Skip to comments.Judge condemns Interior Department as a callous, clueless agency
Posted on 07/12/2005 10:54:07 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON The Interior Department was ordered Tuesday by a judge who called it a "pathetic outpost" to admit it can't provide accurate information about lost royalties owed to American Indians. In a scathing condemnation of the government's treatment of American Indians, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth directed the department to enclose notices in its correspondence saying information provided on trust assets may not be credible.
The notices also are meant to alert people that they may be members of the class-action lawsuit brought by lead plaintiff Eloise Cobell in 1996 on behalf of more than 300,000 American Indians. Under Lamberth's order, the notices must say: "Evidence introduced in the Cobell case shows that any information related to (Indian trust accounts) ... from the Department of the Interior may be unreliable."
Lamberth has been locked in a nine-year battle with Interior both Secretary Gale Norton and her Clinton administration predecessor, Bruce Babbitt over the department's inability to come up with an accurate accounting of what Indians are owed. The judge has held both administrators in contempt of court.
Lamberth wrote in his opinion Tuesday that "one would expect, or at least hope, that the modern Interior Department and its modern administrators would manage it in a way that reflects our modern understandings of how the government should treat people.
"Alas, our 'modern' Interior Department has time and again demonstrated that it is a dinosaur the morally and culturally oblivious hand-me-down of a disgracefully racist and imperialist government that should have been buried a century ago, the last pathetic outpost of the indifference and Anglocentrism we thought we had left behind."
Interior officials had no immediate response Tuesday.
Calculating payments of oil, gas, grazing and timber royalties from American Indian lands dating back to when the trust fund was created in 1887 and adding accrued interest, Indian plaintiffs in a suit against the government say they are owed at least $27.5 billion.
Lamberth's decisions in the case have occasionally been reversed by a federal appeals court. For example, it threw out a plan he had for making the Interior Department account for the money and told Lamberth he could no longer "micromanage" how the system gets fixed.
Lamberth's 34-page opinion accompanied a three-page order.
He wrote: "For those harboring hope that the stories of murder, dispossession, forced marches, assimilationist policy programs, and other incidents of cultural genocide against the Indians are merely the echoes of a horrible, bigoted government-past that has been sanitized by the good deeds of more recent history, this case serves as an appalling reminder of the evils that result when large numbers of the politically powerless are placed at the mercy of institutions engendered and controlled by a politically powerful few."
On the Net:
Interior Department: www.doi.gov/indiantrust
American Indian plaintiffs: www.indiantrust.com
Title could apply to any government agency.
Indians aren't owed nothing. They should be forced to join society just like schools were forced to mainstream the learning impaired. Maybe government agencies are clueless but in this case who really gives a rat about trying to figure out how much Indians are owed when they ain't owed nothing. Zilch. Nada.
I couldn't disagree more.
It would appear you are unfamiliar with contract law.
It would appear that the Indians are due nothing. We are the victors. What other country do you know of that defeats an enemy and gives them part of their country?
I think we need some warning labels on our income tax forms. For example, 'Warning your taxes unlikely to be used for your benefit.'
Or nextt to he SS trust fund line.. 'Warning not an actual trust fund.'
Let's see...we defeated the largest military force (at that time) in the world for our "independence". We still provide our "victim" with annual compensence. We defeated Germany...not once, but twice. We still provide annual compensence. We defeated Japan, whom, if I may remind you, attacked us first...we still provide annual compensence. How about the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic? We are still providing compensence to that "ruined state" (liberal speak). If I recall correctly, Viet Nam was a "loss". Are we providing monies to them? Yes.
My point is...with every "conquered nation" we have encountered, we treatied with. with the promise of rebuilding the country for the benefit of the people/the world.
I agree, we "conquered the Native Americans" in order to become the greatest nation on earth. We also made "treaties" with these people and, to a large part, did not live up to these treaties. If we said to the Indians, "Here is the land on which we "give" you to live, and you will be paid royalties for mineral rights, etc, and the "conquerers" are to keep the books, don't you think we should live up to our promises?
We do all over the rest of the world. Why not in our own back yard?
Ask Bruce B-B-B-Babbett where the Indian's monies are. He knows. He was held in contempt of court over this. He or his people destroyed records relating to this so the truth could not come out. Was he punished? NO. Unfortunately, the administration changed before this case was settled. It looks like he's off the hook. Now the present administration has the duty to un-ravel the mystery left to them by the previous administration.
Judge Lamberth is only following the law. Isn't that what we ask of our judges? Yes, this could cost the taxpayer lots of money. But these monies were owed the Native Americans by treaty. Treaties that should have been monitered, just as they are universally. Under the socialist Klintoon administration, there was NO oversight. They didn't believe in it. THEY ARE the elites...the rulers...they know all of what's good for us.
JGTSY...NEVER, NEVER, EVER, make a deal with the US Government. EVER!
"Indians aren't owed nothing. They should be forced to join society just like schools were forced to mainstream the learning impaired. Maybe government agencies are clueless but in this case who really gives a rat about trying to figure out how much Indians are owed when they ain't owed nothing. Zilch. Nada."
One of the more ignorant statements I've seen in a while.
Beware the double negative. ;-)
Maybe it's because you adhere to the "everybody is a victim" logic. I could have expanded on my statement but I believe it speaks for itself. The Indians are getting far more today than was ever envisioned by the treaty makers and for them to go after even more is ludicrous.
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