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Stereotype of the Month Entry
(11/8/05)


Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

Citizens for Personal Responsibility: White House Decrees by Executive Order That All Americans Shall Cede Their Individual Sovereignty to Tribal Governments

11/8/2005 11:30:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Cheryl Lynch of Citizens for Personal Responsibility, 269-469-4663

NEW BUFFALO, Mich., Nov. 8 /U.S. Newswire/ The following statement regarding Executive Order 13388, which grants tribal governments access to information about non-Indian American citizens, was released today by Citizens for Personal Responsibility:

President Bush has signed into effect Executive Order 13388, which grants "tribal governments" access to information about non-Indian American citizens, gathered by alarmingly expanded PATRIOT Act initiatives. The citizens' alert organization Citizens for Personal Responsibility (CPR) declares this action outrageous. American Indians have no more of a Constitutional right to access sensitive information than do any other ethnic or cultural leaders.

Indian reservation inhabitants have made a conscious choice not to assimilate into America. It is reckless of the Bush Administration to grant tribal leaders jurisdiction beyond the narrow confines of cultural construct. Radical activists within "Indian Country" now have unchecked power to take advantage of this new opportunity by viewing, maintaining or requesting information based upon motives that are more related to securing a homeland and resources for themselves, rather than securing America's homeland.

The notion of sovereign tribal governments has been entirely built from the bold and unchallenged Executive Orders of several recent Presidents, and to a great extent without the consent of the American people. The original anti-American vehicle that created the permanency of separated tribal enclaves occupying federal land was the controversial 1934 Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). Narrowly passed by the Congress under the Roosevelt Administration, it had been proposed by the Indian Commissioner, John Collier, an acknowledged socialist/communist.

The U.S. Supreme Court has finally begun to restore the rights of non-Indian citizens and state governments from the out-of-control initiatives of politicians who have caved in under pressure from this ethnic interest group. In a wise ruling this year, City of Sherrill (NY) v. Oneida Indian Nation, it was fundamentally determined that there are only three sovereigns in the United States the federal government, state governments and individual U.S. citizens. Other important lawsuits are moving toward the Supreme Court that will further challenge the sovereign status that has been granted to Indians, including a long-overdue ruling on the constitutionality of the 1934 IRA.

In the interim, we at CPR urge that responsible members of the Congress initiate immediate action to eliminate tribal leadership as a Homeland Security jurisdiction. The privacy and rights of law-abiding Americans must not be even temporarily breached. Further information can be accessed at http://www.CitizensforPersonalResponsibility.org.

http://www.usnewswire.com/

CERTAIN Home Page: http://www.certain-natl.org

Rob's reply
Here's what Executive Order 13388 actually says:

Executive Order 13388 of October 25, 2005
Further Strengthening the Sharing of Terrorism Information to Protect Americans

And here's the only mention of tribal governments:

Section 1. Policy. To the maximum extent consistent with applicable law, agencies shall, in the design and use of information systems and in the dissemination of information among agencies:

(a) give the highest priority to (i) the detection, prevention, disruption, preemption, and mitigation of the effects of terrorist activities against the territory, people, and interests of the United States of America; (ii) the interchange of terrorism information among agencies; (iii) the interchange of terrorism information between agencies and appropriate authorities of State, local, and tribal governments....

So this is all about sharing terrorist data, not "sensitive" citizens' data. It's already being shared among federal, state, and local agencies. CPR doesn't oppose the sharing of this data; it opposes only the sharing of it with tribal governments. In other words, CPR thinks Indians are less trustworthy than other Americans.

While expressing its prejudice against Indians, CPR is misstating the facts about tribal government and sovereignty. Let's see how.

>> American Indians have no more of a Constitutional right to access sensitive information than do any other ethnic or cultural leaders. <<

Giving a tribe a governmental power is no different from giving the United States or one of the 50 states a governmental power. Only duly elected or authorized representatives can exercise that power, not all the citizens of that jurisdiction.

This passage ignores the fact that tribes are political entities, not racial entities. "Ethnic leaders" don't run governments; "elected officials" do. No Indian is going to get access to sensitive data unless he or she is a government official, at least.

Despite CPR's dissembling, the scope of the executive order is limited to "appropriate authorities." This passage is intended to stir up animosity against Indians, nothing more. It pretends that all Indians are getting a "right" that, in reality, only a few are.

>> Indian reservation inhabitants have made a conscious choice not to assimilate into America. <<

Wrong. They've made a conscious choice to inhabit reservations, nothing more. Many live in remote rural locations, and they're as connected to America as any citizens in such locations. The closer they live to the geographic mainstream, the more likely they are to be assimilated.

>> Radical activists within "Indian Country" now have unchecked power to take advantage of this new opportunity by viewing, maintaining or requesting information based upon motives that are more related to securing a homeland and resources for themselves, rather than securing America's homeland. <<

Yeah, 'cuz that terrorist data is really helpful in building houses, schools, and health clinics.

This passage implies that Indians are greedy, would jeopardize the nation for their own personal gain, and have radical, terrorist-friendly agendas. Nothing could be further from the truth or more offensively stereotypical.

>> The notion of sovereign tribal governments has been entirely built from the bold and unchallenged Executive Orders of several recent Presidents, and to a great extent without the consent of the American people. <<

Wow, how ignorant can you get? No, "the notion of sovereign tribal governments" has been built for 1) Supreme Court decisions, starting in the 1820s, and 2) acts of Congress. Executive orders are a distant third or fourth as sources of tribal sovereignty.

Moreover, sovereign tribes existed long before the Marshall Court recognized their sovereignty in the 1820s. Before the United States existed, Great Britain and other countries considered tribes to be the equivalent of foreign countries. They signed treaties with tribes exactly as if they were co-equal sovereign powers.

>> The original anti-American vehicle that created the permanency of separated tribal enclaves occupying federal land was the controversial 1934 Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). <<

There you go...an act of Congress, not an executive order. I'd say most acts of Congress are American, not anti-American, by definition. Neither Democratic nor Republican administrations have seriously challenged this act of Congress in 70-plus years. Tens of thousands of elected "anti-American" representatives, including Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, have given it their explicit or implicit approval.

>> The U.S. Supreme Court has finally begun to restore the rights of non-Indian citizens and state governments from the out-of-control initiatives of politicians who have caved in under pressure from this ethnic interest group. <<

Yes, the present right-wing Supreme Court has continued the process of whittling down the sovereignty established by previous right-wing Supreme Courts. So? What does this have to do with the sharing of terrorist data among appropriate government authorities?

>> In the interim, we at CPR urge that responsible members of the Congress initiate immediate action to eliminate tribal leadership as a Homeland Security jurisdiction. <<

In other words, CPR thinks Indians are second-class citizens who don't deserve the right to govern themselves. So noted.

Related links
Indian rights = special rights
The facts about tribal sovereignty


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