Category Archives: News Tracker

Federal prosecutors involved in VA “Death List” scandal

Federal prosecutors involved in VA “Death List” scandal

shinseki_051514.jpg

May 15, 2014: Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.AP

The chief watchdog for the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed this past week that his office is working with federal prosecutors to weigh whether criminal charges are warranted in the health care scandal at a Phoenix VA facility.

VA acting Inspector General Richard J. Griffin, who spoke to lawmakers on Capitol Hill after VA Secretary Eric Shinseki delivered his first public testimony since the scandal broke, vowed to complete an “exhaustive review” and predicted it would be done by around August.

He said that review includes OIG criminal investigators as well as federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona and the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. They are working, he said, to “determine any conduct that we discover that merits criminal prosecution.”

His comments come as some lawmakers call for heads to roll over the burgeoning controversy over patient deaths tied to delayed care. Facing calls for his resignation, Shinseki defended the VA system but vowed to get to the bottom of what happened in Phoenix and elsewhere, and take “all actions necessary.”

“Any allegation, any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell,” Shinseki said Thursday before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Lawmakers, though, accused Shinseki of failing to act on repeated warnings about problems with the veterans health care system. He faced bipartisan criticism that his department is falling down on its vital obligation to care for America’s veterans.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — who represents the state where the scandal broke — said the problems have created a “crisis of confidence.”

“We should all be ashamed,” said McCain, a Vietnam veteran.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who has called for the secretary’s resignation, accused Shinseki of being in “damage control” and not taking the action that is necessary to correct the system.

The scandal at the Phoenix division involved an off-the-books list allegedly kept to conceal long wait times as up to 40 veterans died waiting to get an appointment. Officials were accused of cooking the books to hide the fact that veterans were waiting more than 14 days, the target window.

VA facilities in South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Washington state have also been linked to delays in patient care or poor oversight. An internal probe of a Colorado clinic found that staff had been instructed to falsify records to cover up delayed care at a Fort Collins facility.

Shinseki has urged officials to wait until the inspector general report is completed, as he orders a separate review, but lawmakers voiced concern that this would only lead to further delays.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called the allegations “deeply disturbing.” “We need more than good intentions,” she said, calling for “decisive action.”

A top Republican also questioned when senior leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs learned that lower-level workers were “manipulating wait times” for veterans’ health care. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., ranking Republican on the panel, said that the allegations have been surfacing for a while, and information on the problems was available to the secretary a year and a half ago.

“Why were the national audits and statements of concern from the VA only made this month?” he asked, adding that the delayed health care has resulted in “patient harm and patient death.”

Shinseki said the controversy “saddens” him. In his written statement, he said the department “must do better.”

Under questioning from senators, Shinseki still defended the overall management of the VA, calling it a “good system” and claiming that cases where workers were manipulating wait times are “isolated.”

Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opening statement, urged Shinseki’s critics to wait until more details are known, acknowledging the VA health care system has “serious problems” but questioning whether it even has enough resources.

“There has been a little bit of a rush to judgment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Griffin said veteran deaths could be avoided if the VA would focus on its core mission of delivering quality health care. Lawmakers also heard Thursday from a host of veteran advocacy groups — including The American Legion, which has called for Shinseki’s resignation.

American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger said in his testimony that the Phoenix scandal was not the only reason the organization called for a leadership change — rather, it was the “final straw.”

Griffin cited deep flaws in the organizational structure of the VA that need to be fixed. Griffin cited seven recent reports that demonstrate problems hindering the VA’s ability to provide quality health care coverage.

Examples include a September 2013 report on a VA hospital in Columbia, S.C., which found thousands of patients had their appointments for colon cancer screenings delayed. He says it found that more than 50 patients had a delayed diagnosis of colon cancer, and some later died. Another report from October 2013 discusses a facility in Memphis, Tenn., where three patients died due to improper emergency room care.

Griffin says it is time for the VA to conduct a review of its systems to determine if there are changes that can be made to improve.

In discussing the current state of VA health care, Shinseki cites numerous examples of ways he says the VA has improved care over the past five years, including improving and expanding care access, working to end veteran homelessness and improving access to mental health services. He says the VA is actively working to improve patient wait times.

The White House has stood behind Shinseki amid calls for him to resign. President Obama announced Wednesday he is assigning his close adviser Rob Nabors to the VA to work on a review focused on policies for patient safety rules and the scheduling of patient appointments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Obama firing top military leaders

Obama firing top military leaders

Over the past two years Obama has been purging (firing) top military leaders.  He has also put an anti-military person, Chuck Hagel, in-charge of our military as the Secretary of Defense.

“They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job — just keep your mouth shut.”

Nine of our most senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year.

ABC, a liberal news media source, stated in this video that they are very concerned about this purging:

ABC US News | ABC Entertainment News

General Petraeus and General McChrystal were forced to resign in 2011 and 2010, respectively.  These were the US’s most highly decorated and admired military heros!  ABC’s story above also states 16 other senior military brass were fired too.  (General Carter Hamm, Vice Adm Tim Giardina, and others)

Gen Paul Vallely
Gen Paul Vallely

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, said the White House fails to take action or investigate its own, but finds it easy to fire military commanders “who have given their lives for their country.”

MG Vallely is referring to the Obama Administration not seeking justice for the Benghazi attacks that killed 4 embassy personnel, the IRS Targeting Scandal, the Fast & Furious Scandal where a US border agent was killed with weapons given to Mexican cartels by the US government, and many other issues plaguing the Obama Administration.

Here’s what a former Army commander said on FoxNews about the purge:

A Pentagon official who asked to remain nameless because they were not authorized to speak on the matter said even “young officers, down through the ranks have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job — just keep your mouth shut.”

The US has NEVER seen a purging like this of military commanders.

Secretary of Defense Hagel is proposing a 1.8% pay cut for troops, a continued reduction in the number of troops, reducing the number of military bases, and cutting benefits to the military’s insurance system called Tricare.

In 2013 when going through the selection process for Secretary of Defense, he was strongly opposed due to a very poor track record of supporting our troops and Israel, a top US ally.   A point he’s now proving.

Shouldn’t a Defense Secretary be pro-military and fight for their cause?

Under the Obama Administration our military has seen over a 25% budget reduction that has led to the smallest Army the US has had since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915, and the smallest Air Force since 1960.  Our military is weak!

So why are these top military officials being purged?  The official reasons range from mishandling nukes, to sexual misconduct, to having illegal poker chips.  Most who are close to this situation believe the charges for dismal  have been trumped up so that the punish does not fit the “crime”.

As noted in the Fox News video above, that expert stated he believe Obama is “flexing his muscle” with the military.  It is no secret military leaders often disagree with his approach to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and a list of other issues.  So, the belief is they have been let go because they are not “yes” men.

The new replacements for these men who have been purged are considered pro-Obama leaders.  There are numerous stories of a potential Martial Law within the United States during Obama’s administration that would likely involve large civilian armed riots.

Over the past four years there has been an increase within the military training programs preparing our soldiers to fire upon US citizens if this occurs. Numerous laws forbid the use of our US military in domestic violence issues.

These have been men who have been purged have dedicated most of their lives serving our military and our country and who have sometimes put themselves in harms way risking their lives.

Then they come home to a leader who has a strong distaste for our military and who has used his entire length in office to dismember the strength of our armed forces.

US sends surveillance planes to find girls, Nigeria weighs prisoner swap

US sends surveillance planes to find girls,  Nigeria weighs prisoner swap

Nigeria’s government said Monday it was weighing all options to secure the freedom of nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls, as their captors demanded the release of jailed militants and the U.S. deployed surveillance planes in hopes of finding the girls.

A Nigerian government statement said it would “continue to explore all options for the release and safe return of our girls back to their homes” after the release of a video by the Boko Haram terrorist network showing what it claimed were some of the schoolgirls kidnapped a month ago.

Nigerian girlsThe video showed about 100 girls, indicating they may have been broken up into smaller groups as some reports have indicated. Fifty-three girls managed to escape and 276 remain missing, according to Nigerian authorities.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official told Fox News the Pentagon has deployed military aircraft over Nigeria for manned intelligence and surveillance missions.

The U.S. has sent some 30 people drawn from the State and Defense departments. Among them are five State Department officials, two strategic communications experts, a civil security expert and a regional medical support officer. Four FBI officials with expertise in safe recovery, negotiations and preventing future kidnappings are also part of the group.

The Pentagon said 16 Defense Department personnel were on the team, including planners and advisers who were already in Nigeria and have been redirected to assist the government.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at a press breifing Monday that the U.S. had experts in a variety of areas, including reconnaissance and surveillance, working on the case of the missing girls. However he said he did not have a “catalog” of the specific resources the experts were using.

The foreign help does not involve boots on the ground but rather experts in intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism and hostage negotiations.

French President Francois Hollande invited Jonathan and leaders from neighboring Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, as well as representatives of Britain, the EU and the United States, to a summit on Saturday to focus on Boko Haram, terrorism and insecurity in West Africa.

A French official said Jonathan had agreed to attend. He spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the gathering have not been finalized.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Said Djinnit, his special representative for West Africa, is in Abuja for meetings with the president and other officials on how the United Nations and its member states can help.

The girls’ families have said most of those seized April 15 from a school in the northeastern town of Chibok are Christians.

It was impossible to fully authenticate the video released on Monday, though parents were trying to turn on a generator in Chibok, hoping to watch the video and identify their daughters, said a town leader, Pogu Bitrus.

“There’s an atmosphere of hope — hope that these girls are alive, whether they have been forced to convert to Islam or not,” he told The Associated Press by telephone. “We want to be able to say, ‘These are our girls.'”

Bitrus said vegetation in the video looked like the Sambisa Forest, some 20 miles from Chibok, where the girls were believed to have been spirited away.

It is not known how many suspected Boko Haram members are detained by security forces. Hundreds were killed last month when leader Abubakar Shekau’s fighters stormed the military’s main northeastern barracks in Maiduguri, the terror group’s birthplace and the headquarters of a year-old military state of emergency to put down the 5-year-old Islamic uprising.

Interior Minister Abba Moro scoffed at Boko Haram’s demand to release prisoners late Monday, telling the BBC the group was in no moral position to make the offer.

“As far as this government is concerned, the option of [the] swap of innocent citizens with people who have taken arms against the country… is not on the table,” he said.

But Mike Omri, the director of Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency, told The Associated Press late Monday that the government will “use whatever kind of action” it takes to free the girls.

In a video last week, Shekau threatened to sell the girls into slavery. It arrived amid unverified reports that Christians among the students had been forced to convert to Islam and that some were taken to neighboring Cameroon and Chad, where they were forced to marry their abductors. Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful.”

The latest video, obtained by The Associated Press, came through channels that have provided previous messages from Shekau, who spoke in the video in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria. Wearing camouflage fatigues, he clutched an assault rifle in the footage, which was imprinted with the Boko Haram insignia — a Quran resting on two crossed assault rifles — and below a black jihadi flag.

The United States put a $7 million ransom on Shekau last year.

The mass abductions and failure of Nigeria’s government and military to rescue the girls has aroused outrage at home and abroad. Last week, Nigeria belatedly accepted offers of help from the United States, Britain and other nations.

Unethical Senator Harry Reid

Unethical Senator Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid
Senator Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada, has has numerous unethical activities during his stint as Senator and as the Senate Majority leader for the Democrats. (Who is Senator Reid?)

Its no secret that many powerful politicians use their position for personal financial gain, unethical issues, and sometimes illegal activities.   Just a few years ago, John Edwards, a powerful Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate was charged with multiple felony violations of campaign contribution laws.  The list of other politicians committing illegal and/or unethical violations would be a long one.

Why?  With Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.

absolute power

Senior politicians have lots of power. And Reid has Absolute Power.  He is untouchable.  He has Obama to protect him as well as other powerful Senate members and the US Attorney General, Eric Holder (see Holder’s scandals).

In John Edwards ‘s trial (the Presidential candidate), all charges were dropped even though there was irrefutable evidence he committed the crimes.  He was a powerful Democrat with a powerful Senator’s support (Reid) along with a Democratic President and a Democratic Attorney General.

Now back to Reid.

Very little has been mentioned about Reid’s misdeeds in the main stream media in the past.  For some reason most of his ethical violations have remained hidden from the public. Until now. Cliven Bundy

I think the confrontation last month in Nevada between Cliven Bundy, a cattle ranchers, and the now infamous Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has put the spot light on Reid.

As you can see from this video and the ones below, more focus has now been placed on the activities of the Senator.  He’s also been called a “school yard bully” for the way the he’s treated the American people, Republican Congressman, and the Tea Party.

Here are some of the issues and bullying that Reid has committed:

  1. Attempting to run a Nevada rancher off his land using the BLM for Chinese solar panels
  2. Called the Nevada rancher a “domestic terrorist
  3. Numerous insults at the Tea Party: Anarchist and Terrorist
  4. Huge Obamacare support even though a majority of Nevadans don’t support it
  5. Many verbal attacks against the conservative billionaire Koch Brothers
  6. Using taxpayer funded Twitter account (see Talking Points) for political attacks against the Kocks (which is illegal)
  7. Used campaign fund money to pay for gifts to his granddaughter (illegal)
  8. Sold Nevada land to the Chinese for 10% of its appraised value (a 90% discount) for a solar panel business
  9. In 2006 in the same area where Bundy lives, Reid made changes to Federal EPA laws so a friend could develop land in an area called Coyote Springs. This land was protected and off limits to anyone. He also had the BLM remove endangered turtles from the area so his friend, Harvey Whittemore, could develop 10,000 acres in to homes and golf courses. (more details)

There are many more unethical activities by Reid.  You can find more details from Discover The Networks.

How does Reid continue to keep his job? He’s not going to be prosecuted by the Attorney General (i.e. the Dept of Justice) because of Obama and Eric Holder.  The Republicans might eventual do an investigation but little will come of it.

I think most people aren’t aware of these issues.  And its most important for voters in Nevada to be aware his behavior and vote him out of office…or even do a special election to remove him.   I hope the great State of Nevada wakes up to his bad behavior, his bullying, and using his position for personal gain for himself, his family, and his close friends.

Sources: Washington Post,  Discover The Networks, FoxNews

Second Amendment Overview

Second Amendment Overview

2nd Amendment

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Let’s break this down:

Well regulated militia: A militia is a fully legal and authorized group of armed citizens.  A militia is NOT the military, National Guard, or law enforcement.  It is simply citizens who are armed.  If YOU are armed, you are in the militia.  See our in depth explanation of a militia at “What is a Militia?

A free state:  Today we think of “states” as California, Florida, and all states in between.  Technically, a state is: “a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government. Germany, Italy, and other European countries are states.”  So as we think of states from a US standpoint, “states” actually means a “country”.  In the US we are 50 countries (or states) that are united as one federal state.  Or, at least we use to be.

Infringed defined actively break the terms of a law or agreement.

The Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 or 225 years ago. The style of writing back then was slightly different than today. Therefore, to “translate” into a slightly more modern style:

The people of our free states (the United States), who are the armed militia, have the right to keep and bear arms.  Their right to this shall not be be legally broken.

Again, this is NOT referring to the military or law enforcement.  It is referring to “We the people”.

There are many, many ways liberals and Democrats are attempting to re-write the Second Amendment.

In Muslim terrorist countries, Muslims begin their teaching children as early as two years old, that the United States,  Christians, and Jews are their enemies.  And its okay to slaughter them like cattle.  Literally.

With the new Common Core curriculum being used in many states today, it too teaches children a new and different version of the Second Amendment.  See: Common Core Rewrites 2nd Amendment. The point is that US educators have begun teaching our children at an early age that guns are bad and the Constitution is wrong.

The US Government is also going after gun and ammo manufacturers. One very brilliant way they are doing this is through the EPA.  The EPA Clean Air act has already caused one major ammo manufacturer of lead used in ammunition to close at the end of 2013.  This will make lead much harder to get and much more expensive.  (See story.)

The FBI and DHS are also treating people who buy ammo and guns as domestic terrorist.  See “Gov’t asks businesses to rat-out preppers“.

Former New York Mayor and huge anti-gun activist Michael Bloomberg is spending $50 million dollars of his own money to fight the National Rifle Association (NRA).  He wants all guns taken from citizens and is going to use this opportunity to increase anti-gun feelings with US citizens.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s signing of the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) “on behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States.”

Article 3 of that agreement outlaws the buying, selling, trading, or transferring by civilians of all “ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms.”

Woman shooting gun
Home self-defense

We could continue with other stories but I believe this proves that there is an attack on the Second Amendment.  If you support your Second Amendment rights, you need to get involved.

Join the NRA, National Association of Gun Owners, and even your state sponsored militia (sometimes called the State Guard and open to everyone).

Benghazi: White House emails show they knew it was terrorist attack

Benghazi: White House emails show they knew it was terrorist attack

Emails recently obtained from the White House clearly show they knew the attacks on our Embassy in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. But they intentionally used the cover-up of an anti-Muslim video to blame the reason for the attack.

US Ambassor Christopher Stevens killed in Lybia
Stevens killed in Libya

In that attack four Americans including our Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed.  (See full story)

These newly released emails also show that on Sept. 27, 2012, two weeks after the attack, a Fox News report titled “US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm” — was circulated at the most senior levels of the administration.  Included on this email was the then CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.

Why is this important?

Morell originally testified before Congress saying the CIA did NOT say the anti-Muslim video caused the attacks.  Instead, the CIA said it was a planned, coordinated attack by terrorist.  Those terrorist, by the way, claimed responsibility for the attack DURING the attack.

At that time, Morell said the State Dept run by Hilary Clinton, changed the CIA’s Talking Points Memo. The CIA version said it was a terrorist attack.  The version released to the public said it was because of an anti-Muslim video.

Early this month Morell testified again in front of Congress changing his story saying that: it could have been a terrorist attack or a riot turned violent. Why did he change his story? To protect Hillary Clinton.  (See full story)

Three leading Republicans on Monday night sent letters to the House and Senate foreign affairs committees asking them to compel the Administration (the White House) to explain who briefed Susan Rice in advance of the Sunday talk shows and whether State Department or White House personnel were involved.

How could former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, during the five Sunday talk shows on September 16, 2012, claim that the attacks on our compounds were caused by a hateful video when Mr. Morell testified that the CIA never mentioned the video as a causal factor,” said the letter, from Sens. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire; and John McCain, of Arizona.

More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012 (three days after the attack), email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

See actual email:  FoxNews

The Rhodes email, with the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET,” was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney.

In the email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video.  There was no discussions about a terrorist attack.  Even though the CIA had already said it was a terrorist attack.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents read like a PR strategy, not an effort to provide the best available intelligence to the American people.

The goal of the White House was to do one thing primarily, which was to make the president look good. Blame it on the video and not [the] president’s policies,” he said.

Why would the White House want to cover this up as a terrorist attack?  It would definitely make the President look bad.  And he was running for re-election and could not afford to lose votes over this in such a tight election.

Now, at this point it doesn’t matter.

He’s been re-elected. We now know the White House was involved in lying to the public about the attacks.  We know the State Dept lied.  We know that 4 Americans died because our government would not give them the protection they needed even after many months of pleading.  The intel they were getting said they were going to be attacked.  They were.  They died.

They died while the White House, State Dept, and CIA watched the live video feed from a US drone overhead capturing the entire event. And did nothing. Even though that had troops ready to go and fight.

See: The Complete Recap on the Benghazi Attacks

Source: FoxNews

BLM takes land from another Nevada rancher, Indian sisters

BLM takes land from another Nevada rancher, Indian sisters

You think the USA’s war is over with the Native America Indians? Yeah, we did too.

“I was indigenous and in one single evening they [the BLM] made me indigent. If you think the Indian wars are over, then think again”.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

About an hour southwest of Elko, in Nevada’s Crescent Valley, the Dann sisters, Mary and Carrie, had lived peaceably on a plot of land, raising horses and cattle for a generation. Their people had lived peaceably on that land for many, many generations.

But then the Federal government, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) steps in.

 

Gold mine
Gold mine

Unfortunately, their ranch butts-up against a large gold deposit. The federal government permitted gold mining at Cortez in 1969. In 2010, the latest available figures, 1,140,000 ounces of gold had been removed from the land.

The Dann’s generations lived peaceably for hundreds of years…until 1973.

In 1863 the United States government signed a treaty with the Shoshone (Sha’ Shoney) Indian nation.    The Treaty of Ruby Valley gave title to 60 million acres of land belong to the Shoshone’s.  This is very important a hundred years later when the Federal government began taking the land from these Indians.  (See more on this treaty)

You think the USA’s war is over with the Native America Indians? Yeah, we did too.

BLM Agents at Dann's
BLM Agents at Dann’s

In September 2002, BLM agents swooped in and seized 227 cattle from their ranch, where the pair were raising cattle and horses on land purchased by their father Dewey Dann in the 1930s.

See a great video documentary of the Dann sisters, Shoshone Indians, and their attack by the US Gov’t that continues today.

In December 2002, the Danns were ordered to remove remaining livestock, 250 additional cattle and 1,000 horses, and they were charged with trespassing on public land. They were served with $3 million in fines for past due grazing fees.

Dead baby horse, mom
Dead baby horse, mom

The BLM took some of these cattle and horse to other remote areas of Nevada and turned them loose…to die.  Knowing they would starve to death!  The sisters beg and pleaded with the BLM but it feel on deaf ears.  Ears that are suppose to protect animals.  (see “BLM intentionally killing endangered turtles“)

Carrie Dann says, “I was indigenous and in one single evening they [the BLM] made me indigent. If you think the Indian wars are over, then think again”.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

The Dann sisters did not transfer grazing permits into their name from their late father, Dewey Dann. Instead, they argued that their land was within the boundaries of the Western Shoshone and therefore live under territory rule. The federal government however claimed the land was public and purchased from the Western Shoshone in 1979.

The BLM, then served the Danns warrants, and followed through with their warning to auction off their remaining livestock in January 2003. The sisters sued the BLM to prove rightful ownership of land, but watched as agents removed their cattle and horses on January 18th. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that since the Danns received no money for their land, it was still theirs.

But the ruling was overturned in the Supreme Court, using a “bar clause” stating that Indian Claims legislation denotes; when money is paid for land, its use and rights to use are forever barred. According to the Supreme Court, the Shoshone land had been gradually encroached upon and it no longer belonged to the Dann Ranch.

Furthermore, the BLM claimed that the Dann livestock caused irreparable damage to the countryside due to over grazing. “Grass grows back, but mining causes irreparable damage to the earth,” commented Carrie Dann.

Their struggle was the cause for a handful of protesters to fight along with the grandmothers, but their case also acted as a smoke screen for the what the government was planning. On September 24th, 2003, HR 884 made its way to the Resources Committee, which aimed to pay out Western Shoshone land for expansion of the Cortez and development at Yucca Mountain.

Shoshone tribe elders met in Washington DC one month earlier to at least place “hold” on the Bill, but their request was ignored. Mary and Carrie Dann sued the United States government for violating their rights. The Nevada sisters said the U.S. used illegal means to gain control of Native American ancestral lands by slowly encroachment by industry and private landowners.

The U.S. government says it paid the Western Shoshone Nation for its use of their land in 1979, and has since privatized millions of additional acreage. The Western Shoshone Distribution Bill, HR 884, signed into law by President George Bush in July 2004, relaxes the territorial rules held by Shoshones for 150 years.

About 26 million acres transferred to the federal government and is ear-marked by the BLM for mining minerals, storing nuclear waste, and for geothermal energy production. This includes Yucca Mountain, a historical and spiritual area for Shoshones.

In the late 1970s the U.S. government started using Yucca Mountain as a repository for nuclear waste, but it since has maxed-out capacity with 77,000 metric tons of nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. All except 2 percent of U.S. nuclear waste was earmarked for Yucca Mountain with HR Bill 884, beginning in 2010.

The Obama Administration has since placed a hold on operations at Yucca Mountain, albeit for far different reasons. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found the U.S. government violated the Dann sisters’ rights, although did not state that the Dann sisters owned land.

The Commission suggested an “effective remedy” should make sure respect for the Danns claim to their ranch of 70 years. The Organization of American States human-rights commission reaffirmed land-rights use of the Western Shoshone Indian tribe, rejecting the federal government’s claim the Danns’ live on public land.

It was the first time both councils charged the U.S. government with violating human rights. Carrie Dann says she wouldn’t have sued the BLM had she known the court would favor the government. The Dann sisters fought the federal government without the help from Human Rights Watch, or the American Civil Liberties Union. The two women committed themselves to preserving their ancestral land.

Mary died following an ATV accident on her ranch in central Nevada while repairing a fence-line on April 22, 2005. She was 82 years old. Mary’s niece, Patricia Paul, said her aunt had “died as she would have wanted — with her boots on and hay in her pocket.”

Two years later, Carrie was arrested with 38 others for trespassing at the Nevada Test Site at a Nevada Desert Experience event protesting governmental programs at the site. She continues with activities to try to end nuclear testing and programs at the site.

Carrie, along with Western Shoshone Defense Project and four other tribal and public interest groups, in November 2008, sued the federal government and Canadian Barrick Gold, seeking an injunction to stop the Cortez Hills Expansion Project on Mt. Tenabo, which the Western Shoshone also consider sacred land. The case is pending.

See all our stories related to the government grabbing land from Americans.

Credit: Tom Darby, The Real Media

US Gov’t Land Grab and the Indian Treaty of Peace (Peace for who?)

US Gov’t Land Grab and the Indian Treaty of Peace (Peace for who?)

In order to know where we are heading, we have to remember where we’ve been. Thus, the importance of history repeating itself.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

The Bundy Ranch stand-off in Southern Nevada isn’t the first public fight over property rights in Nevada. A battle between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Western Shoshone Indian tribe in Northeast Nevada ended with far different results.

The Treaty of Peace and Friendship, also known more formally as the Treaty of Ruby Valley, signed in 1863 between the federal government and the Western Shoshone tribe included the use of 43,000 square miles of territory extending north from the deserts of Southern California, across much of Nevada, and into South central Idaho, and East into Utah.

Treaty of Ruby Valley
Treaty of Ruby Valley

The treaty gave Shoshone permanent use of the land in exchange for “peace,” so that the “Union of the United States” in the midst of Civil War, could guarantee the flow of gold out of California to points East.

Shoshones agreed to end warfare with settlers and the U.S. and to allow transportation and telegraph wires through its territory.

Shoshone say the 1863 treaty did not sell their land to a government, but instead secured their rights to own and occupy. However in 1934, the federal government passed the Indian Reorganization Act, saying that federal recognition and support would depend on the creation of ‘tribal’ governments based on a model devised by the Secretary of the Interior.

Unfamiliar forms of governance were then superimposed on traditional Shoshone decision-making, creating artificial divisions and aggravating existing disputes. In 1946 an act of Congress created the Indian Claims Commission, to investigate suits by Native Americans against the US for illegitimate taking of their land.

In 1962, the Commission ruled against a Shoshone suit stating: “The Indian title to the Western Shoshone land was extinguished by the gradual encroachment of settlers and others and by the acquisition, disposition or taking of said lands by the US for its own use and benefit or that of its citizens.

In 1966, without the participation of the Western Shoshone people, the federal government arbitrarily set July 1, 1872, as the date of valuation for Western Shoshone land and determined that compensation should be paid for 24 million acres. The federal government paid the tribe $26 million in 1983 through a trust, or $1.08 per acre. Today the amount is $250 to $1,000 per acre. Furthermore, the tribe has yet to draw on any of the money.

The BLM continues to take land from rightful land owners like the Bundy’s in Nevada and from Texas.

Dead baby horse, mom
Dead baby horse, mom

The BLM says it’s mission it to protect the environment.  In the Bundy case, they said they were protecting turtles. Later we find they were actually killing them!  And then we discover they shot and killed Bundy’s cattle and buried them in mass graves.  In the case of the Shoshone Indian cattle and horses removed, they let hundreds of them starve to death including the baby horses.

Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie
Dann Sisters, Mary & Carrie

See the Dann sisters, Shoshone Indians, story on what the BLM did to them.

See the great video documentary of the Dann sisters, Shoshone Indians, and their attack by the US Gov’t that continues today.

See our complete set of stories related to land being taking by our government, the Land Grab by the US Government.

Credit: Tom Darby, Real Media

Sources: Wiki, Oxfam America “Our Land, Our Life” documentary

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