by Valtin | 11/30/2008 11:25:00 PM
In 1973, when the CIA got wind of the revelations that would expose its decades-long program into mind control experiments, then-CIA Director Richard Helms, and Sidney Gottlieb, head of the Agency's Technical Services Division, got together to destroy all the files they could find on MKULTRA and related programs. These programs consisted of experiments on human subjects on isolation, sensory deprivation, induction of hallucinations and psychosis through drugs, electroshock, hypnosis, physical debility (through hunger, mainly), and other horrifying procedures. Some of you may be familiar with one such sponsored program, if you've read Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine.

Helms, who bragged about his destruction of the evidence to Congress, and Gottlieb were never held accountable for their destruction of evidence. (No surprise to those of us fighting to get the incoming Obama administration to hold Bush Administration officials accountable for their crimes on torture and lying the country into war.) Later, when through the efforts of heroic journalists -- some of them ex-intelligence officers, like John Marks -- some of the programs were exposed, but it was believed much of the CIA's crimes in this instance would never be known.

Yet here we are 35 years later, and some information is still leaking out, in this case in the pages of a small, but noteworthy paper in Rutland, Vermont. The Rutland Herald won a Pulitzer Prize back in 2001. Reporter Louis Porter deserves one for his well-written expose on CIA experiments at Vermont State Hospital, and the purported participation of its head psychiatrist, Dr. Robert W. Hyde.

Throughout his article, Porter is careful not to claim too much. He constructs a circumstantial case for the use of experiments on mental patients, using archival and legal documents. He relies heavily on the testimony of former Hyde patient Karen Wetmore and her legal and medical defenders. No one at Vermont State Hospital today claims any knowledge of any drug or electoshock experimentation, nor has any professional who worked with Dr. Hyde, who died in 1976, come forward to verify Wetmore's claims.

As the article describes it, Karen Wetmore began receiving psychiatric care as a child and adolescent. She was diagnosed in the early 1960s with "hysteria" (a diagnosis no longer in use in the psychiatric field), and then with dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia. Wetmore denies she has schizophrenia.

In any case, her medical records were reviewed by Dr. Thomas Fox, a Rutland, Vermont doctor who later served as "a top mental health official with the state of New Hampshire." Dr. Fox, who had never offered testimony as an "expert witness" in a civil lawsuit, came forward in Karen's case, horrified by what he saw in her treatment. Even without any CIA involvement, her treatment was scandalous -- involuntary administration of drugs, long periods of isolation. Dr. Fox wrote in her deposition (emphasis added):
“I became convinced, based on the record, that Karen had been mistreated at certain phases of her treatment in (Waterbury), and that, from a professional standpoint, the way in which we police ourselves, the way in which we keep each other ethical and competent, when we identify that, we (members of our profession) should do something about it,” Fox said in a deposition in the lawsuit to Wetmore and the state’s lawyer. “That’s my feeling, you should act on it.”

He wrote in an outline that he prepared for her lawsuit in 2000: “I must conclude, in my opinion, that Karen was involved in drug experimentation without her knowledge or consent.”
As Louis Porter documents, Karen Wetmore's doctor had connections with CIA researchers and psychologists. It only took me a few minutes to double-check with my sources to see that Robert Hyde had helped co-author two studies cited in the CIA-funded 1961 book, The Manipulation of Human Behavior. Along with LSD-experimenter, Army psychiatrist Max Rinkel, Hyde and other researchers wrote articles on "Experimental schizophrenia-like symptoms" and "Clinical and physiochemical psychosis."

If anything, the Porter article is a little too circumspect regarding Hyde's CIA ties. John Marks interviewed CIA personnel back in the 1970s, who verified Hyde's CIA credentials. According to Marks's sources, Hyde "advised the CIA on using LSD in covert operations" (p. 65, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate). He had his own special MKULTRA subproject to use as a funding conduit. Thus, while many MKULTRA contract researchers were unwitting recipients of CIA funding over the years, Hyde was not one of those. He was, to quote a certain vice president-elect (out of context, to be sure), "the real deal."

Nor was the use of mental patients for drug experimentation quite the scandal in the 1960s it would be today. In an article by Marvin Zuckerman from the 1960s on "Hallucinations, Reported Sensations, and Images," published in Sensory Deprivation: Fifteen Years of Research (1969, ed. by J.P. Zubek), we find the following (p. 121):
Malitz, Wilkens, and Esecover (1962) have presented data on 100 randomly selected chronic schizophrenic patients, and 57 acute psychiatric patients, and 42 normals administered one of three drugs: d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), d-l-methyl lysergic acid diethylamide (MLD), or d-l-acetyl lysergic acid diethylamide (ALD)....

The content of the drug-induced visual hallucinations was similar to the RVS [Reported Visual Stimulation] phenomena of sensory deprivation (e.g., abstract and geometrical forms, lattice work, flashes,and human, animal, and familiar forms).
There's more to the Malitz et al. study, but the point here is that there was mass use of psychiatric patients who were given potent hallucinogens and other drugs to study phenomena of interest to the CIA, for example, sensory deprivation.

In the infamous case of Ewen Cameron at Allen Memorial Hospital at McGill University in Montreal, LSD and other drugs were combined with electroshock, induced sleep or coma, and forced indoctrination in attempts to use patients as involuntary subjects in direct attempts to brainwash patients and induce new personalities or memories.

Porter's article traces the career of Robert Hyde, from the CIA-funded studies at Boston Psychopathic Hospital (now known as Massachusetts Mental Health Center) to Butler Health Center in Providence, R.I., to Vermont State Hospital. While MKULTRA experiments have been documented at both Boston Psychopathic and Butler, to date no one has placed such experimentation at Vermont State Hospital. As for Hyde, he was a highly regarded doctor in his time. Records online show him as a Sponsoring Member of the National Mental Health Committee. The University of Vermont College of Medicine has a "Medical Scholarship Fund" in his name.

Of course, the bulk of MKULTRA records were destroyed, and Porter is left to build a circumstantial case, from documents, and from the nearly destroyed memory of a former mental patient and likely subject of Dr. Hyde's experimentation. Porter's article cites a "1994 Government Accounting Office report on the clandestine research notes that at least 15 of the 80 facilities around North America known to have participated in the research remain unidentified."

Porter concludes:
Wetmore and her advocates could not unequivocally link her case to the CIA’s research activities at other institutions through government documents from the agency, but histories of the CIA’s psychiatric testing, other documents and a preponderance of circumstantial evidence around Wetmore’s treatment based on her medical records suggest the Vermont State Hospital may have been one of the sites for secret experimentation.
It is not my intent to reproduce all of Mr. Porter's excellent article here. The point is to whet your appetite and send you off to the link. But a few conclusions of my own are in order.

First, it should be no news to anyone that the CIA cannot be trusted to produce evidence of their own wrong-doing. If too long is taken to get the investigatory machinery underway, crucial evidence can and will be destroyed. One only has to look at the controversy last Spring over the CIA's destruction of the interrogation videotapes of Abu Zubaydah.

Second, despite the efforts of many, it seems clear that there is much we don't know about our own history. And what sometimes we seem to know is only received knowledge or wisdom, repeated often enough by reputable sources, such that a false history is constructed. My one criticism of the Porter article concerns the way he traces U.S. torture back to Soviet and Chinese prototypes. This myth has been deconstructed by me, and also at length by the noted researcher Darius Rejali in his massive study, Torture and Democracy.

Finally, it is crucial that we understand that the resolution of these issues lies in our hands, not that of politicians, or of Obama in particular. Without an outcry by Americans, their own history, and the punishment of criminals in our midst who misused the public trust to engage in actions outside the pale of normal ethical behavior, who were responsible for serious harm or even death to vulnerable people in their care will go unpunished.

It is a short step, ethically, and perhaps politically, from unethical conduct upon mental patients, to lying about the causes for war, and the deaths of a million innocents, as in Iraq. If we don't do something about it, history will not absolve us.

My thanks to Austin K. for tipping me to Porter's article.

Also posted at Invictus

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by idiosynchronic | 11/28/2008 11:26:00 AM
The Panic of 1873 is considered by knowledgeable historians as the The Real Great Depression. The statistics of 1873-79 Long Depression make the 1931 Depression pale in comparison. An instructor of mine a couple of years ago whom was an economic historian, slumming and paying the bills teaching a 202 survey class, said to his class (me included), sic: "We simply don't have any way of comparing it or explaining it on par with the millions of pages written about the Great Depression - surveys and statistics hadn't been born or were in their infancy, and and only a very few people had thought about applying these maths to the social sciences as they existed. We have histories and numbers but our study of that time and it's documents are limited and no where near as comprehensive as the '30's. What do we know is terrifying - where we have quantifiable numbers that can be compared."

Scholar Scott Reynolds Nelson stated in the Chonicle of Higher Ed on October 17: " . . the current economic woes look a lot like what my 96-year-old grandmother still calls "the real Great Depression." She pinched pennies in the 1930s, but she says that times were not nearly so bad as the depression her grandparents went through. That crash came in 1873 and lasted more than four years. It looks much more like our current crisis."

(h/t to The Monkey Cage and BoingBoing)

Further quotes follow . .

As continental banks tumbled, British banks held back their capital, unsure of which institutions were most involved in the mortgage crisis. The cost to borrow money from another bank — the interbank lending rate — reached impossibly high rates. This banking crisis hit the United States in the fall of 1873. Railroad companies tumbled first. They had crafted complex financial instruments that promised a fixed return, though few understood the underlying object that was guaranteed to investors in case of default. (Answer: nothing). The bonds had sold well at first, but they had tumbled after 1871 as investors began to doubt their value, prices weakened, and many railroads took on short-term bank loans to continue laying track. Then, as short-term lending rates skyrocketed across the Atlantic in 1873, the railroads were in trouble. When the railroad financier Jay Cooke proved unable to pay off his debts, the stock market crashed in September, closing hundreds of banks over the next three years. The panic continued for more than four years in the United States and for nearly six years in Europe.

The long-term effects of the Panic of 1873 were perverse. For the largest manufacturing companies in the United States — those with guaranteed contracts and the ability to make rebate deals with the railroads — the Panic years were golden. Andrew Carnegie, Cyrus McCormick, and John D. Rockefeller had enough capital reserves to finance their own continuing growth. For smaller industrial firms that relied on seasonal demand and outside capital, the situation was dire. As capital reserves dried up, so did their industries. Carnegie and Rockefeller bought out their competitors at fire-sale prices. The Gilded Age in the United States, as far as industrial concentration was concerned, had begun.

The echoes of the past in the current problems with residential mortgages trouble me. Loans after about 2001 were issued to first-time homebuyers who signed up for adjustablerate mortgages they could likely never pay off, even in the best of times. Real-estate speculators, hoping to flip properties, overextended themselves, assuming that home prices would keep climbing. Those debts were wrapped in complex securities that mortgage companies and other entrepreneurial banks then sold to other banks; concerned about the stability of those securities, banks then bought a kind of insurance policy called a credit-derivative swap, which risk managers imagined would protect their investments. More than two million foreclosure filings — default notices, auction-sale notices, and bank repossessions — were reported in 2007. By then trillions of dollars were already invested in this credit-derivative market. Were those new financial instruments resilient enough to cover all the risk? (Answer: no.) As in 1873, a complex financial pyramid rested on a pinhead. Banks are hoarding cash. Banks that hoard cash do not make short-term loans. Businesses large and small now face a potential dearth of short-term credit to buy raw materials, ship their products, and keep goods on shelves.

If there are lessons from 1873, they are different from those of 1929. Most important, when banks fall on Wall Street, they stop all the traffic on Main Street — for a very long time. The protracted reconstruction of banks in the United States and Europe created widespread unemployment. Unions (previously illegal in much of the world) flourished but were then destroyed by corporate institutions that learned to operate on the edge of the law. In Europe, politicians found their scapegoats in Jews, on the fringes of the economy.

Give thanks, friends, for our blessings and fortunes this weekend.

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by idiosynchronic | 11/25/2008 11:00:00 AM
Amazon's reported Top Sellers this morning when I added something else to my Christmas list:

Here's the link to Team of Rivals. To my knowledge, a 2 year-old paperback rarely makes the Top Sellers list. I thought it was a static database query, but unless everyone online is buying this thing, Top Sellers must also be influenced by purchase and gift history.

What are you thankful for, and reflecting that dissatisfaction (*grin*), what are you asking for this Christmas?

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by Gordon Taylor | 11/24/2008 11:01:00 PM

After my recent post, "Obama and the Endless Quarrel," a reader wrote to inquire about the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), and specifically my assertion that with their acronymous companies, OYAK and TSKGV, they comprise the "third largest" capitalist entity in Turkey. He wanted to know more, an admirable desire in a world where Turkey is becoming an increasingly important nation. In fact, the TSK's "third largest" ranking is really an informed guess based on the assessments of other people. No one is quite sure of the exact rank of the two funds' holdings. Like the tides of finance, they ebb and flow, claiming new divisions while leaving others behind. Oyak Bank, for example, was recently sold to ING of the Netherlands, while they have made other moves with their steel operations. But there is little doubt, as the excerpt I am about to quote will make clear, that together they occupy a place in the very top echelon of Turkish corporations.

Any reader can find out more from this article in Fortune, or simply by Googling "OYAK Group" and scrolling through the vast hit list. OYAK (an acronym for Army Pension Institution) makes steel; it makes cars, roads, and buildings out of that steel; it makes portland cement for concrete, uses that concrete (and of course their own steel) to build hotels and businesses, runs the businesses themselves to make more money, uses their own banks to fund more businesses, builds golf courses, apartment blocks, and vacation villages for retired military officers, sells insurance to those businesses, builds and runs supermarkets, grows food for those markets, makes pesticides for the crops that it makes into food that it sells in its supermarkets--have you heard enough? They even own professional soccer and basketball teams. Oh, and all of their profits are tax-free.

Here, for example, is a snippet from the Istanbul daily Hurriyet, of September 13. "Oyak Cement Increases its Sales Revenue by 20%" reads the headline. Oyak sold, it reports, 2.9 million tons of cement domestically and 1.2 million tons abroad in the first quarter of 2008, giving them a 14-15% share of Turkey's cement production. "Abroad", remember, includes northern Iraq, where Oyak is a major player in the massive development activity now going on in Iraqi Kurdistan. ("In Iraq, OYAK is becoming a monopoly" reads a headline in one paper. Another, from Zaman says, "OYAK rides the gravy train in Northern Iraq." Thus we have the spectacle of the pashas' pension fund selling cement and construction services (hotels, airports, roads) to the Kurds of northern Iraq while, in the mountains, their F-16s are pounding the bejezus out of Kurdish villages and flocks--and the very rare PKK guerrilla.

TSKGV, the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, is a bit less of an octopus, though not by much. They concentrate on arms manufacturing, including joint ventures with foreign firms. The generals love new weapons, of course, so every two years TSKGV sponsors IDEF, an international defense industry fair. The next one, IDEF09, is coming in April. As with OYAK, TSKGV's profits are tax-free.

Here's Eric Rouleau, former French Ambassador to Turkey in the 1990s, to give us a more complete rundown. This is an excerpt from his article, "Turkey's Modern Pashas," published in Le Monde Diplomatique, September 2000. See also this excerpt from another article by Rouleau, which is equally informative.

Power of the pashas

The constitution grants the armed forces a degree of autonomy that no
democratic state would tolerate. The chief of general staff takes
precedence over the ministry of defence and all the other members of the government. The prime minister comes first in order of protocol but wields less real authority in the most sensitive areas. Amongst other things, the chief of general staff decides appointments and promotions within the armed forces, supervises internal and external security, decides defence policy, and manages the production and purchase of arms, the cost of which does not appear in the state budget.

It was quite by chance, for instance, that we learnt from Defense Week of 14 February 2000 that modernisation of the armed forces would cost about $70bn over the next 15 years. Traditionally the budget for the army's running expenses (alluded to very briefly, despite the fact that it accounts for one third, or more, of state revenue) is approved without debate, by acclamation. The entire assembly [Turkish Parliament] then addresses its "congratulations" and "good wishes" to the head of general staff.

The constitution, and the corresponding laws, give the general staff direct or indirect control over higher education and most of the judiciary. Misdemeanours and crimes against the state are handled by the state security courts, with high-ranking military on the bench until recently. Legislators, university rectors, public prosecutors and judges are required to comply with the limited definition of freedom that appears in the preamble to the constitution: "no protection shall be afforded to thoughts or opinions contrary to Turkish national interests, [...] Turkish historical and moral values, [...] the principles, reforms and modernism of Atatürk."

Article 13 provides a more detailed definition of these values: "The
indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, national sovereignty, the Republic, national security, public order, general peace, the public interest, public morals and public health". Article 14 goes one step further, "None of the rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution shall be exercised with the aim of violating the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation." The courts will not only punish acts, but also reprehensible "thoughts or opinions". Article 130 goes so far as to stipulate that "scientific research and publication" may be banned by university deans if contrary to the values quoted above. The electoral law, promulgated just after the 1982 constitution, and all the laws covering political parties, professional bodies and unions, contain restrictions that supposedly comply with Kemalist dogma.

The political power of the pashas would not be so deeply rooted if it did not also draw on substantial economic and financial resources. The army owns a vast holding, called Oyak, consisting of about 30 large companies involved in manufacturing, distribution and exports in sectors as varied as cars, cement, food, pesticides, oil, tourism, insurance, banking, property, supermarkets and high technology. These companies employ about 30,000 people directly, as well as giving work to partner companies. One of the group's star performers, Oyak-Renault, boasts an annual production capacity of 160,000 cars.

Oyak, which is one of the top three or four holdings in Turkey, is
generously funded. It takes a mandatory 10% of the salary of all members of the armed forces and reaps the profits from its own companies, reputed to be some of the most profitable in the country. This is hardly surprising for Oyak is exempted from all taxes and duties, a privilege that other organisations in the private sector no doubt view as unfair competition.

Major companies have, however, learnt to live with this arrangement, for Oyak has involved them in its activities, by interest and design. Taha Parla, a professor at Bosphorus University, has studied the subject and identified several powerful holdings among Oyak partners, including those belonging to the Koç and Sabanci families, known as the "emperors" of industry and trade, and the Taskent family, the "barons" of merchant banking. Private companies also give retired senior officers management jobs, as a reward for past services and a way of maintaining connections with officers in the regular army. In this way an tripartite alliance has been sealed between the military elite, big business (in Turkey and abroad) and state bureaucracy.

The TSKGV (Turkish Armed Forces Foundation), which also belongs to the
army, is Oyak's sister organisation. It comprises about 30 industrial
companies that enjoy the same privileges as Oyak. The foundation
concentrates exclusively on arms production, employs roughly 20,000 people and provides work for tens of thousands of other workers in subcontracting companies. Over 80% of revenue is paid into a fund thought to amount to several tens of billions of dollars. As Parla points out, this is an original way of accumulating (military) capital other than what is accrued by the (civilian) private sector.

The triumvirate formed by the army, big business and state bureaucracy is protected by a battery of constitutional and legal provisions. Its influence increases when the balance of political power leans in its favour, when opposition in society declines, or when - as has been the case in recent years - politicians are increasingly discredited. Under these circumstances the political parties, parliament, government and media merely acquiesce when the military disregard the rule of law.

They made no objection, for instance, when the pashas refused to show
parliament the texts of agreements with Israel. Nor did they react when
Turkish forces launched a massive incursion - without informing the
government - into northern Iraq to fight Kurdish nationalists belonging to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). [Note: This was in the '90s. -g.t.] Nothing was said when the pashas vetoed a postponement of the elections, despite the support of a majority of members of parliament. Similarly, the military met no opposition when they halted attempts to suppress articles in the penal code contrary to human rights or blocked enquiries into scandals (notably into particularly repugnant aspects of the fight against the Kurds) that might have tarnished the reputation of the armed forces. Appearances are saved, for these injunctions generally take the form of "views" or "wishes" expressed by a member of the general staff, which of course does not preclude less subtle forms of pressure behind the scenes.
Rouleau's entire article should be required reading for everyone in Washington. Note the opening sentence: "a degree of autonomy which no democratic state would tolerate." In fact, it's very hard to see why Turkey bothers to keep a Defense Minister. He has no power over the military: no power at all, really, other than the ability to shuffle people around within his own bureaucracy. Things have changed somewhat in recent years (see this article from Zaman); however, despite cosmetic changes made for the EU's benefit, the essentials remain. With this kind of arrangement obviously we are through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole, and into Neverland. Turkey, as Rouleau describes it, is a dreamworld for tin soldiers; a paradise of "Mercantile Militarism," in the phrase of Prof. Taha Parla. It's also very obviously something else. I'm not a believer in the over-use of extreme labels; however, I fail to see that the essence of this situation is anything but capital-f Fascist.

Why is this important? Only because as human beings we are supposed to value truth. (OK, just a little bit, maybe?) Truth is not served by asserting, as does the U.S. Government, that Turkey is a "democracy" for other nations in the region to emulate. Nor is it helped by the bland hypocrisies of such as Faruk Logoglu (pron. Lo-oh-loo), former Turkish Ambassador to the United States, who, in a recent article in Hurriyet, gave advice to President-elect Obama and spoke of our two countries' "common values," such as, "Democracy, the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms and market economy." No one, of course, with the slightest knowledge of modern Turkey gives any credence to such nonsense. (How many journalists can you throw in jail, how many people can you torture and kill before the world starts to take notice?) And truth is especially not served when Americans like Rahm Emmanuel give their unqualified support to Turkey's accession to the EU. As I wrote last May:
Turkey is not, cannot, will not be a truly viable candidate for membership in the EU as long as its government continues in its present form.
Unless the EU radically changes its Copenhagen criteria for entry, I see no reason why that assessment will change anytime soon. You might as well wait for the Blue Mosque to turn green.


by Winter Rabbit | 11/24/2008 07:02:00 AM
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket,DBUS:2006-11,DBUS:en&start=100&sa=N

Chief Black Kettle:

I want you to give all these chiefs of the soldiers here to understand that we are for peace, and that we have made peace, that we may not be mistaken by them for enemies.

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

A Cheyenne cemetery is in the same direction as where my mother told me she watched gypsies camp through her west window as a girl, about ½ mile from that house. I have reverently walked though that Cheyenne cemetery as early as ten, looking at the headstones and wondering who they were and where they came from. I did not know then, that in that cemetery were descendants from the Sand Creek Massacre.

The Approaching Genocide Towards Sand Creek

Simultaneously, Roman Nose led the Dog Soldiers in battle while Black Kettle strove for peace. Chief Black Kettle was promised complete safety by Colonel Greenwood as long as he rose the U.S flag above him.(1) Black Kettle persisted in his calls for peace in spite of the continuing exterminations and the shooting of Lean Bear.

(All bold mine)


Lean Bear, a leading peacemaker who had previously met with President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., was shot from his horse without warning by U.S. troops during a Kansas buffalo hunt.
The troops were acting under orders from Colonel John M. Chivington who commanded the military district of Colorado: "Find Indians wherever you can and kill them" (The War of the Rebellion, 1880-1881, pp. 403-404).

Perplexed by the continuing genocide, Black Kettle sent for Little White Man, known as William Bent.Almost prophetic, both agreed in their meeting that a war was about to be born if nothing changed. Black Kettle's peaceful attempts tragically failed, even though he took his people to Sand Creek, fully expecting peace.His last effort for peace was raising the U.S. flag just prior to the massacre.


"...Though no treaties were signed, the Indians believed that by reporting and camping near army posts, they would be declaring peace and accepting sanctuary.

However on the day of the "peace talks" Chivington received a telegram from General Samuel Curtis (his superior officer) informing him that "I want no peace till the Indians suffer more...No peace must be made without my directions."

Chivington, the Butcher of the Sand Creek Massacre:

COL. JOHN CHIVINGTON: Ex-Methodist Minister

"Nits make lice,"

he was fond of saying, and of course, since Indians were lice, their children were nits. Clearly, Chivington was a man ahead of his time: it would be almost a century later before another man would think of describing the extermination of a people "the same thing as delousing": Heinrich Himmler. [LN477]



"the Cheyennes will have to be roundly whipped -- or completely wiped out -- before they will be quiet. I say that if any of them are caught in your vicinity, the only thing to do is kill them." A month later, while addressing a gathering of church deacons, he dismissed the possibility of making a treaty with the Cheyenne: "It simply is not possible for Indians to obey or even understand any treaty. I am fully satisfied, gentlemen, that to kill them is the only way we will ever have peace and quiet in Colorado."

(It is worth noting also that the Fuhrer from time to time expressed admiration for the "efficiency" of the American genocide campaign against the Indians, viewing it as a forerunner for his own plans and programs.)

Unaware of Curtis's telegram, Black Kettle and some 550 Cheyennes and Arapahos, having made their peace, traveled south to set up camp on Sand Creek under the promised protection of Fort Lyon. Those who remained opposed to the agreement headed North to join the Sioux.

The Sand Creek Massacre of November 29, 1864

Black Kettle and his people had every reason to expect complete safety from their bloodshed after agreements for peace were made and the Dog Soldiers left to join the Sioux. Nonetheless, Chivington's troops advanced on the Cheyenne and Arapaho near dawn. The sound of those approaching hooves must have sounded ominous.

U.S. soldiers inevitably chased the defenseless Cheyenne and Arapaho by horse and foot with knives and guns in hand. Their victims had to be positioned before ripping off their scalps, cutting off their ears, smashing out their brains, butchering their children, tearing their breastfeeding infants away from their mother's breasts, and then murdering those infants. The "Bloody Third" soldiers necessarily had to kill the infants before cutting out their mother's genitals.

The one question I never saw asked in the congressional hearings was, "Didn't you disgraceful soldiers realize they were family?"

Kurt Kaltreider, PH.D. "American Indian Prophecies." pp. 58-59:

-The report of witnesses at Sand Creek:

"I saw some Indians that had been scalped, and the ears cut off the body of White Antelope," said Captain L. Wilson of the first Colorado Cavalry. "One Indian who had been scalped had also his skull smashed in, and I heard that the privates of White Antelope had been cut off to make a tobacco bag of. I heard some of the men say that the privates of one of the squaws had been cut out and put on a stick..."
John S. Smith...

All manner of depredations were inflicted on their persons; they were scalped, their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the heads with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word...worse mutilation that I ever saw before, the women all cut to pieces...children two or three months old; all ages lying there.

From sucking infants up to warriors.

Sand Creek being a deliberate massacre is not contested, especially since the "Bloody Third" set the village in flames and took all the evidence back to Washington to hide it.


Letters written by those at Sand Creek From Lt. Silas Soule to Maj. Edward Wynkoop, Dec. 14, 1864:

"The massacre lasted six or eight hours...I tell you Ned it was hard to see little children on their knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized....They were all scalped, and as high as a half a dozen [scalps] taken from one head. They were all horribly mutilated...You could think it impossible for white men to butcher and mutilate human beings as they did there, but every word I have told you is the truth, which they do not deny...I expect we will have a hell of a time with Indians this winter."


Before departing, the command, now the "Bloody Third", ransacked and burned the village.
The surviving Indians, some 300 people, fled north towards other Cheyenne camps.

Medicine Calf Beckwourth sought Black Kettle to ask him if peace was yet possible, but Black Kettle had moved out to be with relatives. Leg-in-the-Water replaced him as the primary chief; so, Beckwourth asked Leg-in-the-Water if there could be peace. Principle chief Leg-in-the-Water responded with these powerful words.

Dee Brown. "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee." p. 94:

"The white man has taken our country, killed all of our children. Now no peace. We want to go meet our families in the spirit land. We loved the whites until we found out they lied to us, and robbed us of what we had. We have raised the battle ax until death."(1)


...despite broken promises and attacks on his own life, speak of him as a great leader with an almost unique vision of the possibility for coexistence between white society and the culture of the plains…

”Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. p. 92.

Chivington and his soldiers destroyed the lives or the power of every Cheyenne and Arapaho chief who had held out for peace with the white men.

Thanks to Meteor Blades from last year's post of this diary

Here are some of the names of those reputed to have been killed at Sand Creek, according to various sources:

Vo-ke-cha/White Hat
Na-ko-ne-tum/Bear Skin or Robe
Na-ko-yu-sus/Wounded Bear
O-ko-che-voh-i-tan/Crow Necklace
No-ko-a-mine/Bear Feathers
Ne-sko-mo-ne/Two Lances
O-ne-mok-tan/Black Wolf
Vo-ki-ve-cum-se-mos-ta/White Antelope
E-se-ma-ki/One Eye
Ne-so-min-ni/Tall Bear
Co-kah-you-son-ne/Feather Head
On-ne-ma(hito)/Tall or Big Wolf
O-ka-cha-his-ta/Heap of Crows -
killed were both a father and son
of the same name,
and the sons wife and children.
O-ko-che-vo-voi-se/Spotted Crow
Ma-pa-vin-iste/Standing Water
Make-ti-he/Big Head
Mah-she-ne-(ve)/Red Arm
No-ko-ist/Sitting Bear
Mak-o-wah/Big Shell
O-ne-ah-tah/Wolf Mule
Ve-hoe/White Man
Oh-to-mai-ha/Tall Bull
Mok-tow/Black Horse
Oh-co-mo-on-est/Yellow Wolf
No-veh-yah/Loser in the Race
Ta-ik-ha-seh/Cut Nose
No-ko-nis-seh/Lame Bear
Oh-tam-i-mi-neh/Dog Coming Up
Why-mih-est/Foot Tracks
One-vah-kies/Bob-Tail Wolf
Mo-ke-kah/Blue Crane
Ni-het/Mound Of Rocks
Vos-ti-o-kist/White Calf
Oh-e-vil/(Morning Star or Dull Knife,
listed as Black Kettles brother)
Min-ne-no-ah/Whirlwind or Standing Bear
Mi-hah-min-est/Spirit Walking
Wost-sa-sa-mi/White Crane
Wi-can-noh/Forked Stick
Mah-hite/(Iron ?)
Mah-ki-mish-yov/Big Child
Man-i-tan/Red Paint
To-ha-voh-yest/White Faced Bull
No-ko-ny-u-/Kills Bear
No-ko-nih-tyes/Big Louse
O-ha-ni-no/Man On Hill
Mah-voh-ca-mist/White Beaver
Mah-in-ne-est/Turtle Following His Wife
Mak-iv-veya-tah/Wooden Leg
O-ma-ish-po/Big Smoke
Ne-o-mi-ve-yuh/Sand Hill
Mo-ha-yah/Elk AKA Cohoe
Van-nit-tah/Spanish Woman
O-tat-ta-wah/Blue Horse
Cut Lip Bear
Smoke or Big Smoke
One Eye
Big Man
Cheyenne Chief Left Hand.
Kah-makt/ Stick or Wood;
Oh-no-mis-ta/Wolf That Hears;
Co-se-to/Painted or Pointed Tomahawk;
Ta-na-ha-ta/One Leg;
O-tah-nis-to(te)/Bull That Hears;
O-tah-nis-ta-to-ve/Seven Bulls
Mis-ti-mah/Big Owl
No-ko-i-yan/Bear Shield
Vo-ki-mok-tan/Black Antelope
O-to-a-yest-yet/Bull Neck
Non-ne/Lame Man, White Bear or Curious Horn
O-ne-na-vist/Wolf Horn
Com-sev-vah/Shriveled Leg
O-ne-i-nis-to/Wolf That Speaks or
Howling Wolf
No-ko-i-kat/Little Bear
O-ne-mi-yesp/Flying Bird
Moh-sehna-vo-voit/Spotted Horse
Ish-ho-me-ne/Rising Sun
Wip-puh-tah/Empty Belly
Mah-oist/Red Sheath
Meh-on-ne/Making Road
O-ko-oh-tu-eh/Bull Pup,
Male Crow O-ye-kis/Man Who Peeps Over The Hill
O-ne-i-kit/Little wolf
Mok-tok-kah/Wolf Road
O-ha-va-man/Scabby Man
A-st-yet/Bushy Head
Ca-sum-mi/Wolf Grey
Kah-i-nist-teh/Standing Skunk
Kast-yah/Lean Belly
No-ko-mi-kis/Old bear
Tah-vo-tuveh/Mad Bull
Vo-tou-yah/Tall Bird
No-ko-se-vist/? Bear
Es-toh/Stuffed Gut
Oh-mah/Little Beaver
Mah-hi-vist/Red Bird
Ve-hoe/White Man
O-ko-che-ut-tan-yuh/Male Crow
E-yo-vah-hi-heh/Yellow Woman
Min-hit-it-tan-yeh/Male Cherry
A-ya-ma-na-kuh/Bear Above
O-kin-neh/Smooth Face
No-ku-hist/(Possibly White Bear)


by midtowng | 11/22/2008 10:09:00 PM
39 years ago the first UnThanksgiving Day happened.
Oh, it wasn't called that then. Nor was it called that the following year. You see, it wasn't about Thanksgiving at all. It was about the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, and federal policy for native Americans.

On November 20, 1969, 79 native Americans adults and six children symbolically claimed Alcatraz Island for United Indians of All Tribes, and so started the American Indian Movement (AIM).
This wasn't the first time indians had tried to take the island. In 1963 the federal government closed Alcatraz prison and declared the island "surplus federal property". Under the Fort Laramie Treaty, surplus property was supposed to be returned to native Americans. Richard McKenzie and five other Sioux Indians realized the significance of this action.

On March 9, 1964, McKenzie, Allen Cottier, Martin Martinez, Garfield Spotted Elk, and Walter Means, symbolically occupied Alcatraz Island for four hours. They wanted to use the island for a native American studies center and museum, but were ushered off the island by federal marshals after a few hours. Three weeks later the same group filed a claim in court. The U.S. Attorney's office ignored the claim and transferred custody of the island to the General Services Administration (GSA).

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was pitching the idea of Alcatraz Island being used as a park and recreational site. By 1968 the courts had dismissed all of McKenzie's complaints, and in October of 1969 the GSA got behind the idea of Alcatraz being a federal park. Bay Area indians decided to take action.

The Chief of Alcatraz

Richard Oakes was described as a handsome, charismatic, talented and natural leader. Already an indian activist, he was the one most responsible for Alcatraz being occupied. On November 9, 1969, Oakes, Jim Vaughn (Cherokee), Joe Bill (Eskimo), Ross Harden (Winnebago) and Jerry Hatch, convinced the owner of the sailing ship Monte Cristo to take them to circle the island. Before leaving Pier 39 they read a proclamation offering to buy the island for $24 and some beads. While doing so, the group jumped overboard and swam to the island. They claimed it by right of discovery. The following day the Coast Guard and GSA asked them to leave, and they did. No arrests were made. Oakes made certain that the press was involved at every step of the way.

It was during this time that Oakes realized that a more permanent occupation of the island was possible. Up until this point it was mostly Bay Area indians that were involved. Oakes went down to UCLA to recruit a larger group.

The average annual yearly income of a native American in 1969 was about $1,500 - one quarter of the national average. Their life expectancy was 44 years, as opposed to the average American of 65 years.
Even more importantly, the culture of the first Americans had been crushed. American Indian studies programs at universities were few and far between.
The U.S. government policy of Relocation and Termination encouraged indians to leave their reservations, and 200,000 took up the offer. But for most it was merely a one-way ticket to unemployment in a big city. In October 1969, the San Francisco Indian Center, a place of refuge for homeless indians, burnt down. Native Americans once again looked at the abandoned island of Alcatraz.

"We hold The Rock"

On the morning of November 20, 1969, 79 Native Americans landed on Alcatraz. The Coast Guard belatedly attempted to block the landing, but failed.
Glenn Dodson, the island's caretaker, advised them that they were trespassing. He then directed them to the old warden's residence, where they set up their headquarters and celebrated.
The Coast Guard set up a blockade of the island to prevent supplies getting in. That afternoon lawyers from the Department of the Interior arrived on the island and gave them 24 hours to leave. The group didn't budge.
"We invite the United States to acknowledge the justice of our claim. The choice now lies with the leaders of the American government - to use violence upon us as before to remove us from our Great Spirit's land, or to institute a real change in its dealing with the American Indian. We do not fear your threat to charge us with crimes on our land. We and all other oppressed peoples would welcome spectacle of proof before the world of your title by genocide. Nevertheless, we seek peace."
- Richard Oakes's message to the Department of the Interior
The new occupiers of the island made very simple demands. They wanted the land that the government deemed surplus to be returned to the Native Americans according to the Treaty of Fort Laramie. They also wanted enough funds to build and maintain an indian cultural complex and university. The government pretended to negotiate, but they rejected all demands.

A governing council was elected and everyone was given a job. Security, sanitation, day-care, cooking, laundry, etc. In the communal environment, all decisions were voted on by everyone. Within three weeks a school was set up.

The occupation quickly gained major media attention, and a certain amount of public sympathy. It was also a rallying point for Native American activists. One of those activists was John Trudell.
By 1972 John Trudell was chairman of AIM, and would later become a successful musician, author, and movie actor. But in 1969 he was just another Vietnam veteran and college drop-out. When Trudell heard about the occupation he packed a sleeping bag and headed for Alcatraz. Once there he became the voice of Radio Free Alcatraz, a pirate radio that was rebroadcast with the help of other stations.

The response was overwhelming.
Donated food and money poured in from everywhere. The Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival played a concert on a boat anchored just off of Alcatraz, and then donated the boat to the cause.
Trudell and his wife Lou had the only baby born on Alcatraz, named Wovoka. By Christmas 1969 there were 200 living on the island.
Space was rented at Pier 40 by members of the longshoreman's union, where supplies were collected and ferried to the island.

During the occupation around 5,200 people came to Alcatraz to participate. Some just for the day. Some for months.

Indians of All Tribes

The downfall of the occupation started on January 3, 1970, when Oakes' 13-year old daughter, Yvonne, fell over a railing from the third-floor of their apartment building to her death.
Following her death, Oakes left the island, and with him the group was left without a clear leader.

Many of the original occupiers were students, and they left to go back to school. The new tenants were less idealistic and many of them had drug problems. Some non-indians from the hippie culture moved into the island.
Factions developed and two major groups fought for their own version of an indian utopia. The people who lived there described it as anarchy.

When negotiations with the government in April and May of 1970 failed to gain any traction, the government cut off all power and telephone service to the island, and also removed the water barge.
Just a few days later, a fire broke out on the island that destroyed the warden's quarters, doctor's quarters, and the inside of the lighthouse.

The federal government took a hands off approach, hoping to wait out the occupation rather than make martyrs.
Without electricity to the lighthouse there was no light or fog horn. Government workers went to the island to repair it, but were met by armed indians who demanded that they restore the water first.
Soon public opinion turned against the occupiers, and the press began publishing stories about beatings and assaults on the island.

Supplies began to run low. Residents began stripping the copper tubing of the buildings to sell to pay for food and supplies. Three were arrested and convicted. The living situation on the island began to get grim.
In mid-January two tankers collided and spilled 800,000 gallons of oil into the bay. Although Alcatraz was ruled to not be an issue, some blamed the lack of a lighthouse anyway.
On the negotiation front, the indians turned down an offer of part of nearby Fort Mason in exchange for giving up the occupation. The Nixon Administration began forming a plan to take back the island.

On July 11, 1971, a large force of federal marshals and FBI agents landed on the island to end the occupation. They found only six men, four women, and five children.


The occupation is universally considered to be a success, not because it achieved its goals, but because it started a vocal and militant indian rights movement.
President Nixon announced a new policy of "self-determination without termination" for Native Americans on July 8, 1970.

Robert Oakes died on September 20, 1972, when he tried to intervene in a dispute between a group of indian youths. A local security guard shot him when he suspected Oakes was reaching for a gun.

Labels: ,

by Winter Rabbit | 11/22/2008 08:54:00 AM
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The intent to commit genocide at Washita is hidden in plain view, unless key elements are brought together. These are: that the Cheyenne were placed on land where they would starve while promises to avert starvation were broken; that George Bent observed how Civil War soldiers did not harm white women and children by a “code of honor,” while Indian women and children were slaughtered; that Sheridan declared "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead;" and that the War Department did not differentiate between peaceful and warring Indians. Hence, the orders “to kill or hang all warriors.” As the consequence, the intent was to kill all men
of a specific race.

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

We’ll begin with Custer prior to the Washita Massacre along with the fact that the Cheyenne were forced onto land wherein they would starve.

Part 1: The Intent to Commit Genocide

Custer's tactical errors of rushing ahead of the established military plans and dividing his troops are well known.


On the verge of what seemed to him a certain and glorious victory for both the United States and himself, Custer ordered an immediate attack on the Indian village.

Contemptuous of Indian military prowess, he split his forces into three parts to ensure that fewer Indians would escape. The attack was one the greatest fiascos of the United States Army, as thousands of Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors forced Custer's unit back onto a long, dusty ridge parallel to the Little Bighorn, surrounded them, and killed all 210 of them.

Yet, what enabled him to get back "on the course" after his court martial in 1867 and his being relieved by President Ulysses S. Grant temporarily in 1876?

The answers to that question are deception, wisely having prevented Washita from being labeled a massacre by halting the slaying of women and children at Washita; thus, sidestepping a full investigation as Sand Creek was (my speculation), and more lies.

Forcing and binding those Native Nations onto land where they could not survive by hunting or agriculture, breaking promises to provide those survival means, and propaganda revolving around the Kansas Raids reset Custer "on the course." Moxtaveto (Black Kettle) was innocent.

What about the Dog Soldiers, weren't they somehow to blame? An old Indian joke goes, "When the whites win, it's a victory; when the Indians win, it's a massacre." Let's look at what occurred amongst the Chiefs after the Sand Creek Massacre and prior to the Kansas Raids to find some answers, in between the "victories" and the "massacres."

(Bold mine),M1

And so, when the Chiefs gathered to decide what the people should do, Black Kettle took his usual place among them. Everyone agreed Sand Creek must be avenged. But there were questions. Why had the soldiers attacked with such viciousness? Why had they killed and mutilated women and children?
It seemed that the conflict with the whites had somehow changed. No longer was it just a war over land and buffalo. Now, the soldiers were destroying everything Cheyenne - the land, the buffalo, and the people themselves.

Why? George thought he knew. He had lived among the whites and had fought in their war. He knew their greed for land and possessions - Their appetite for these things was boundless. But they also obeyed rules of warfare peculiar to them. They waged war on men, and only on recognized fields of battle. In the great life-and-death struggle between North and South even then raging in the East, prisoners were routinely paroled and released or held in guarded camps, where they were fed and cared for. And the whites never warred on women and children who were protected by law and by an unshakable code of honor -

Still Black Kettle counseled peace. A war with the whites, he said, could not be won. The newcomers were too numerous, their weapons too strong. Besides, they had the ability to fight in winter when Cheyenne horses were weak and food was scarce... For Black Kettle, Cheyenne survival depended on peace. War could only bring more Sand Creeks, more deaths, more sorrow - One by one the council Chiefs smoked the red stone war pipe, each recognizing the importance of his decision. When the pipe reached Black Kettle, he passed it on, refusing to smoke. But the others took it up, indicating they would fight.

Hence, the Kansas "Raids" were the only means left available to keep what was promised to them: the ability to survive. The land "given" to them was neither harvestable nor huntable. Those "raids" were the last resort of self defense for survival.

The Last Indian Raid in Kansas


Black Kettle miraculously escaped harm at the Sand Creek Massacre, even when he returned to rescue his seriously injured wife. And perhaps more miraculously, he continued to counsel peace when the Cheyenne attempted to strike back with isolated raids on wagon trains and nearby ranches.
By October 1865, he and other Indian leaders had arranged an uneasy truce on the plains, signing a new treaty that exchanged the Sand Creek reservation for reservations in southwestern Kansas but deprived the Cheyenne of access to most of their coveted Kansas hunting grounds.

Furthermore, General Sheridan never had any intention of peaceful relations with Black Kettle whatsoever.

(Bold mine)

Dee Brown. "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee." P. 169.

In his official report over the "savage butchers" and "savage bands of cruel marauders," General Sheridan rejoiced that he had "wiped out Black Kettle, a worn - out and worthless old cipher."

He then stated that he had promised Black Kettle sanctuary if he would come into a fort before military operations began. "He refused," Sheridan lied, "and was killed in the fight."

In fact, it is owed to General Sheridan himself the "American aphorism," "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." It started as "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead."

Whether or not Black Kettle strove for peace or the Dog Soldiers fought, they were all as "good as dead." The extermination policy set Custer "on the course" to Washita.

(Bold mine)


Given the War Department's mandate that all Cheyennes were guilty for the sins of the few in regard to the Kansas raids, there is no question that Custer succeeded in this pur­pose by attacking Black Kettle's village. His instructions from his supe­riors had been "to destroy their villages and ponies; to kill or hang all warriors, and bring back all women and children."

Part 2: The Approaching Genocide at Washita

Custer was pursuing the snow tracks of Dog Soldiers that would eventually lead to Black Kettle's village on Thanksgiving Day in a cruel irony. The cruelest irony however, was that Black Kettle and his wife would be slain nearly four years to the day that they both escaped Chivington at the Sand Creek Massacre. Black Kettle's honesty concerning young men in his village he could not control was of no avail. He and his village were going to be "punished" and broken beyond any immediate or distant recovery.

John Corbin, the messenger from Major Elliot, rode up and informed Custer of two large Indian snow tracks. One was recent. Preparations were then made to pursue the "savages" as covertly as possible. Smoking ceased and weapons were bound to prevent visual or aural detection. In addition, the 7th whispered and paused frequently as they rode slowly towards the future tracks that would lead to Black Kettle's village. Simultaneously, Black Kettle received dire warnings that he and the others ignored. A Kiowa war party gave the first warning of having seen soldier's tracks that were heading their direction. It was discounted. Black Kettle's wife, Medicine Woman, gave another warning that night before the 7th's arrival of an intuitive nature during the meeting in the Peace Chief's lodge by firelight. She begged them to move immediately. It too was dismissed. They would move the next day, instead.

Black Kettle had already moved their camp recently, which the returning war party that had helped in the Kansas Raids learned upon their returning. November 25th found this war party dividing into two different directions in order to reach their destinations the quickest. Approximately 139 of them traveled to the big village on the river, while about 11 of them led Custer straight to Black Kettle. A bell around one dog's neck enabled all the dogs to be located easily by the tribe, and after a Cheyenne baby cried, Custer pinpointed their exact location. He coordinated the attack to begin at dawn from four fronts.

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Thompson's troops would attack to the North East, Myer's and Custer's troops positioned to attack to the East and South East, while Elliot would attack to the South.

Custer knew their mobility was greatly hampered in winter time; consequently, that was an important element in the "campaign."

Part 3: The Genocide At Washita

The sensory components of the genocide at Washita in now Cheyenne, Oklahoma must be held in mind in order to capture the entire breadth of it. These are sound, smell, and sight. For example, the shrill crying of the noncombatant Cheyenne women and children, and the yelling of the charging 7th Calvary with their knives and guns would have been beyond deafening. And the fog with gunpowder smoke must have been worse than any nightmare, while the red blood - stained snow and the smell of death permeated the ground and air.

The Death & Vision of Moxtaveto ( Black Kettle)

A woman dashed into the village to warn Black Kettle of the coming troopers; he hastily snatched his rifle from his lodge and fired a warning shot for all to awaken and flee. If he had attempted to meet the soldiers and ask for peaceful negotiations, that would have been useless; as a result, he then mounted his horse with his wife, Woman Here After, and tried to escape through the North direction. His horse was shot in the leg before bullets knocked him and his wife off the horse and into the Washita River, where they both died together.


"Both the chief and his wife fell at the river bank riddled with bullets," one witness reported, "the soldiers rode right over Black Kettle and his wife and their horse as they lay dead on the ground, and their bodies were all splashed with mud by the charging soldiers." Custer later reported that an Osage guide took Black Kettle's scalp.

Stan Hiog. "The Peace Chiefs Of The Cheyenne." p. 174

Moving Behind, a Cheyenne Woman, later stated: "There was a sharp curve in the river where an old road - crossing used to be. Indian men used to go there to water their ponies. Here we saw the bodies of Black Kettle and his wife, lying under the water. The horse they had ridden lay dead beside them. We observed that they had tried to escape across the river when they were shot."

Location of Black Kettle's death

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Warriors, eleven who died, rushed out of their lodges with inferior firepower to defend the village. Simultaneously, the overall noncombatants ran for their lives into the freezing Washita River.

(Taken with permission)

The words of Ben Clark, Custer's chief of scouts, brought the truth out after Custer distributed propaganda about one white woman and two white boys as having been hostages in Black Kettle’s village. There were no “hostages, a Cheyenne woman committed suicide. Speculating, here is why.

She didn't want her son mutilated by Custer or a 7th Calvary soldier; she didn't want her vagina ripped out and put on a stick, worn, or made into a tobacco pouch. So, she killed her son and herself first.

Jerome A. Greene. Washita. Chap.7. pp. 130-131

There, as the people fell at the hands of the troopers, one woman, in a helpless rage, stood up with her baby, held it out in an outstretched arm, and with the other drew a knife and fatally stabbed the infant - erroneously believed by the soldiers to be a white child. She then plunged the blade into her own chest in suicide.

(Location of the genocide at Washita, a few yards from Black Kettle’s death)
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The 7th hunted them down and murdered them. Although the orders were to "hang all warriors;" it was much more convenient to shoot them. All wounded Cheyenne were shot where they laid.

Osage scouts mutilated women and children. They did a "roundup" of their own by using tree limbs to herd the defenseless Cheyenne women and children back to the village, where the mutilations could continue. Custer halted the slaying of women and children at one point, but he raped them later in captivity.

One Osage scout beheaded a Cheyenne.

Jerome A. Greene. Washita. Chap.7. pp120

They (Osages) "shot down the women and mutilated their bodies, cutting off their arms, legs and breasts with knives."

The 7th captured the Cheyenne and started bonfires. They burned the 51 lodges to the ground. Winter clothing that was depended upon for winter survival was incinerated in the flames, as was food supplies. Weapons and all lodge contents were burned also, including any sacred items.

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Finally, 875 horses were shot, thus stripping away their last means of survival and independence.

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Dee Brown. "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee." P.170

Late in December the survivors of Black Kettle's band began arriving at Fort Cobb -
Little Robe was now the nominal leader of the tribe, and was taken to see Sheridan he told the bearlike soldier chief that his people were starving - they had eaten all their dogs.

Sheridan replied that the Cheyennes would be fed if they all came into Fort Cobb and surrendered unconditionally. "You cannot make peace now and commence killing whites again in the spring." Sheridan added, "If you are not willing to make a complete peace, you can go back and we will fight this thing out."

Little Robe knew there was but one answer he could give.
"It is for you to say what we have to do," he said.

American Holocaust

(It is worth noting also that the Fuhrer from time to time expressed admiration for the "efficiency" of the American genocide campaign against the Indians, viewing it as a forerunner for his own plans and programs.)

The Cheyenne women were "transported" by an officer named Romero to the other officers once they were prisoners at Fort Cobb.


Custer "enjoyed one" every evening in the privacy of his tent. Presumably, he stopped raping the Cheyenne women when his wife arrived.


Custer's wife, Elizabeth (Bacon), whom he married in 1864, lived to the age of ninety-one. The couple had no children. She was devoted to his memory, wrote three books about him, and when she died in 1933 was buried beside him at West Point. Her Tenting on the Plains (1887) presents a charming picture of their stay in Texas. Custer's headquarters building in Austin, the Blind Asylum, located on the "Little Campus" of the University of Texas, has been restored.

Jerome A. Greene. "Washita." Chap. 8, p.169.

Ben Clack told Walter M. Camp: many of the squaws captured at Washita were used by the officers...Romero was put in charge of them and on the march Romero would send squaws around to the officers' tents every night. [Clark] says Custer picked out a fine looking one and had her in his tent every night."

This statement is more or less confirmed by Frederick Benteen, who in 1896 asserted that Custer selected Monahseetah/Meotzi from among the women prisoners and cohabited with her "during the winter and spring of 1868 and '69" until his wife arrived in the summer of 1869. Although Benteen's assertions regarding Custer are not always to be trusted, his statements nonetheless conform entirely to those of the reliable Ben Clark and thus cannot be ignored."

Further information regarding accurate numbers of deaths, captives and list of names are in Jerome A. Greene's wonderful book, "Washita."


We have been traveling through a cloud. The sky has been dark ever since the war began.

Black Kettle

Native Voices: Black Kettle

I did imagine hearing crying voices when I went to the site of the Washita Massacre a couple months ago, and before writing
Moxtaveto's (Black Kettle's) Extermination on November 27, 1868 & a Request. The elders say it’s haunted, like they said they could hear children cry at the Sand Creek Massacre.

To end this, I will quote former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell from the dedication of the Sand Creek Massacre, "If there were any savages that day, it was not the Indian people."


by Unknown | 11/20/2008 09:18:00 PM
Indiana University has tabled plans to add pioneering African-American basketball player Bill Garrett's name to that of the Ora L. Wildermuth Intramural Center, because -- wait for it -- the vice president of the Board of Trustees though the coupling was offensive to the memory of Wildermuth, an avowed segregationist. The new plan is to rename another building on campus after Garrett. But, IU Vice President Terry Clapacs, I thought the problem with taking Wildermuth's name off the building was that changing building names is "a very serious matter". Apparently that's only true when you want to punish a dead racist.

I owe an apology to Alaskans, for calling them "stupid" back on November 6 for apparently re-electing convicted felon Ted Stevens to a U.S. Senate seat. Mea culpa, Alaskans; you're not stupid. Next time, try to make the margin a little more convincing, 'kay?

Paul Rosenberg, David Sirota, and especially Matthew Pinsker attack the "Team of Rivals" argument. I often defend historians whose work is used for purposes they themselves would not countenance -- for instance, when Sean Wilentz's anti-Obama arguments were used by the right, or when our own Ralph Brauer's work on the Glass-Steagall Act is used (erroneously) to pin the principal blame for that travesty on Bill Clinton. However, in this case, Goodwin's book is being used to justify the wholesale selling-out of the American liberal movement by the incoming administration. She needs to step up and explain that Lincoln 1) didn't appoint any Democrats to his Cabinet until nearly a year into his Presidency, and 2) didn't appoint the entire staff of his rivals to Cabinet posts in lieu of his own campaign advisors. If she does not, then historians like Pinsker have every right to eviscerate the entire work of scholarship. [Update] Ralph Luker points out one I missed, by James Oakes.

What's on your mind?

[Update] An encouraging sign for the future: residents of Clinton County, Ohio, which was devastated recently by the departure of major corporate employer DHL, are trying to have the county designated a Green Zone -- the idea being to attract green business and replenish local employment opportunities that way. [Update II] I wade back into the Great Orange Satan to help these guys. What fireworks will follow?


by Unknown | 11/20/2008 03:59:00 PM
Surprisingly, President-Elect Obama has selected a second person for his cabinet whom I've met; this one I actually spoke with briefly. It's Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, Obama's new selection for director of the Department of Homeland Security. It's a surprising pick not so much because of Napolitano's lack of qualifications (the previous occupant, Michael Chertoff, was selected primarily because he had bashed the department in several judicial opinions) but because of the political fallout it will create in Arizona -- elevating a Republican to the governor's office and removing Democrats' only serious chance of defeating John McCain for Senate.

I met Napolitano, ironically, in the same year I met Gregory Craig, which was about ten years ago. At the time, she had just been elected to the position of state attorney general. I was captain of a local LifeSmarts team which was competing in the state championship for the first time that year. At the time, the tradition -- inherited from Napolitano's predecessor, Grant Woods -- was that the state AG would read questions for the final two rounds of the competition. Unfortunately, the competition was delayed over an hour while organizers waited for Napolitano to arrive.

Despite her efforts to portray herself as an authentic Westerner, Napolitano still sports a hint of a New York accent, something that cost me a question in the contest. Napolitano asked me whether fair-skinned, olive-skinned, or dark-skinned people were more likely to sustain serious sunburn. However, she pronounced "olive-skinned" as "aulive-skinned," which I heard as "all of skinned people" (obviously, I was a bit addled at the time from the stress), and I picked that answer. DING!

After we won the competition (despite my silly miss on that question), Napolitano engaged me in conversation (I don't remember who started it, her or me). She told me I'd like New York City, where the national contest was being held, and that she'd grown up there.

Napolitano was a good governor, shielding the state from the excesses of a violently anti-immigrant state legislature. She was also very attentive to the small northern city of Flagstaff, where I grew up -- she rode in the local Fourth of July parade every year from 1998 until last year, when she sent current Attorney General Terry Goddard in her stead. She also held several state cabinet meetings in Flagstaff. I attended one of them in 2004. I went up to her after the meeting to thank her for bestowing some recognition on the northern part of the state, and she took me for a campaign worker on the Paul Babbitt for Congress campaign, probably because I was wearing a Babbitt t-shirt (I was actually only a volunteer). In both brief conversations, she struck me as both down-to-earth and a tough operator who knew what she wanted and how to get it.

Finally, while many will no doubt remark that Napolitano is not a movement progressive -- and she's not -- it's worth remembering that she was a member of Anita Hill's legal team during the Clarence Thomas Senate confirmation hearings. In fact, it was that position that earned her the notice of former President Bill Clinton, who appointed her to her first political job, U.S. Attorney for Arizona.


by Winter Rabbit | 11/20/2008 07:10:00 AM
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"In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians

were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them."

"It may be demanded...Should not Christians have more mercy and

compassion? But...sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents.... We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings."

-Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

(Slightly edited from last year)

Frank James, a Wampanoag tribal member, would have given a speech in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1970; however, the ones in charge of the Thanksgiving ceremony at Plymouth Rock denied Frank James from ever uttering it. I learned about this in The Thanksgiving Day Massacre...Or, would you like Turkey with your genocide?

The timeline itself along with basic knowledge of the Pilgrim's religious beliefs exposes the fact that historically speaking, Thanksgiving was literally about gratitude for genocide. Furthermore, the low population counts of the Pequot in more recent years points to how the devastating effects of the English's, or Separatists', or Pilgrims', or Puritans' crime of genocide almost destroyed the Pequot population. The English, who no doubt formed an American Colony in New England, claimed the land as theirs by the Doctrine of Discovery, which is still in effect today as federal law. To be accurate, the word genocide was not created until 1944 by Raphael Lemkin;nonetheless, the word genocide is appropriate when discussing the near extermination of the Pequot. To be clear, the Doctrine of Discovery legally applied to the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England, but not to the Pilgrims in New Plymouth. What was the difference?

No Doctrine of Discovery -

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 47.

Thus it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags. To the pilgrims, this became their "deed of cession," authorizing them to seize unspecified acreage.

- or, Doctrine of Discovery,


The Doctrine of Discovery provided that by law and divine intention European Christian countries gained power and legal rights over indigenous non-Christian peoples immediately upon their "discovery" by Europeans. Various European monarchs and their legal systems developed this principle to benefit their own countries. The Discovery Doctrine was then adopted into American colonial and state law and into the United States Constitution, and was then adopted by the federal legislative and executive branches, and finally by the U.S. Supreme Court in Johnson v. M'Intosh in 1823. Johnson is still federal law today and the Doctrine of Discovery is still being applied to Indian individuals and the American Indian Nations notwithstanding its Eurocentric, religious, and racial underpinnings.

It was all the same in both of their usages. There was no difference.

Patent Granted by King Henry VII to John Cabot and his Sons find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians…
And that the before-mentioned John and his sons or their heirs and deputies may conquer, occupy and possess whatsoever such towns, castles, cities and islands by them thus discovered that they may be able to conquer, occupy and possess, as our vassals and governors lieutenants and deputies therein, acquiring for us the dominion, title and jurisdiction of the same towns, castles, cities, islands and mainlands so discovered;…

However, Roger Williams tried to "make a difference;" in good conscience he stated:

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 48.

"We have not our land by patent from the King, but that the natives are the true owners of it, and that we ought to repent of such receiving it by patent…" For his radical ideas Williams was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635."

Now that all that is stated, let us go to the  specifics of the timeline.

First, the Pilgrims landed in Wampanoag controlled land in 1620.

Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. "A People & A Nation." Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53.

The Pokanokets (also called Wampanoags) controlled the area in which the Pilgrims settled, yet their villages had suffered terrible losses in the epidemic of 1616 - 1618. To protect themselves from the powerful Narragansetts of the southern New England coast (who had been spared the ravages of the disease), the Pokanokets decided to ally themselves with the newcomers. In the spring of 1621, their leader, Massasoit,  signed a treaty with the Pilgrims, and during the colony's first difficult years the Pokanokets supplied the English with essential foodstuffs.


Yet, where were they beforehand and why did they set sail?

Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. "A People & A Nation." Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53.

Separatists were the first to move to New England. In 1609 a group of Separatists migrated to Holland, where they found the freedom of worship denied them in Stuart England. But they were nevertheless troubled by the Netherlands' too - tolerant atmosphere; the nation that tolerated them also tolerated religions and behaviors they abhorred. Hoping to isolate themselves and their children from the corrupting influence of worldly temptations, these people, who were to become known as Pilgrims, received permission from a branch of the Virginia Company to colonize the northern part of its territory.

Next, there was just one feast in 1621, not a succession of feasts. Why? There was probably only one feast, because "it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags," and these.

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 49.

The fact is that to the Puritan, the Native American was the instrument of Satan. For Cotton Mather the Indians were "doleful creatures who were the veriest ruins of Mankind, who were to be everywhere on the face of the earth"; and even Roger Williams, the great friend of the Indians, said they were devil - worshippers.

Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving By Rick Shenkman

…the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them. Besides, the Pilgrims would never have tolerated festivities at a true religious event. Indeed, what we think of as Thanksgiving was really a harvest festival. Actual "Thanksgivings" were religious affairs; everybody spent the day praying. Incidentally, these Pilgrim Thanksgivings occurred at different times of the year, not just in November.

Consequently, the European invasion brought a whole new level of violence to the native tribes,

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p.75 - 76

…But tribal rivalries and wars were relatively infrequent prior to Puritan settlement (compared to the number of wars in Europe)…Neither would have increased if it were not that a colonizing European nation was asserting political jurisdiction, in the name of God, over indigenous New England societies…When thus threatened with the usurpation of their own rights, as native tribes had been threatened years before by them, Puritans came to the defense of a system of government that was similar, in important ways, to the native governments that they had always defined as savage and uncivilized... 

and out of that heightened violence came the massacre for which Thanksgiving is named.

Thanksgiving Day Celebrates A Massacre

William B. Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chairman of the Anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, says that the first official Thanksgiving Day celebrated the massacre of 700 Indian men, women and children during one of their religious ceremonies. "Thanksgiving Day" was first proclaimed by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance...Thanksgiving Day to the, "in their own house", Newell stated.

- small snip -

-----The very next day the governor declared a Thanksgiving Day.....For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won."

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Historically revised events of and after 1621: that the feast was of friendly intent and not a political ploy since "it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags;" that there were successive feasts which involved the Indians; and that ignore the Pequot Massacre, "For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won.." all hide the truth. Adding to every one of those assertions is Frank James' suppressed speech that he would have spoken publicly if he had been allowed to do so in 1970.

THE SUPPRESSED SPEECH OF WAMSUTTA (FRANK B.) JAMES, WAMPANOAG To have been delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1970

…Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece. The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans.

Mourt's Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians' winter provisions as they were able to carry.

Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic. Or his knowledge of the harsh oncoming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts. This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end; that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a free people.

What happened in those short 50 years? What has happened in the last 300 years? History gives us facts and there were atrocities; there were broken promises - and most of these centered around land ownership. Among ourselves we understood that there were boundaries, but never before had we had to deal with fences and stone walls. But the white man had a need to prove his worth by the amount of land that he owned. Only ten years later, when the Puritans came, they treated the Wampanoag with even less kindness in converting the souls of the so-called "savages." Although the Puritans were harsh to members of their own society, the Indian was pressed between stone slabs and hanged as quickly as any other "witch…"

Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. p.  219

As difficult as it may be for non - Indians to realize the corruption of American Institutions, such as universities, or to recognize the hypnotic effect of propaganda and hegemony, it may be far more difficult for them to mitigate the shadow side of their own cultural histories. In this chapter a non - Indian (David Gabbard) scholar stresses how vital it is to do so nonetheless, for until a true realization occurs, the United States of America will likely continue its similar intrusions of colonialism in other parts of the world and on other people. He points out that for this realization to take place, we must recognize First Nations scholarship as a set of practices aimed at helping everyone remember themselves and that efforts to discredit that scholarship and the worldviews that it attempts to recover can keep us in a cycle of genocide that will ultimately consume us.