at the Executive level" in the Kennewick Man controversy……On September 21, U.S. Magistrate John Jelderks in Portland, Oregon, chastised the Interior Department and Army Corps of Engineers for their foot-dragging that has prevented scientific ascertainment of the origins of Kennewick Man. This federal judge did not order DNA testing, but, he wrote, "any decision that did not include DNA analysis would probably be challenged as arbitrary and capricious."….."
Denver Post 10/17/99 Bill McAllister "....Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., often points to his own reckless youth when pressing for change. Last week he recalled how some relatives often would offer him a liquor bottle. If he took a swig, they would approvingly exclaim: "Ah, you're a real Indian!'' That remark, Campbell now concedes, points to what the senator now calls the most troubling health problem among Native Americans - alcoholism. It is "the albatross around the necks of native people,'' he said. Alcohol and alcohol-related illnesses are among the biggest killers of Indians, especially young Indians, the senator has said. The mortality rate from alcoholism among native youths 15 to 24 is 17 times higher than the rate for white youths. As Campbell pointed out, you don't need an elaborate survey to witness the damage drinking has done to Native Americans. "I don't know of an Indian family, mine and yours included, that hasn't been touched by it,'' he told Bureau of Indian Affairs head Kevin Gover. "I've seen plenty of my relatives die from it.'' ....."
APBNews 11/1/99 James Meek ".... As supporters of Indian activist Leonard Peltier meet here this month to demonstrate and lobby for his release, a group representing active-duty FBI special agents says it is worried the Clinton administration might consider clemency for the convicted murderer. Jim Sennett, president of the FBI Agents Association, which represents three-quarters of the agents now serving in the bureau, said Clinton's release of members of the radical Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN could signal a willingness to review the politically charged Peltier case. "We have some concern that the president will consider [Peltier's clemency] petition favorably," Sennett said. ...... Peltier, an American-Indian movement leader, was convicted in April 1977 of killing FBI special agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler during a shootout June 26, 1975, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. Williams and Coler were tailing a truck carrying Peltier and two other Indian men when a firefight ensued. Outgunned, the wounded agents were executed by their assailants....... Peltier's supporters were initially encouraged by the FALN clemencies, which they thought might help Peltier's chances of release from serving two consecutive life terms for the murders. ...."
AP 10/27/99 "….Federal prosecutors have frozen the bank accounts of the Santee Sioux Tribe in an attempt to shut down its casino. U.S. Attorney Tom Monaghan said he intends to seize the assets to help pay more than $1 million in fines the tribe owes the government for operating its casino in defiance of court orders. "It's the first step in the collection process,'' he said Tuesday. "The tribe has not made any effort to pay those court-ordered fines.'' …."
Denver Post 11/7/99 Bruce Finley ".... For the first time in half a century, the Navajo Code Talkers find themselves standing at the edge of the limelight. Researchers seek them for interviews. Schools invite them to speak. Hollywood producers want to film action movies about them. All the attention is linked to a longtime secret: the Code Talkers' use of Dine, the complex, tonal Navajo language, to help the United States win World War II. As boys in U.S. government-run boarding schools, the Code Talkers would be punished for speaking Navajo. But when the war flared, the government that banned their unique language suddenly valued it as the base for a code to flummox the Japanese. The Marines enlisted 420 Navajos, many of them teenagers, for combat communications....."
AP 11/4/99 "….A leader of the American Indian Movement has accused group members of ordering the execution of an activist more than 20 years ago, a death the group has long blamed on the FBI. AIM leaders had accused the FBI of responsibility in the shooting death of AIM member Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, whose body was found on a South Dakota Indian reservation in February 1976. Russell Means told a press conference Wednesday that he believes AIM members killed Pictou-Aquash because they falsely believed she was an FBI informant and had provided information on the killing of two FBI agents in 1975….."
AP 11/19/99 Matt Kelly "….The discovery of records piled in a "garbage heap" on a North Dakota reservation prompted a lawyer for some American Indians to say Friday he would ask a federal judge to hold Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt in contempt again. The lawyers for the Indians contended the Interior Department and its lawyers cannot be trusted to maintain and turn over documents. The Indians are suing over mismanagement of thousands of accounts that they say have cost them billions of dollars. Both sides agree the accounts were mismanaged. "We seem to be in the same situation as before, where the orders of this court are not being complied with," Dennis Gingold told U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth at a previously scheduled hearing in the lawsuit. "They have a new team of lawyers, but nothing's changed." In February, Lamberth held Babbitt and two other officials in contempt for failing to turn over documents in the case……"
Associated Press via Fox Newswire 12/6/99 Matt Kelley "…..The Treasury Department shredded potential evidence in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit over American Indian trust funds, then covered it up for more than three months, a court-appointed investigator concluded. Government lawyers in the case misled the federal judge overseeing the case, investigator Alan Balaran said in a report released Monday. In a strongly worded opinion released with the report, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth also accused government lawyers of making false statements to him. "This is a system clearly out of control,'' Balaran wrote. He said the shredding and cover-up were "part of a greater pattern of obfuscation'' by the government in the lawsuit over the mishandling of accounts for more than 300,000 Indians now worth about $500 million…… After ordering the shredding halted Jan. 28, Treasury Department lawyers waited more than 14 weeks before notifying the Justice Department and Lamberth in May, the department also has acknowledged. In his Monday order, Lamberth wrote that he was "deeply disturbed'' by the delay and by the fact that the government's assurances that records were being preserved "turned out to be just as false as those false representations that led to the court's February contempt findings.'' ……. "
Washington Post 12/7/99 Bill Miller "…..Besides condemning the conduct of Treasury attorneys, special master Alan L. Balaran said the actions were "part of a general pattern of obfuscation" carried out by government officials involved in the litigation. In this instance, Balaran said, the Treasury attorneys kept the destruction a secret even from the Justice Department, which is managing the case. "This is a system clearly out of control," Balaran wrote. …."
WSJ 12/9/99 ".....The federal government now admits that for decades it grossly mishandled 300,000 trust fund accounts it manages on behalf of American Indians. But it took the Clinton Administration to add to that incompetence the destruction of 162 boxes of evidence, lying to a federal court and two Clinton Cabinet officers being held in contempt of court. This week, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth released the 121-page report of Alan Balaran, a special master tasked with looking into how the Interior and Treasury Departments have withheld evidence from Judge Lamberth on the Indian trust funds. An outside audit found that the government couldn't account for $2.4 billion in transactions involving the funds. Mr. Balaran's devastating conclusion is that Treasury attorneys have engaged in "a general pattern of obfuscation" and that "this is a system clearly out of control." ..... Judge Lamberth notes that the Balaban report found that the destruction of 162 boxes of possibly relevant evidence was approved "on the very same day" Treasury and Justice officials appeared before him "repeatedly assuring the court that all necessary steps were being taken to preserve all relevant documents." Mr. Balaban found that at the behest of Treasury, 400 boxes of materials were collected for shredding at a government site in Hyattsville, Md., in November 1998. A total of 162 boxes were destroyed until a brave Treasury official noticed they included records relevant to the Indians' lawsuit. But government lawyers decided not to inform Judge Lamberth of the shredding for more than three months. Mr. Balaran suggested that--like President Clinton--the lawyers may have to face disciplinary hearings from local bar associations: "At minimum, those attorneys who were aware of the Hyattsville document destruction from its inception and yet chose to take no action to ensure timely notification are guilty, in my view, of violating the rules of professional conduct." The President's bad example in covering up wrongdoing under oath seems to be contagious inside his own government. ....."
CNSNews.com 12/7/99 Susan Jones "….Three years ago, Native Americans filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of mismanaging Indian trust funds, and according to a report released Monday, that mismanagement continues up to the present moment. The report, written by Alan Balaran, a court-appointed investigator, shows that Treasury Department officials shredded 162 boxes of documents that may have been relevant to the lawsuit Native Americans have filed against the government. According to Balaran's report, not only did the Treasury Department destroy potentially relevant documents - it covered up its actions for more than three months, then lied to a federal court about it. "This is a system clearly out of control," Balaran said. He called the document shredding and subsequent delay in reporting it "part of a general pattern of obfuscation" by the government. The Indians' class-action lawsuit accuses the federal government of mismanaging Indian trust funds for decades. Money for the trust fund comes from land settlements, royalties from mineral rights, and other uses of Indian land. The Native Americans are seeking millions of dollars in damages. US District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered the release of Balaran's report on Monday, despite a request from the Justice Department to delay the report's release. (The Justice Department is managing the case.) …."
Jewish World Review 1/21/2000 Ann Coulter "…. http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- IN RESPONSE to the dazzling success of the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the folks at the Treasury Department are minting a new $1 coin…. Scheduled to make its debut on Feb. 1, the new coin will commemorate Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian squaw who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition on its historic trek to the Pacific coast. (As one commentator wrote -- yes, THAT Sacagawea.) Sacagawea is said to have acted as guide and translator on the expedition. Except that she wasn't a guide, and apparently wasn't much of a translator either, since she didn't speak English. The actual work of translating to Lewis and Clark (the explorers) fell to her husband, who fortunately did speak English. Sacagawea met her husband when one Indian tribe abducted her from another Indian tribe and then traded her to a French Canadian who made her his wife. It is not actually known whether or not she was, in fact, a Shoshone. So naturally, all this got me wondering: Over in the Congo or Beijing, are they minting coins to commemorate irrelevant white people? I bet not. Only the white man seems to have a gene for self-loathing.......... "
USA Today 1/24/2000 Wendy Koch "….The Clinton administration, which has waged an intense war on tobacco, has given four American Indian tribes grants to build ''smoke shops'' that sell discounted cigarettes, according to a Senate report being released today. The tribes have received $4.2 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 1997 to build six stores. Five are in Oklahoma and are part of larger ''travel plazas'' that sell many products. The sixth, in Verdi, Nev., is exclusively a ''smoke shop.''..."
Finger Lakes Times 1/25/2000 Carrie Wheeler "….After more than 20 years of failed negotiations, precedent-setting rulings and pre-trial hearings the Cayuga Indian land claim trial started yesterday in federal district court. Dozens of observers, many from Seneca County, packed U.S. District Court Judge Neal P. McCurn's courtroom to hear opening statements in the case, which will determine what damages the Cayugas should receive for the loss of 64,015 acres of land in Seneca and Cayuga counties. McCurn ruled previously that treaties authorizing the sale of the Cayugas land to New York state more than 200 years ago were invalid because they were not ratified by Congress as required by the Constitution….."
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's ranching clan reaches every corner of Arizona. Supporters say he is in tune with the land; critics say he has lost his way…….. the Babbitt clan is less dominant than it once was …… controversial - some say ethically questionable - actions by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, a grandson of one of five industrious brothers who went West in 1886 to grow up with the country, leaving their brands on this land. Though Babbitt still is a name respected by many and the family is seen as a benevolent, civilizing force whose business and ranching empire is ruled with a light touch, others here say that grandson Bruce - whom some see as a city slicker and Washington insider who has lost touch with his roots - risks tarnishing the name in a hasty rush to leave his own mark on Arizona before his tenure as U.S. secretary of the Interior expires. ……"
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Two regional controversies - the January creation by President Clinton of two national monuments in the state and the likely approval of a major new commercial development at the gateway to the Grand Canyon - have prompted numerous allegations against Babbitt, ranging from blatant conflicts of interest to more commonplace hypocrisies. An attempt by Insight to sort though the allegations, sifting the credible from the crazy, at least proves one thing: Though Babbitt has recused himself from decisions as secretary that would benefit his family, when a family is as large and entrenched in the region as is his, it may be difficult to take any action on or around the Coconino Plateau that doesn't affect the prolific Babbitts……."
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Last summer, after years of wrangling, the U.S. Forest Service gave its go-ahead for creation of Canyon Forest Village, or CFV, a $330 million commercial development proposed as a gateway community to the Grand Canyon National Park…….Babbitt's former work as lobbyist for CFV's mastermind, Scottsdale developer Tom De Paolo, and his past appearance in a video promoting the project (Babbitt asked CFV to stop showing the video after becoming secretary; the company complied) raised questions about conflicts of interest and fueled perceptions that the process was rigged in the project's favor. Not helping such perceptions was the ardent and open support for De Paolo's plan shown by Paul Babbitt, the secretary's brother, who sits on the Coconino County Board of Supervisors…….The county's board of supervisors - minus Paul Babbitt - will be voting in March on CFV's zoning approval, but opponents are certain to force a countywide referendum on the issue this fall. Meanwhile, the land swap is the subject of a federal lawsuit brought by the Grand Canyon Improvement Association, representing area businesses whose officers believe their economic future is threatened by the big development……"
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Paul Babbitt and the Babbitt Ranches (of which Paul and another of Bruce's brothers, James Babbitt, are part owners) appear to many to have benefited from the CFV land swap, since De Paolo paid the company $1.7 million for 740 acres of their holdings. The developer also agreed to allow Babbitt stock to continue to graze on the land until the deal is complete and the Forest Service takes possession, which he believes is just the neighborly thing to do. ……. Babbitt's association with De Paolo dates to the early 1990s, when the developer, searching for introductions and perhaps a little pull in the right circles, hired the former Arizona governor, then in private practice, as a consultant. Babbitt had contacts with Indian tribes and understood the state's laws regarding groundwater -knowledge De Paolo put to good use. The developer won Indian endorsements for CFV by providing local tribes with commercial space to hawk their wares. Endorsements from seven major environmental groups also were secured - in a coup that decisively tipped the decision process in CFV's favor, according to a source familiar with their deliberations - after De Paolo promised that the community would use no groundwater, even if it meant hauling it in from the Colorado River by truck and train. ……."
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Babbitt worked for De Paolo for seven months in the early 1990s - there were a lot of introductions and just sitting and talking, the developer tells Insight - and appeared in the CFV video that later would cause controversy, resulting in a letter from Babbitt asking De Paolo to stop using it………. But it's misleading to suggest, as the secretary and his aides do, that CFV was solely and simply a Forest Service decision, beyond the influence of the national park next door. In fact, an Interdisciplinary Team - including at least one regular representative from Bruce Babbitt's National Park Service - specifically was set up to ensure that all interested parties were involved in the process……. "
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Adding to the brew of bad feelings percolating on the plateau, Babbitt in January brought President Clinton to the Grand Canyon to announce the establishment, through executive order, of two massive new national monuments in Arizona, encompassing nearly 1.1 million acres, over the strenuous objections of nearly every state official, including the governor. Some ranchers affected by the designations - who believe their objections were heard and then promptly ignored by Babbitt - say they fear being driven out of business as a result, or at least being put at a competitive disadvantage with the biggest cattle interest in the state: Babbitt Ranches, partially owned by Paul and James Babbitt, brothers of Bruce. The Babbitt outfit is unaffected by the new monuments. Although the secretary made a show of assuring Arizona ranchers that their grazing rights on federal land would be unaffected by the Jan. 12 monument designations - the Grand Canyon-Parashant in the Arizona strip (a swath of land extending from the north rim of the canyon to the Utah state line) and the Agua Fria National Monument north of Phoenix - they almost certainly will mean dramatic changes for the roughly 50 grazing-permit holders on those lands……"
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Though Babbitt solemnly pledged that the situation somehow will be different in Arizona and that the rancher's traditional way of life will be accommodated, a more honest, bottom-line assessment could be found courtesy of Roger Taylor, field manager for the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, in the Arizona strip. Though he, too, wants to allay local apprehensions, Taylor left little doubt during an interview with Insight that when ranchers woke up Jan. 12, suddenly finding themselves living and working in a national monument, they slept through a paradigm shift that places their rights and interests second to those of the desert tortoise. "They're concerned that it is going to be more difficult, and they're probably right," Taylor says of the ranchers. "Business as usual, as it's always been done here, is a thing of the past. So it's probably a well-founded fear on their part."……. Bruce Babbitt's recent push to remake BLM, an agency that traditionally managed land for multiple uses, into a shadow National Park Service that will manage the new monuments he is proposing, has led to the rising influence of "ologists" such as biologists, hydrologists and archaeologists in the Arizona strip, area ranchers say - and a rising number of hassles…….."
INSIGHT Magazine 2/25/00 Sean Paige "……Meanwhile, just south of "the ditch" (what locals call the Grand Canyon), unencumbered by any uncertainties or restrictions, business is booming for the 750,000-acre Babbitt Ranches, probably the biggest single cattle interest in the state. And that hasn't gone unnoticed in certain circles. …… Though creation of the new monuments appears to have at least the potential to benefit Babbitt ranching interests, no one with whom Insight spoke in Northern Arizona suggests that anything as pedestrian as a profit motive lay behind Secretary Babbitt's actions……..Upon his mother's death in 1995, Babbitt also inherited an interest in something called the Spur Land and Cattle Co., which apparently leases or operates a gravel pit on a Navajo reservation inholding, splitting the profits with the Navajo Nation - which itself might appear to present a conflict of interest. Through monument designations, Babbitt wants to halt the mining and despoiling of sensitive lands, yet the Navajo Nation falls under the jurisdiction of his own Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sources tell Insight that the company leases out croplands and open range, information that could not be independently confirmed at press time. ……."
NJ Online (AP) 2/25/00 Matt Kelley "……President Clinton brought American Indian tribal leaders to the White House on Friday to publicize his plan to pump $1.2 billion more into federal Indian programs. "There is no better time than now," he said. "While some of today's tribes have found success in our new economy, far too many have been caught in the cycle of poverty and unemployment," said Clinton, flanked by a dozen tribal leaders. "Too many have suffered from government's failure to invest proper resources in education, infrastructure and health care." Clinton's 2001 budget proposal would increase overall spending on Indian programs by more than 12 percent to $9.4 billion. It would devote more money to building and repairing reservation schools and roads, enhancing law enforcement and improving health care for the country's 2.4 million American Indians. ….."
Gwinnett Daily Post 2/24/00 Jim Kvicala "…..As attorney Leighton Deming understood it, he had every right to dispose of a family heirloom as he saw fit. Deming had come to Philadelphia from his home in Suwanee, bringing with him a war bonnet made of eagle feathers once worn by famed Apache War Chief Geronimo. One of his clients, Marietta car dealer Tom Marciano, had set up a meeting with a collector of Native American artifacts, who had promised to pay more than $1 million for a set of pen-and-ink sketches by Oklahoma cowboy and Texas Ranger Jack Moore. Deming said part of the sale agreement was allowing the buyer to take the headdress on a lifetime loan. It wasn't until the men with the automatic weapons burst into the room that Deming sensed something might have gone wrong with the deal. As it turned out, the men with the guns were not stealing the artifacts Deming brought, as he first feared. They were FBI agents seizing them on behalf of the federal government. "It was the worst experience of my life," said Deming, recounting the events in his Norcross law office. His arrest by the FBI and the national news coverage that followed was a painful episode for the 56-year-old lawyer, who also serves as president of the Gwinnett County Optimists Club. "My whole life has been built around honesty and doing the right thing," he said. "It really took me aback." ….."The buyer who had been urging Deming repeatedly during their meeting to sell him the headdress was an undercover FBI agent. The object of the FBI operation was to arrest Deming and Marciano for trafficking in eagle feathers, a federal crime. …."
Finger Lakes (NY) Times 2/23/00 Carrie Wheeler "…. If the Cayuga Indian land claim trial was a football game, Upstate Citizens for Equality members say they would have beaten the spread. "It's like going to a football game and you're supposed to lose 350 to nothing and you lose 37 to nothing instead," UCE co-chairman Mel Russo told the Seneca County Board of Supervisors and more than a dozen UCE members last night about the $36.9 million jury verdict. "We really didn't win, but we lost by a heck of a lot less than we should have, or we could have." ….."
Syracuse (NY) Post Standard 2/18/00 David Shaw Hart Seely "…. Cayugas: 'It's totally irrational' Citizens: 'Zero is what we wanted' After 12 hours of deliberation, a federal court jury Thursday dealt a severe blow to the Cayuga Indians' 20-year quest to regain their ancestral lands, awarding the nation $36.9 million for its long-lost territory in Cayuga and Seneca counties. The verdict valued the land at $576 per acre, a level of compensation described by one lawyer for the tribe as "ridiculous." The award by the nine-member jury combined two figures: $1.9 million was set as rental value for use of the disputed 64,015 acres over 204 years; $35 million was set as current market value. The jurors' decision will be a recommendation to U.S. District Judge Neal P. McCurn, who will make a final decision. The U.S. Justice Department, on behalf of the Cayugas, sought damages of up to $335 million. And before the trial, a mediator offered a settlement of $120 million. ….."
Reuters 2/28/00 Gail Appleson "….. The American Museum of Natural History sued an American Indian group on Monday to block its claim to the 15.5-ton Willamette Meteorite, one of the museum's oldest treasures and a centerpiece of its newly opened planetarium. The suit seeks a court ruling that the museum is the rightful owner of the largest meteorite ever found in the United States. It also seeks a ruling that it does not have to repatriate the extraterrestrial object to an Oregon Indian group that alleges that the gigantic meteorite is a holy tribal object that brought messages from the spirit world long before the arrival of white men. The museum's lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court a little over a week after the much touted opening of its sleek $210 million Rose Center for Earth and Space on Manhattan's upper West Side. The metallic iron meteorite, which is believed to have fallen to earth 10,000 years ago from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, holds a place of honor on the main floor in the planetarium's astrophysics hall. It has been viewed by countless scientists, teachers and schoolchildren for nearly a century. ..."
2/21/93 Los Angeles Times Henry Weinstein Paul Feldman "…….A tale of international intrigue is unfolding in a tiny Burbank courtroom where a San Fernando Valley man is seeking damages from the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly ruining a multimillion-dollar deal to sell a high-tech, hand-held machine gun to foreign governments. Nichols became the subject of public scrutiny in the wake of the mysterious August, 1991, death of Washington investigative reporter Danny Casolaro. …….While most police abuse cases center on beatings or bullets, the Burbank trial focuses on the credibility of Robert Booth Nichols, a mysterious figure whose name first surfaced in a late 1980s FBI investigation of alleged mob penetration into the entertainment industry. Again, last year, his name surfaced in a House Judiciary Committee report on possible malfeasance in the Justice Department during the Reagan era. The report also linked Nichols to an aborted business venture at the Cabazon Indian Reservation in Indio which, he said on the witness stand, dealt with the manufacture of machine guns to sell to the Nicaraguan Contras. ….."
2/21/93 Los Angeles Times Henry Weinstein Paul Feldman "…….More recently, Nichols became the subject of public scrutiny in the wake of the mysterious August, 1991, death of Washington investigative reporter Danny Casolaro. A House Judiciary Committee report released in September said Nichols had frequent contact with Casolaro just before the journalist, who was probing a web of conspiracies ranging from the Iran-Contra affair to alleged Justice Department skulduggery, was found with his wrists slashed in a West Virginia motel room. The report, titled "The INSLAW Affair," said the Justice Department had failed to adequately investigate charges that high-level officials had stolen and misused a private firm's sophisticated computer software designed to help track criminals. The report also called for further investigation into Casolaro's death, which was declared a suicide by West Virginia officials. Nichols acknowledged to committee investigators that he had spoken to Casolaro often and served as a sounding board for him, but would not provide a sworn statement to the House committee. ……"
Associated Press 3/24/00 "……..A fire that destroyed thousands of pages of records at a National Archives storage center just outside Washington was intentionally set, investigators say. ''The investigation has revealed that the fire was of suspicious origin,'' Mike Campbell, a spokesman for the Baltimore division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said Friday. ''There are several people they are looking at closely.'' The fire occurred Feb. 29 at the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, Md., which stores more than 3.7 million cubic feet of records. Archives officials initially believed that as many as 700,000 pages were damaged or destroyed……..The bulk of the records kept in the area where sprinklers went off were inactive files of deceased war veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The other records were from the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Labor Department's hour and wage division; the U.S. Patent and Trademark office; and District of Columbia government offices. ……"
Washington Times 3/17/00 "…….What's wrong with this picture? U.S. consumers are facing some of the biggest gas-price hikes in decades, increases that don't stop at the pump but ripple through the economy in the form of higher charges for food and other consumer goods. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is literally standing on the equivalent of billions of barrels of so-far untapped oil in Alaska that could provide them a measure of relief. Worse, if the Clinton administration has its way, no one ever will tap it, either. The ostensible reason for blocking oil exploration and development there is environmental. When the administration vetoed legislation in 1995 that would have allowed such work on a tiny portion of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced the administration had done so in the name of caribou, polar bears, swans, snow geese and musk oxen; any animal, in short, that might conceivably draw a breath in those barren climes and survive……..The fact that the Eskimos who lived in the vicinity of the proposed work backed the exploration as a way of generating tax revenues to support basic sanitation, education and health needs; that workers in the lower 48 wanted it for the jobs it would create; that the United States could have used it to reduce dependence on foreign oil of the kind that leaves consumers here so vulnerable to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) mattered not. The animals came first………. Awkwardly for the administration, there is evidence that far from harming wildlife, oil exploration and development has served as a kind of animal Viagra. When oil development began on the Arctic coast of Alaska at Prudhoe Bay, a herd of caribou located in the area numbered about 6,000. Today the herd in that area has grown to almost 20,000, and there are more caribou in Alaska than humans…….."
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "…… Canadian police have identified Clinton donor and Macao gambling tycoon Stanley Ho as the leader of a triad gang of organized criminals with strong ties to Communist China. President Clinton personally accepted $250,000 from a Macao gambling tycoon whom Canadian police identify as a "leader" of a Chinese triad, or organized-crime syndicate. Insight has obtained a copy of the Asian Organized Crime Roster of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or RCMP, listing Stanley Ho - who handed the check to Clinton at a 1997 White House reception to fund the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial - as a suspected "member/leader" of the notorious Kung Lok triad. (Click to read the document.) ...... "
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "…… Insight's copy of the RCMP roster identifies Ho Hung Sun, alias Stanley Ho, as born in Hong Kong on Nov. 25, 1921, and provides addresses in Toronto and Macao. After classifying Ho as a "member/leader" of the Kung Lok triad organized-crime syndicate, it assigns him the "gang file number" 89-1170. A 1988 Justice Department list authored by then assistant attorney general William Weld identified Ho as "associated" with the triads, former congressional investigator Edward Timperlake tells Insight. Timperlake is coauthor of Year of the Rat, a book documenting ties between Clinton-Gore administration political fund-raising from Chinese interests and their effects on U.S. national-security decision-making. The book reported that "Ho's triad connections are really quite extensive" in his gambling partnerships. ......,,:
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "……Ho and his business partners have been mired in international controversy in recent months. One of his partners is Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, whose Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. company has taken control of port facilities at both ends of the Panama Canal, prompting concerns that they may become a strategic beachhead for Beijing. The Clinton administration has gone out of its way to portray Li and Hutchison Whampoa as posing no security threat to U.S. interests, but not everyone is convinced. ......... Li's Beijing connections "are hardly a state secret," according to Zhang. "He had been a close friend of Gen. Ji Shengde, former military-intelligence director of the PLA, who recently was arrested for corruption, and still is close to Gen. Xiong Guangkai, who had been Gen. Ji's superior. He is equally close to [Chinese President] Jiang Zemin. Most telling of all, probably, is Li's corrupt real-estate dealings with the brutal Chen Xitong, who is infamous for the instrumental role he played in the Tiananmen Square massacre." Li Ka-shing strongly has denied nefarious connections with the PLA. No allegations have been raised associating Li directly with the triads…….."
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "……Another Ho business partner is Ng Lapseng. Described as a Macao "criminal-syndicate figure" with hotel operations in the former Portuguese colony, Ng also reportedly is linked to prostitution rackets - and allegedly ran hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal money into the Clinton-Gore campaigns. "At least $2 million, much of it illegal, made its way from Macao and other Asian crime centers to Clinton-Gore money projects," according to Timperlake and Year of the Rat coauthor William Triplett. Ng disappeared "back into the murky world of Macao as soon as congressional investigators started looking for him."……."
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "……In the Philippines, President Joseph Estrada is embroiled in a Clinton-Gore-style fund-raising scandal that has the Manila stock exchange and Roman Catholic Church up in arms and made him the subject of a major investigation by the Philippines congress. According to Philippines news reports, Estrada crony Dante Tan helped persuade Ho to invest in the Philippines gambling industry and was a major stockholder in BW Resources, a holding company that Ho chairs and that is under investigation for stock-price manipulation and insider trading. Tan reportedly was a substantial donor to Estrada's 1998 presidential campaign. The Philippines Stock Exchange Commission found gangster connections and what it described as "prima-facie evidence" against Tan and other leaders of the Ho-chaired company……..".
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "…… PNP Chief Panfilo Lacson, a longtime friend of Estrada, says he found "nothing" on Ho, whose investments include positions in the China Ocean Shipping Co., or COSCO - considered the merchant marine of the PLA - and in Norinco, a PLA-associated manufacturer of automatic weapons. The Philippines Star reported, "As far as the ... PNP is concerned, Macao gambling mogul Stanley Ho is 'Mr. Clean.'" The PNP Center for Transnational Crime told a Manila congressional panel that it has "nothing incriminating" on Ho. A local group called United People Against Crime claims that Hong Kong police told Lacson that Ho allegedly was head of a criminal syndicate operating in Hong Kong and Macao………… Estrada tried to defend Ho's respectability by saying that President Clinton personally had received him at the White House for making the large donation to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, but being received by Clinton cut little ice in Manila. .........,"
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "……One of the most successful means of reaching decision-makers, apart from helping them succeed in their private businesses, is to donate to their political campaigns or their favorite charities. Ted Sioeng, a businessman and partner with Ng in a firm called Ang-Du International, is reportedly a Chinese agent with alleged triad ties. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Ang-Du International ran a prostitution operation acquiring women from Thailand for Macao brothels. Sioeng sat with Clinton at a Democratic Party fund-raiser and was photographed sitting next to Vice President Al Gore during the now-infamous 1996 Buddhist temple fund-raiser in California. Sioeng reportedly funneled at least $400,000 in illegal contributions to the Democratic National Committee. Like Ho, Sioeng refused to cooperate with congressional investigators. "He's a Communist Chinese spy, now in Beijing," Timperlake tells Insight. "He was identified as a PRC [People's Republic of China] agent and fled the country." ......"
INSIGHT Magazine 3/24/00 J Michael Waller "……The Communist government in Beijing has built operational relations with the triads and often acts as a silent partner in their activities, according to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The 1997 report said that the late Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung "wrote on the need to include triads in the united front" in Hong Kong. "In a May 1997 conference at Hong Kong's Baptist University, former deputy secretary general of Xinhua [the Chinese government-controlled 'news' agency] Wong Man-fong said that in the early 1980s he was instructed to ingratiate himself with Hong Kong's triad 'dragon heads' and offer them a deal. According to Wong, Beijing was prepared to turn a blind eye to the triads' illegal activities if they could promise a peaceful handover of the territory come 1 July . 'I told them that, if they did not disrupt Hong Kong's stability, we would not stop them from making money,' said Wong. If Wong is to be believed, the timing of the beginning of Beijing's outreach to the triads dovetails nicely with Deng Xiaoping's resurrection of united front work in 1978." Triad enterprises also partner with businesses owned or run by the Communist Party and PLA. Hence there is no line of distinction between a Chinese criminal syndicate and the Chinese military or government apparatus, creating a danger that Beijing could use the triads for intelligence purposes. ......"
The Associated Press 4/16/00 Anne Gearan "……To speed computer access and improve telecommunications for American Indians, President Clinton will announce a plan Monday to provide basic telephone service for $1 a month on reservations, the White House said Sunday. Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard, scheduled to join the president to make the announcement in Shiprock, N.M., said he expects the plan to benefit 300,000 Indian households. ``It is disgraceful that we have a telephone system that is the envy of the world, but basic telecommunications services are not widely enjoyed by our land's oldest people,'' Kennard said in a statement. …….To pay for the program, Kennard said he will propose adding $17 million to an existing program that underwrites phone service costs for low-income people. That amounts to a 3.5 percent increase in funding for the program. Long-distance phone companies, which pay varied subsidies to states to assist low-income people, would ultimately pay the additional costs. ……"
U.S. Newswire 4/12/00 National Archives Press Office "…….The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been informed that this morning the Federal Protective Service arrested a NARA employee, Marlon M. Mason, charging him with arson in connection with a fire on April 5 in the Washington National Records Center operated by NARA in Suitland, Md. The accused employee was turned over to the Fire Marshall of Prince George's County, Md....... No one was injured by the fire, and damage was limited by a few boxes of records, which NARA staff is attempting to salvage. This fire followed one that broke out in the same records center on Feb. 29. That, too, caused some records damage, but was contained and extinguished without harm to anyone in the building. ……"
Freeper Eroteme 4/12/00 Indian trust fund records? From a March 24 AP story on the Feb 29th fire: "…The bulk of the records kept in the area where sprinklers went off were inactive files of deceased war veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The other records were from the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Labor Department's hour and wage division; the U.S. Patent and Trademark office; and District of Columbia government offices. ……."
Syracuse (NY) Herald Journal 3/29/00 Michelle Breidenbach "…….. Jim Opperman plays the lawyer. Stephen Coulthart plays the land surveyor. Bill Rason plays the historian. To make a living, the three men are engineers. To protect their living, they have nearly taken on second careers to prove what they say Madison and Oneida county lawyers have failed to prove in 30 years of defending them from Oneida Indian land claims. The men, members of the research committee for Upstate Citizens for Equality, do not buy the Oneida Indians' 200-year-old story of white men stealing Indian land. They have sifted through 40 years' worth of treaties, letters, deeds, bank notes and journals to put together their own version of events for the early 1800s. "What we found is that the United States wanted to remove the Indians out of New York and why the Indians left is because they accepted that, took the money and moved," Opperman said. Since then, the three men believe, the Oneida people have perpetuated a myth. In recent years, the men say, that myth has taken on a life of its own. "It makes my blood boil to hear people say that we stole the land," Opperman said. ………. The Oneida Indian Nation is suing Madison and Oneida counties for the return of 250,000 acres the state purchased in a series of transactions in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Oneidas, who now live in New York, Wisconsin and Canada, claim the state violated the federal Trade and Non-Intercourse Act of 1790 when it bought Oneida land without approval from the federal government. …… The Indian nation is backed by the U.S. Department of Justice, which stands behind promises to protect the Oneida people and their land. ….."
USA Today 4/3/00 John Ritter "…… In Indian country today, the clang of slot machines and whir of roulette wheels separate the haves from the have-nots. The few tribes with lucrative casino holdings plow revenue into programs that lift their people out of poverty. Tribes with no gambling struggle to diversify their economies and reduce chronic unemployment. The have-nots go after tourist dollars with campgrounds and resorts. They market Native American arts. They start light-manufacturing ventures. They develop mineral deposits and oil and gas production. They nurture small businesses on the reservation. But maybe the most unconventional idea yet comes from the Blackfeet, who live here on the snowy plains below the peaks of Glacier National Park. The Blackfeet aim to sanction the USA's only offshore bank. Glacier International Depository, expected to open by summer, will compete for a slice of the trillions of dollars held in offshore institutions worldwide. The Blackfeet hope to persuade foreign depositors to invest in projects that create jobs for some of the 8,500 Indians on the reservation. The operation is considered ''offshore'' because foreigners, not Americans, would be the only depositors. ….."
CBSNEWS.com 3/30/00 "……The government's management of monies owed to Native Americans is "worse than anyone could ever imagine," Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz) tells Mike Wallace in an interview to be broadcast Sunday, April 2 on 60 Minutes. In fact, McCain says, Native Americans once again are being taken advantage of by the government. McCain, a ranking member of the Indian Affairs Committee, appears in a 60 Minutes report examining alleged mismanagement of funds owed to Indians from profits made from their land. According to a lawsuit filed by Native Americans, the Individual Indian Monies Trust has badly mishandled records over the years, and has lost or diverted billions of dollars of their money. The problem is so bad that the Native Americans don't really know how much money they are owed for resources like oil and timber taken from their land. McCain says he believes only Native Americans would be treated so shabbily in this country. "[The government] cannot account for $2.4 billion...If $2.4 billion for any other group of Americans could not be accounted for, there would be an outcry," says McCain. "There would be a national scandal." The closest thing to a national scandal came when Congress, acting on scathing General Accounting Office reports about the Indian trust mismanagement, put a special trustee over Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to make sure Babbitt's department sorted out the trust mess. But the trustee, Paul Homan, quit. "Paul Homan was clearly hamstrung by the Department of Interior and Department of Treasury," says McCain. …….."
Syracuse (NY) Post Standard 3/31/00 Scott Rapp "……. The Cayuga Indian land claim is heading back to court in July. U.S. District Judge Neal P. McCurn has scheduled a nonjury hearing to start July 5 in federal court in Syracuse, said William L. Dorr, the lawyer representing Cayuga and Seneca counties. At the hearing, McCurn will consider changing the Feb. 17 jury verdict that ordered the state to pay $36.9 million to the Cayuga Indian Nation and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma. The Cayugas filed claim in 1980 to 64,015 acres that arch around the north end of Cayuga Lake. About 7,000 people own land in the claim area. The plaintiffs said the state illegally took the land from their ancestors more than 200 years ago. At the July 5 hearing, McCurn will factor so-called "equitable factors" into his ruling on whether to change the jury award. Those factors include: Whether to lower the award because the Cayugas waited nearly 200 years to file the land claim. Whether to add interest compensation to the award. Whether payments the state made to the Cayugas for the land over the years should be deducted from the award. Whether the value of infrastructure improvements made by the state should be subtracted from the award. ….."
Syracuse (NY) Post Standard 5/5/00 Michelle Breidenbach "…… Lawyers for Madison and Oneida counties, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York and the U.S. Department of Justice met in Washington Thursday to discuss the possibility of resuming mediation. The meeting did not include all of the parties involved in the 26-year-old lawsuit, but was enough to convince U.S. District Judge Neal McCurn to hold off on a decision to end talks. McCurn set a new deadline of May 22 for the parties to say whether they are at impasse. In a court order, he wrote, "It is the court's understanding that some progress has been made." …."
Dallas Morning News 6/7/00 David Schwartz "…BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. - The long road is rocky to the well-worn stone house on this wind-swept terrain. Isolated and embittered, Roberta Blackgoat, an 83-year-old Navajo woman, admits that she can barely stomach the turmoil that clings to the very land she and her ancestors have called home for generations. She says she is sickened by the thought of ever having to leave this high desert homeland in northeastern Arizona that bears the remains of those who came before her. "I haven't been able to sleep at night thinking about what might happen," she tells a visitor, sipping tea in the late afternoon shadow. "I'm scared. I can't live life this way." Now, she is a trespasser on her own land. She has been for months. ……… On Feb. 1, Ms. Blackgoat and 11 other mostly elderly Navajos defiantly became lawbreakers in the eyes of the federal government. They refused to sign papers aimed at settling what are the last remnants of a blood war between the Navajo and the Hopi tribes. ……"
Newsmax.com 7/5/00 Carl Limbacher "…… The thought police of political correctness would have you believe that American Indians are all opposed to the use of tribal nicknames by sports teams. But it just isn't so. James Billie, chairman of the Seminoles, is proud of Florida State University's Indian mascot and the wonderful tomahawk chop that sends GWLs (Guilty White Liberals) into hissy fits. "It doesn't offend us in any way," Billie told American Indian journalists recently at a Fort Lauderdale convention. ……In the past Billie has said that "as long as the Seminoles keep winning, we're happy," frets the June 29 issue of New Times Broward Palm Beach, one of those free yuppie "alternative" weeklies packed with ads for futons and fern bars and such. ……The down-to-earth Billie ridiculed "Gucci-wearing Indians" who try to force their "defeatism" on others. ……"
UPI via NewsMax.com 7/8/00 "…….An American Indian tribe could receive millions of dollars in compensation after a court's ruling that European settlers stole its land, a Texas newspaper reported Friday. The Houston Chronicle said a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Claims has ruled that 2.8 million acres of east Texas pine forest were "stolen" from the Alabama and Coushatta Indians and that the U.S. government failed to protect the tribe's rights. The federal court ruling involving the 1,012-member tribe came in a lawsuit filed in 1983. ..."
http://adn.com/metro/story/0,2633,173986,00.html Freeper BlueMoose 7/2/00 "……Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is seeking to terminate self-government funding paid to the 23 smallest federally recognized Native tribes in the state. Among the tribes that would be hurt is Chickaloon Native Village, which has been among the more aggressive and extreme advocates for Native self-government powers in the Anchorage area. …..Leisnoi Village, the tribal entity for Woody Island a mile off the coast of Kodiak, also stands to lose funding. Leisnoi has been battling the Interior Department over a ruling that it did not qualify for the island's 115,000 acres under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. ……"
AP 6/28/00 "…….An Environmental Protection Agency attorney accused of falsifying documents during federal civil proceedings in Wisconsin has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of contempt of court, Justice Department officials said. Marc M. Radell, 41, could face up to six months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines when he is sentenced in September, officials said Tuesday. Radell and another EPA employee, Claudia Johnson, were indicted in August 1999 on federal charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and perjury. Johnson has since died, the Justice Department said. The two allegedly falsified and backdated documents to support EPA decisions in 1996 granting authority to three Wisconsin Indian tribes to regulate water standards their reservations. ……."
Washington Times 9/13/00 John McCaslin "…… Visitors to Al Gore's campaign Web site will find the vice president taking credit this time for an Indian housing bill: the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996. The text: "Gore Helped Provide Housing Assistance to Native Americans. In 1996, Al Gore and the Administration enacted the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act. The Act provided Indian Housing Block Grants to Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages or their Tribally Designated Housing Entities. This Act will provide communities with more flexibility than ever before to plan and develop programs that best meet local housing needs. This year, Gore and the Administration fought for and won $620 million - their full request - for tribes across America."…….. Tribal reaction? "The bill was drafted and passed by [New York congressman and Senate hopeful] Rick Lazio with no help at all from Al Gore or the rest of the administration," says Christopher D. Boesen, executive director of the National American Indian Housing Council, a nonprofit organization representing more than 400 tribes……… "In fact," says Mr. Boesen, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo "has been one of the stumbling blocks to its implementation; he's been directing resources away from the program to support private initiatives."……"
Nando Times Online 9/8/00 Matt Kelley "…..The head of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs apologized Friday for the agency's "legacy of racism and inhumanity" that included massacres, forced relocations of tribes and attempts to eradicate American Indian languages and cultures. "By accepting this legacy, we accept also the moral responsibility of putting things right," Kevin Gover, a Pawnee Indian, said in an emotional speech marking the agency's 175th anniversary. Gover said he was apologizing on behalf of the BIA, not the federal government as a whole. Still, he is the highest-ranking U.S. official ever to make such a statement regarding the treatment of American Indians. The audience of about 300 tribal leaders, BIA employees and federal officials stood and cheered as a teary-eyed Gover finished the speech. "I thought it was a very heroic and historic moment," said Susan Masten, chairwoman of California's Yurok tribe and president of the National Congress of American Indians. "For us, there was a lot of emotion in that apology. It's important for us to begin to heal from what has been done since non-Indian contact." ……"
The Associated Press 9/4/00 Matt Kelley "…..Federal officials admit that over the last 113 years the government mishandled $500 million in trust accounts for American Indians. But they say U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth overstepped his authority with rulings ordering a full accounting of the money and appointing himself overseer of reform efforts. He also has held two Cabinet secretaries in contempt. ….. The government is appealing Lamberth's December ruling in a 4-year-old lawsuit brought by Indians, who contend they are due more than $10 billion because of the mismanagement. Arguments are scheduled for Tuesday before a three-judge federal appellate court panel. …… Lawyers for the more than 300,000 trust account holders contend the appeal shows the federal government -- particularly Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt -- is more interested in blocking attempts to get the money than righting a wrong....... ''In the outside world, if you screw up with people's money, you end up in jail,'' said Elouise Cobell, a Blackfeet Indian who is the lead plaintiff. ''That's the problem here, that the Department of the Interior has never had to pay for what they've done to screw up people's lives on Indian reservations.'' ……."
N.Y.Post 10/9/00 John Miller "……. SOMETIMES the greatest discoveries are made by accident. That's what happened four years ago, when a couple of boating fans came across human bones in the shallows of the Columbia River, near Kennewick, Wash. The local police called in a forensics specialist, who identified the remains as belonging to a Caucasian male - perhaps a long-lost pioneer, he thought, because the skeleton looked so old. ……. Then the carbon-dating results came in: The bones were roughly 9,000 years old. This astonishing find - one of the most important anthropological discoveries ever made in the United States - may now vanish. On Sept. 25, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced plans to give Kennewick Man to modern Indian tribes who want to bury him, rather than to researchers who want to study him. ……The loss to science would be huge. Bones this old are exceedingly rare. Kennewick Man offers a vital look at the prehistoric settling of North America. And those Caucasoid traits are a genuine mystery - what was this person doing here so long ago? …….Babbitt doesn't seem to care. He argued that the tribes petitioning for Kennewick Man have a right to his bones because their "oral histories" claim they've occupied the region where he was found "for millennia." ……The idea that any oral history stretches back some 90 centuries simply stretches the truth. So does the notion that today's Indian tribes even existed that long ago in anything like the cultural form they do today. Kennewick Man died thousands of years before anyone had thought to build the Pyramids in Egypt. ……."
Syracuse NY Post Standard 10/6/00 David L Shaw "…….. Upstate Citizens for Equality's Cayuga-Seneca chapter will wrap up a petition drive Sunday, promising to collect some 6,000 signatures urging the Cayuga Indian land claim case be appealed to a federal appeals court. The group placed the petitions at local businesses within the 64,027-acre claim area in Cayuga and Seneca counties several months ago. UCE members have scheduled a rally at their new headquarters in downtown Seneca Falls for noon Sunday. ……"
The Associated Press (via The Eugene Register-Guard) 9/16/00 "……Lawyers for a group of American Indians asked a federal judge Friday to fine Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt for violating court orders requiring him to preserve e-mail and other records. Friday's filing is the latest dispute over records in the lawsuit over mismanagement of a $500 million system of trust accounts for about 500,000 Indians. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth held Babbitt and other officials in contempt of court last year for their agencies' failures to keep and turn over records. Lamberth's orders since 1996 have required Interior Department officials to preserve records involving the trust accounts, including e-mails. But the Indians' lawyers wrote to Lamberth that e-mail from agencies such as the Office of Trust Fund Management and Interior Department lawyers were routinely deleted, though department officials testified that they were being kept. For example, Interior Department lawyers in a Billings, Mont., office were not told to keep copies of their e-mails until last Dec. 14 - and even some of those tapes were erased this year, government lawyers acknowledged in previous court filings. ……"
White House 11/7/00 Bill Clinton ".....Sec. 3. Policymaking Criteria. In addition to adhering to the fundamental principles set forth in section 2, agencies shall adhere, to the extent permitted by law, to the following criteria when formulating and implementing policies that have tribal implications: (a) Agencies shall respect Indian tribal self-government and sovereignty, honor tribal treaty and other rights, and strive to meet the responsibilities that arise from the unique legal relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribal governments. (b) With respect to Federal statutes and regulations administered by Indian tribal governments, the Federal Government shall grant Indian tribal governments the maximum administrative discretion possible. (c) When undertaking to formulate and implement policies that have tribal implications, agencies shall: (1) encourage Indian tribes to develop their own policies to achieve program objectives; (2) where possible, defer to Indian tribes to establish standards; and (3) in determining whether to establish Federal standards, consult with tribal officials as to the need for Federal standards and any alternatives that would limit the scope of Federal standards or otherwise preserve the prerogatives and authority of Indian tribes......... Sec. 4. Special Requirements for Legislative Proposals. Agencies shall not submit to the Congress legislation that would be inconsistent with the policymaking criteria in Section 3. ....."
The Associated Press 11/6/00 Matt Kelley "……President Clinton ordered federal agencies Monday to work more closely with American Indian tribal governments and give tribes ``the maximum administrative discretion possible'' in enforcing federal law and regulations. …… The order also prohibits federal agencies from proposing legislation that would hurt tribal governments, and requires agencies to designate an official to handle relations with tribes. Agencies would have to consult with tribes early in the rule-making process and detail the financial effect of agency decisions on tribal governments. ……``We must continue to engage in partnership, so that the first Americans can reach their full potential,'' Clinton said in a statement. ``We must respect Native Americans' rights to choose for themselves their own way of life on their own lands according to their honored cultures and traditions.'' ……"
AP Regional 11/3/00 "….. U.S. Senate candidate Rick Lazio said Friday claims by two American Indian nations that he is racist are ''nonsense.'' The Republican congressman from Long Island, locked in a close race with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, said a radio ad that slams federal land claim lawsuits involving Indian land defended homeowners but did not tear down Native Americans. The radio ad that ran in October says: ''Incredibly, the Clinton administration's Justice Department is suing New York homeowners to reclaim hundreds of thousands of acres of land claimed by an Indian treaty that's more than 200 years old.'' …… The Mohawk and Oneida Indian nations contended that the ad was offensive and racist, and designed to scare homeowners into voting for Lazio. ……"
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 11/1/00 John Machacek "....The U.S. Interior Department has proposed a new American Indian land claim case that could affect property owners on more than 100,000 acres of prime suburban and rural land in western New York, Rep. Thomas Reynolds said Tuesday. Reynolds, R-Clarence, Erie County, said department officials recently notified New York state of their recommendation that the Justice Department file the suit against individual landowners on behalf of the Seneca Indian Nation. ...."
Associated Press 10/26/00 Matt Kelley "…..Congress is urging the Clinton administration to settle a lawsuit over mismanagement of trust accounts for about 500,000 American Indians, a move that could cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Nonbinding instructions that accompanied the 2001 Interior Department budget, passed by Congress and signed into law earlier this month, said the problems with the accounts would be ``best worked out through a negotiation and settlement process.'' Spending millions over decades to determine how much should be in each account is wasteful, the instructions said. …….. The Indians sued in 1996 over a century's worth of problems with the system that handles about $500 million a year in proceeds from oil wells and other uses of Indian land. The Indians say they are due at least $10 billion. The federal judge handling the case sided with the Indians last December, calling the mismanagement ``government irresponsibility in its purest form.'' ……… The federal government has acknowledged mismanagement, but the Justice Department is appealing the case because it claims U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth overstepped his authority in ordering a full accounting of the money and appointing himself overseer of reform efforts. ……"