Native radio journalists call for Bush war crimes tribunal

Native radio journalists call for Bush war crimes tribunal

Native radio journalists urged a war crimes tribunal for Bush and immediate withdrawal from Iraq

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

LOS ANGELES — On American Indian Airwaves, Native American radio hosts Kehaulani Kauanui, Kanaka Maoli/Native Hawaiian, and James Brown, Elm Pomo Nation, called for a tribunal to hold President Bush responsible for war crimes, during a panel discussion by distinguished Indigenous journalists and scholars.
“I think we need to pursue trying George Bush and company for war crimes related to this illegal and unlawful occupation in Iraq,” Kauanui said.
“We need to have a war crimes tribunal and bring all these people in,” Brown added. Both Kauanui and Brown called on President elect Obama to initiate immediate withdrawal from Iraq upon entering office.
During the panel on KPFK Radio Los Angeles/Santa Barbara today, Suzan Harjo joined James Brown, producer of “Tribal Voices Radio” on KPFZ, and Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Lakota Nation. Ghosthorse serves as host of “First Voices Indigenous Radio,”at WBAI in New York. Kehaulani Kauanui, an associate professor and producer of “Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond,” on WESU, in Middletown, Conn., completed the panel.
Today’s show demonstrated Indigenous programming and shared the history, girth and diversity on Pacifica since the 1960s, according to American Indian Airwaves cohosts Marcus Lopez (Chumash Nation) and Larry Smith (Lumbee Nation.)
James Brown, Pomo, spoke about Rattlesnake Island and the incompetence of the BIA. “Our so-called protectors can not be trusted with the land,” Brown said. The BIA sold off Pomo land for mercury mining in the 1940s, leaving the tribe with only 50 acres of land, located 100 miles north of San Francisco.
“We have all our Creation stories here. We were basically fishing villages,” he said.
Brown said Pomo is a matriarchal society, which resulted in the strength of the culture which has lasted so long. Earlier, Pomo fought Boise Cascade and prevented Rattlesnake Island from being subdivided for condominiums. Now, a wealthy businessman, John Nady, is attempting to build a mansion on their sacred mound and burial grounds at Rattlesnake Island.
“We may end up occupying this island to help preserve it this coming summer,” Brown said.
Harzo praised President elect Obama for promising to protect Native American sacred places. Harzo said Native Americans have no way of protecting their “churches,” or sacred places because of the lack of legislation. Harjo, now president of the Morning Star Institute, said she was a WBAI broadcaster for “Seeing Red” in the 60s and 70s.
“We have hundreds and hundreds of sacred places being desecrated as we speak,” Harjo said.
Native American radio hosts described the desecration of sacred places, including San Francisco Peaks, and how US courts have closed the door to Native Americans protecting their sacred places.
Kauanui pointed out that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is allowing “sewage to be turned into snow so the rich can ski” on San Francisco Peaks. However, countries in South America have made strides in Indigenous rights.
Harjo said the Bush administration has not honored federal laws regarding the protection of endangered species or of Native peoples’ human remains. Harjo said this sent a signal that it was “open season” on Native remains.
Brown said Obama’s appointment to head the Interior, Ken Salazar, is a disappointment. Describing Salazar as a “cowboy,” Brown said a Native American should have been appointed to head the Interior. “Let’s light a fire under Obama,” Brown said. Brown said he supported the Green Party and Cynthia McKinney, who has a better understanding of Native Americans.
Brown also pointed out that universities, including UC Berkeley, are violating the Native American Graves Protection Repatriation Act.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Lakota Nation, said he is watching to see what Obama will do once in office. Ghosthorse said there is a “mystical” feeling that something is going to change, but he wants to wait and see. Ghosthorse said Native Americans must dictate their own sovereignty and not allow the seizure of their lands for energy development.
“We have to see past the system that depleted us of our spiritual values,” Ghosthorse said, adding that countries in South America are now stating the rights of nature within their laws. He said the treaties have not been honored in the United States. Further, the United States and New Zealand still have not signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Kauanui urged the Obama administration to honor the petition from the Lipan Apache women to halt construction on the US/Mexico border wall and stop the forced removal of Indigenous individuals and communities. Kauanui said Obama should take a stand on the state sponsored terrorism and attacks on Palestine and the issue of colonialism. She said there must be careful watch to make sure the US does not “start aggravating in Iran.”
Kauanui said US universities can lose all federal funding if they do not comply with NAGPRA laws. But the problem is the Bush administration has not gone after the violators.
“Obama needs to turn this around,” she said. She urged Obama to oppose the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka bill, which does not ensure Native Hawaiian rights.
After the show, she explained that the problem with the bill is that it is being sold as federal recognition and therefore packaged as a solution for Native Hawaiians. But it actually states that any future Native Hawaiian governing entity would be subject to both state civil and criminal law.
“We Native Hawaiians have sovereignty claims that the US government already recognizes and exceed US federal policy regarding tribal nations. This bill is about setting up a ‘reorganized’ Hawaiian government that would settle un-adjudicated land claims to 1.8 million acres, the same lands recognized in the Apology Resolution,” she explained.
Kauanui said Obama must honor the apology resolution of 1993, US Public Law 103-150, which states “the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum.”
She said the Akaka Bill undermines this resolution.
On the radio show, Ghosthorse said there must be withdrawal from Iraq and soldiers must have a way to come home, without bringing the violence with them.
“Instead of honoring the killing, they have to reinstate their relationship with the Creator,” Ghosthorse said.
Harjo said there are cleansing ceremonies for soldiers returning home.
Ghosthorse said Pacifica radio and pirate radio stations have helped counter the mainstream media and more needs to be accomplished to reveal the truth from Israel and Palestine.
Ghosthorse has served as host of “First Voices Indigenous Radio,”at WBAI in New York since 2002, after beginning with KAOS in Olympia, Washington in 1992.
“Other Indigenous radio stations in South America have formed a broadcasting relationship with First Voices Indigenous Radio largely due to their participation at the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,” Ghosthorse said.
Today’s show will be available later in archives at:


Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

In August 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, bringing death to 300,000 human beings, creating pain and endless suffering in the lives of countless others. Now nine countries have nuclear bombs; many more have the capacity to make them.

Today, there are, in combat readiness, enough bombs to kill the world population many times over….. And there is no defense. Nuclear war could happen any day – by accident, by design, by miscalculation, by terrorism, by madness. The weapons are still on hair-trigger alert, in this country and abroad.

The current review conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty proved that two groups of nations are in collision. The possessors of nuclear weapons want to stop the proliferators and proliferators demand that the nuclear powers reduce and eventually get rid of their own nuclear arsenals in accordance with their treaty commitments.

Landowners Sue TVA for $165M Over Tennessee Dam Break, Claim Property Value Harmed

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

KINGSTON, Tenn. – A group of land owners sued the Tennessee Valley Authority for $165 million on Tuesday over a dike burst that spilled more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge.

The six-page lawsuit was filed in state court by Jot and Brenda Raymond, owners and developers of North Lake Estates in eastern Tennessee’s Roane County.

It claims a creek running through the development has been damaged and is backed up as a result of the Dec. 22 spill from a power plant.

Breslow says he’ll continue fight against Yucca

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Bruce Breslow, a former Sparks mayor and television sportscaster, said Tuesday that in his new job as head of the state Nuclear Projects Office he’ll continue Nevada’s fight against federal plans to open the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.

“The state policy is not changing toward a new direction,” said Breslow, who currently works in commercial real estate and serves on the Sparks Planning Commission.

“My primary goal is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Nevada as it relates to the Yucca Mountain project.”

2008: Nukes in Review

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

The nuclear renaissance came in like a lion and went out like a three eyed fish. Its still too early to tell just what the coming year will bring, but the initial signs are that if any thing, we can expect a whole new agenda to arrive along with the Obama administration. Whether we will be seeing a rehash of Clinton or something more enlightened is the question?

I think the current crisis and where things go or not can be boiled down to what economist Paul Krugman said just a week ago in a presentation he made before the National Press Club. We are in serious shit and the only way out is if the government comes up with some of the biggest public works projects in US history this year.  The problem of course, is that this isn’t 1933 and the 600,000 jobs a month being lost cover a rather wide spectrum of the skilled and unskilled sectors of the economy.  I can just imagine seeing unemployable MBA’s digging ditches or putting up solar panels on their neighbor’s rooftops can’t you!   Sorry, but there just aren’t any off the shelve super jobs programs out there, other than the prison camp business.  Oh! shucks, you mean we could free ourselves from the Wall Street Plantation mindset, and set up Lester Brown’s Plan B? Don’t hold your breath!  The global drug dealers are terrified of this, thus the cheap gas prices.

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for,  a review of the major stories and issues around the world and here in the US on nukes.  Note that this is a quick draft of some of the stories that most have  never heard, thanks to the corporate media. Note that after each summary there is a link where you can go look at news stories over the last year directly.

After Tennessee ash spill, cleanup and worry

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Residents are concerned about the long-term health effects of last week’s coal ash spill, one of the worst in U.S. history. Relations with a Depression-era federal utility are damaged, too.
By Richard Fausset
January 1, 2009

Reporting from Roane County, Tenn. — The gunk on the water had thinned to a gray scrim in front of Mike Thomas’ riverfront home — a small sign of progress one week after one of the worst coal ash spills in American history.

But as Thomas drove along the bluff over the Emory River, he pointed to big piles of sludgy, dark gray ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, that had been accidentally disgorged by the nearby electricity plant. The heaps jutted from the water’s surface like ugly volcanic islands. By the shore, many neighbors’ docks sat in ruins, destroyed by mammoth waves when the ash was released.,0,1390124.story

DOE Outlines Water Needs for Yucca Mountain Railroad

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) has blasted the continued proposal by the Department of Energy (DOE) to build a $3 billion dollar railroad in Nevada from Caliente to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository. She labeled the project as a “Railroad to Nowhere” at a meeting December 4 in Las Vegas with federal regulators from the Surface Transportation Board.

However, at the Lincoln County Water District meeting in Alamo December 18, DOE representatives made a presentation of what the water requirements are to be for building such a railroad. Mark Vandeberg of the DOE Office of Logistics Management explained to Board members what construction of the proposed railroad, covering more than 360 miles would really involve. He stated approximately 333 miles of new rail line would have to be laid. There would be three rock quarries, one in Caliente, one in the middle of the line, and a third near Goldfield in Esmeralda County. There would also be a need for up to 12 construction camps along the route. DOE has applied to the Surface Transportation Board for permission to construct and operate the rail line as a shared line, allowing commercial traffic and other shippers to use the line as well.

Vandeberg said construction would probably not be ready to begin until the year 2013 and take between 4 to 10 years to complete. During that time a total of about 6,000 acre-feet of water would be required. One-acre foot is equal to 325,851 gallons. Most of the water would be needed during the first two years of construction for embankment compaction, he said. Other water needed during the remaining 2-8 years of construction would be for dust control, field operations, and construction camps. About 22 acre-feet of water annually (7,168,722 gallons) is needed for the operation and maintenance along the route. There will be maintenance and wildfire suppression tanks at 12 sidings on the route with permanent facilities to be located in Caliente, Meadow Valley, Goldfield and Yucca Mountain.