August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Indigenous Day of Action: Tar Sands White House: Sept 2, 2011

Photo copyright Stop the Tar Sands/Keepers of the Athabasca
Native American and Canadian First Nations To Take Part In Largest Act of Civil Disobedience to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

By Indigenous Environmental Network
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

Photo copyright Stop the Tar Sands/Harvey Scanie leads a group of walkers during the 13 km Healing Walk past Syncrude and the tailings ponds north Fort McMurray on Saturday, August 14 2010. Photo by Keepers of the Athabasca.

WASHINGTON DC -- The Indigenous Environmental Network is a national environmental justice and indigenous rights organization taking part in the largest act of civil disobedience in decades taking place at the White House in Washington DC from August 20 to September 3, 2011. Indigenous will join the protests on Wednesday at the Canadian Day of Action at the White House and Friday for the Indigenous Day of Action.

A group of walkers take part in the 13 km Healing Walk past Syncrude and the tailings ponds north of Fort McMurray on Saturday, August 14 2010. Photo copyright by Keepers of the Athabasca/Stop the Tar Sands
The purpose of these actions is to send a direct message to President Obama to deny approval of the 1,702 mile Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would be transporting pollution from the tar sands (also known as oilsands) of Canada to the United States by carrying 900,000 barrels per day of thick, corrosive, toxic, synthetic crude oil for refining in Texas and the Gulf States. If approved, the Keystone XL would lock the US into a dependency of energy intensive, hard-to-extract dirty oil and create a massive expansion of the world’s dirtiest and most environmentally destructive form of oil development currently taking place in northern Alberta Canada. These operations are already producing 1.5 million barrels per day and having horrendous environmental justice and human rights impacts on the way of life and health of the local Native communities of Cree, Dene and M├ętis.

The proposed pipeline threatens to pollute freshwater supplies in America’s agricultural heartland and grasslands with increased emissions in already-polluted communities of the Gulf Coast. The Keystone XL would cross Indian Country; States of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas encompassing Indian-US treaty territories crossing water aquifers and rivers, grasslands, cultural sites and ecological sensitive areas. Leaks and spills are common occurrences from such pipelines that could result in disproportionate impact to Native Nations and thousands of tribal members. A spill from the Keystone XL poses an even greater threat, given that the pipeline would run directly through the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies one-third of our nation’s ground water used for irrigation, and drinking water to 2 million citizens.

The Indigenous Environmental Network is bringing tribal governmental and grassroots leaders from US and Canada, directly impacted by the proposed pipeline and the tar sands oil operations, to say “NO KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE” to President Obama. This Indigenous Day of Action on September 2, 2011, at the gates of the White House will express the solidarity of Native Nations, standing with concerned citizens, workers, farmers, ranchers, unions, youth and a coalition of environmental groups from across the continent, in peaceful protest to protect Mother Earth and demand Obama respect the treaty rights and survival of Native Nations of the US and Canada.

“Nature is speaking, but Obama is not listening. The Keystone XL pipeline is a 1,700 mile fuse of the world’s largest carbon bomb. The Canadian tar sands, the proposed Keystone XL and all the other current and proposed pipelines are weapons of mass destruction leading the path to triggering the final overheating of Mother Earth”, says Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “President Obama made promises to Native Nations and here is an opportunity for him to honor those promises and be a man of conscious by standing up to corporate power and say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline.”

A barrel of tar sands oil emits up to three times as much climate-disrupting gas as conventional oil. Building Keystone XL would be the greenhouse gas equivalent of adding roughly 6.5 million passenger vehicles to the road, or constructing 12 new coal-fired power plants.

“IEN is putting out a national call for ACTION and Solidarity on September 2nd. Even if your homes won’t be crossed by this pipeline, we are raising the consciousness of America to reevaluate its relationship to Mother Earth that would be ruined by the intensity of environmental devastation and of greenhouse gases created by the enormous tar sands oil infrastructure crossing North America. It’s like a giant spider web crossing our Turtle Island”, added Goldtooth.

National Native organizations such as the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest Native organization representing Native Nations are calling for a moratorium and better management practices on expanded tar sands development and opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. NCAI requests the U.S. government to take aggressive measures to work towards sustainable energy solutions that include clean alternative energy and improving energy efficiency.

The IEN delegation will arrive in DC on August 30th and be participating in the August 31st Canadian Day of Action and staying until the Indigenous Day of Action on September 2nd.

For more information, please contact:
Marty Cobenais IEN Pipeline Campaigner cell: (218) 760 0284 email: martyc@ienearth.org
Clayton Thomas-Muller IEN Tar Sands Campaigner cell: (613) 297 7515 email: ienoil@igc.org
Tom Goldtooth IEN Executive Director cell: (218) 760 0442 email: ien@igc.org
Kandi  Mosset IEN Tribal Campus Climate Campaigner cell: (701) 214 1389 email: iencampusclimate@igc.org
Or visit www.ienearth.org/tarsands.html
 or www.tarsandsaction.org

TAR SANDS ACTION

Monday, Aug 29: People of Faith & Dr. James Hansen
On Monday, ministers and rabbis will join other faith leaders to speak out agains the Keystone XL pipeline and call on President Obama to act as a steward for the Earth. Spokespeople will include some of the leading faith voices on environmental protection. NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, perhaps the world’s top climatologist, will also take part in the action.
Tuesday, Aug 30: Sit-in Continues
Wednesday, Aug 31: Appalachia Residents
Resource extraction has taken its toll on the people of Appalachia, where mountain-top removal coal mining has devastated over a million acres of land. Residents from Appalachia will come take part in the sit-in and connect the destruction of Appalachia with the destruction taking place in Alberta due to the tar sands.
Thursday, Sep 1: Landowner Tour Arrives in DC / “Fracktivists” / Canadian Spokespeople
Beginning on August 20, landowners from along the pipeline route will be leading a tour across America to raise awareness about the dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline. For more information on the tour click here. On Aug 30, the tour will arrive in DC and act as lead spokespeople for the sit-in.
The tour participants will be joined by a large delegation of anti-fracking activists led by Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND).
Friday, Sep 2: Indigenous Leaders
Indigenous peoples have born the brunt of resource extraction for generations and are on the front-lines of the tar sands expansion across Alberta. Indigenous elders from Canada and the US will act as the lead spokespeople for the sit-in on August 1st.
Saturday, Sep 3: Final Day
On the final day of the sit-in, over a thousand people are expected to join a rally at Lafayette Square Park to take part in a massive public art piece that will create an enduring image to commemorate the two-week sit-in and inspire future protests to stop the Keystone XL and other fossil-fuel projects.

New Wikileaks: UN: China scolded US treatment of Native Americans

US human rights abuses exposed by world leaders at the UN, previously censored, are revealed in new Wikileaks cable
Hunting migrants on Arizona border
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

A new Wikileaks cable provides the scope of US human rights abuses in testimony by world leaders before the United Nations in 2007. Much of the information was censored by the US media at the time. World leaders described the human rights abuses of the United States, including secret torture centers, targeted assassinations, "people hunting" on the Mexican border and the use of biological weapons in Vietnam.

China described the racism and xenophobia on the rise in the United States and the US violations of the rights of Native Americans and ethnic groups.

"China said the United States had turned a blind eye to China's progress in human rights, but had failed to examine its own human rights record, citing the September 16 Blackwater security incident in Iraq. He stated that the United States has increased its monitoring and control of the Internet and suppressed anti-war expression and gatherings. He alleged that racism and xenophobia are on the rise in the United States, as are violations of the human rights of Native Americans and ethnic groups. He called on the United States to remember its own 'bad and sad' human rights record," according to the US diplomatic cable.

The cable released yesterday, Friday, is from Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, Permanent Representative to the UN. The cable is dated Nov. 15, 2007, seven months after Dr. Khalilzad began his UN position.
Dr. Khalilzad was previously an Ambassador in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and served the Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld trio.

Dr. Khalilzad was the US Ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007, after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, 2003 to 2005. Dr. Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Department of Defense and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, according to the US State Dept.

In a related cable released on Friday, Guatemala demands justice after migrants in southern Arizona were attacked and killed by masked gunmen. More recently, the hacked files of the Arizona police made public the fact that off-duty US Marines, and white supremacist groups, are stalking migrants with assault weapons on the Arizona border.

Here's the US atrocities, in the United States' own words from world leaders at the United Nations:

Diplomatic Cable:
http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/11/07USUNNEWYORK1019.html

¶1. (U) Speaking Oct. 31 in the annual debate on promotion and protection of human rights in the UN General Assembly's Third Committee, Ambassador Khalilzad emphasized the value the United States places on human rights, described the important role these rights play in building societies, cited examples of progress in human rights (Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Morocco and Lebanon) and addressed situations of human rights violations (Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Belarus, Iran and Syria). He noted U.S. concern for the situation of human rights in Russia and China. (Full text of Ambassador Khalilzad's statement is available at www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov  press releases/20071031 278.html).

¶2. (U) Several delegations responded to the U.S. statement. Iran's representative regretted that the Third Committee is frequently misused to name and blame, which he said divides the group into two blocs, the claimants vs. the defendants. He noted that no country has a perfect record and pointed to Guantanamo, secret detention centers, mistreatment of migrants in the United States, Europe, and Canada, and the inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people, which, he alleged, is supported by Europe and the United States.

¶3. (U) The Cuban delegate boasted of Cuba's successes in the area of human rights and said the same countries that criticize Cuba commit numerous violations of human rights, singling out the United States for what she said was torture of prisoners by U.S. soldiers in Guantanamo and Iraq, sexual abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, police violence, the death penalty for minors, election fraud, "people-hunting" on the Mexican border, and violations of civil and political rights of American citizens, including wiretapping and banning travel to Cuba.

¶4. (U) North Korea's delegate said the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan were the cause of "more than a million" deaths and an increase in sectarian violence. He called for "non-selectivity" in addressing human rights, stating that issues such as the unlawful acts of Israel in the Occupied Territories and the CIA's alleged overseas secret prisons are ignored, while developing countries are SIPDIS the target of accusations. "The United States is the number one invader and killer of other nations" said the North Korean, and "must clean its untidy house inside and out."

¶5. (U) Syria's delegate said the "American sermon" was an attempt to divide the Third Committee into good vs. bad. He argued that the vote against the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba in this year's General Assembly showed the isolation of the American position when it comes to human rights. He said U.S. human rights violations include the Guantanamo prison, secret extrajudicial executions, targeted killings, use of SIPDIS biological weapons in Vietnam, racial discrimination, and even movies that promote violence around the world.

¶6. (U) China said the United States had turned a blind eye to China's progress in human rights, but had failed to examine its own human rights record, citing the September 16 Blackwater security incident in Iraq. He stated that the United States has increased its monitoring and control of the Internet and suppressed anti-war expression and gatherings. He alleged that racism and xenophobia are on the rise in the United States, as are violations of the human rights of Native Americans and ethnic groups. He called on the United States to remember its own "bad and sad" human rights record.
Khalilzad

In a related cable just released, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister urges an investigation and prosecution after migrants, including Guatemalans, were attacked by masked gunmen and one Guatemalan was killed in 2007.

The New York Times reported the attack on migrants:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/09/us/09immig.html
Also recently, the hacked files of the Arizona police revealed that off-duty US Marines, and white supremacist groups, continue to stalk migrants with assault weapons in southern Arizona.
Censored News: Hacked data reveals US Marines as contract assassins on Arizona border, hunting for migrants:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/06/hacked-data-reveals-us-marines-contract.html

Wikileaks US diplomatic cable: US Embassy of Guatemala: Feb 14, 2007

SUBJECT: GUATEMALAN FM ROSENTHAL WRITES THE AMBASSADOR ABOUT FATAL ATTACK ON IMMIGRANTS IN ARIZONA  
http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=07GUATEMALA305&q=tohono

¶1. Summary: Guatemalan Foreign Minister Rosenthal wrote the Ambassador urging the prompt investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the February 8 armed attack on a group of undocumented immigrants in a desert area near Tucson, Arizona. One Guatemalan was killed, while another Guatemalan was injured during the early morning attack. End summary.

¶2. Background: On February 8, a group of more than 20 undocumented aliens, including an undetermined number of Guatemalans, was attacked by masked armed gunmen in a desert area about 20 miles northwest of Tucson, Arizona. Three persons, including Guatemalan Rudi Raxaleu, were killed. Another Guatemalan, Sebastiana Quixtan, who was injured during the attack, is reportedly in stable condition and recuperating in a hospital in Tucson. Guatemalan media are portraying this incident as confirmation that there is open season on immigrants. Conservative, pro-business daily "Siglo XXI" ran a banner headline on page one screaming "They fear xenophobia."

¶3. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Marta Altolaguirre told local press of her suspicion that the killers belong to a criminal group that extorts Guatemalans seeking to illegally immigrate to the U.S. and that organized crime is using new methods to profit from alien smuggling.
¶4. Embassy's informal translation of the letter:

BEGIN TEXT Mr. Ambassador: I present my compliments and have the honor to refer to the incident that occurred in the city of Tucson, Arizona in the early morning hours of February 8, which resulted in the death by firearm of Mr. Rudi Otoniel Raxaleu Castro, and injury to Ms. Sebastiana Quixtan Gomez, both Guatemalan citizens. We understand that the incident occurred when two pick-up trucks were traveling to Phoenix through the area of the Tohono O'dham Reservation. The first vehicle was intercepted by masked armed gunmen and forced off the road into the desert. U.S. authorities have located a minor, Olinda Arsenia Mateo Gomez, and Celvin Ernesto Boj, to whom U.S. immigration authorities have offered visas to remain in the U.S. The whereabouts of the other immigrants are unknown. The Guatemalan Government condemns this attack and requests your intervention so that the described facts can be investigated by the proper authorities and that those responsible for the armed aggression can be brought to justice in accordance with the law. I take this opportunity to renew the assurances of my highest consideration. Gert Rosenthal Koenigsberger Minister of Foreign Affairs cc: Ambassador Guillermo Castillo Embassy of Guatemala in the U.S.
  END TEXT Derham
.
Read more at Censored News:
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

New Wikileaks: Forced Exiles of Native Americans and Palestinians

While the US media censored the truth, the world was watching
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

The release of thousands of Wikileaks cables includes the comparison of how the colonial United States government forcibly drove Native Americans from their homes, while Israel forcibly expels Palestinians from their homes.

The new Wikileaks cables reveal that while the US media was censoring the truth, the world was watching.

In a diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Kuwait released Friday, dated June 21, 2004, the US Embassy in Kuwait provides this quote from the media:

¶3. "Journey Of Tears" Mohammed Musaed Al-Saleh wrote in independent Al-Qabas (6/19): "The way the United States was founded is identical to the way the Zionist entity was founded. In America,  Native Americans were forcibly driven away from their homes. Israel in 2004 is doing the same thing by forcibly expelling Palestinians from the West Bank, east of Jerusalem and Gaza. According to author Muneer Al-Akesh, America's idea of exchanging a nation and a culture with another, through forcible evacuation and unjustified explanations, is in fact Israel's historical raison d'etre. While Sharon is in Palestine, Bush is in Iraq. There is no difference." 
http://wikileaks.org/cable/2004/06/04KUWAIT1934.html

It is the second cable released in the past few days where US Embassies refer to media quotes about the atrocities committed by the US government and the exile of Native Americans.

A second Wikileaks cable revives an article censored by Indian Country Today. While the newspaper censored an article stating that the war in Iraq is a continuation of the atrocities inflicted on American Indians -- the truth was already known around the world in Turkey.

The US Embassy in Turkey quoted Omer Ozturkmen in 2004, in the Wikileaks cable: "The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians."

It is an important fact that Turkey knew this truth at the beginning of the Iraq war, because in the United States, this fact was being censored.

Louise Benally of Big Mountain, Ariz., longtime Navajo resister of relocation, was among the most vocal from the beginning opposing the war in Iraq. When Benally compared the war in Iraq to the forced exile and imprisonment of Navajos on the Long Walk by the US Calvary, the newspaper Indian Country Today, where I served as a staff writer, censored Benally's comments in 2005.

Pressed to publish a correction, the newspaper refused.

Here are the censored comments:

Navajos at Big Mountain resisting forced relocation view the 19th Century prison camp of Bosque Redondo and the war in Iraq as a continuum of U.S. government sponsored terror.

Louise Benally of Big Mountain remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing the murder, rape and starvation of their family and friends.

“I think these poor children had gone through so much, but, yet they had the will to go on and live their lives. If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be here today.

“It makes me feel very sad and I apply this to the situation in Iraq. I wonder how the Native Americans in the combat zone feel about killing innocent lives.”

Looking at the faces of the Navajo and Apache children in the Bosque Redondo photo, Benally said,
“I think the children in the picture look concerned and maybe confused. It makes me think of what the children in Iraq must be going through right now.

“The U.S. military first murders your people and destroys your way of life while stealing your culture, then forces you to learn their evil ways of lying and cheating,” Benally said.

We know now that not only were Benally's comments censored at the time, but Native Americans and other peace activists were being stalked and spied on by law enforcement throughout the United States. The spy files of the Denver Police Department, made public, revealed that activists at Big Mountain were among those on the police watch list.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, the truth was known that when American Indians viewed torture photos in Iraq, they recalled the atrocities inflicted on Native Americans.

A US diplomatic cable in Turkey, dated May 21, 2004, states:

"The US is in Trouble in Iraq"

Omer Ozturkmen observed in the conservative Turkiye (5/21): "The fact is, US diplomacy was mistaken in planning for the post-war scenario in Iraq. The US could never imagine the kinds of problems they were going to face there. The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians. Let us see how the president will explain the loss of American lives in Iraq during his campaign. When put next to the torture the Iraqi people have suffered at the hands of the coalition, Saddam's Halapja massacre looks mild by comparison. Those obscene photos are already being circulated among international terrorist groups to recruit fighters against the United States. The Bush Administration, which at one time put sacks over the heads of allied troops, now buries its own head to hide its shame. The US is paying the price for excluding Turkey in its policies in Eurasia. It looks that that price will continue to be paid."
Reference id: 04ANKARA2881 Origin: Embassy Ankara Time: Fri, 21 May 2004 16:38 UTC
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Finally, here are more of Benally's comments from 2005:

Suffering and strength at Bosque Redondo
By Brenda Norrell
2005

BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. - Viewing a photo of Navajo children at Bosque Redondo for the first time, Louise Benally wondered which ones were her great-grandparents who endured the Long Walk to Fort Sumner, N.M. and suffered in the prison camp for four years.

''On my mother's side they went: and my great-grandfather was just 5 years old. He had seen a lot of hard times, where parents and other relatives were killed,'' Benally said.

''My grandma passed on three years ago - she was 116 years old. When she left, she would tell us that they did some healing ceremonies which were called 'Without Songs.' She would sometimes have me perform this one: 'The Blacken Way.''' She remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos who were driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing murders, rapes and starvation.

One-third of the 9,000 Navajo and Mescalero Apache who suffered at the prison camp from 1863 - '68 succumbed to pneumonia, dysentery, starvation and exposure.

She also said that some Navajos who eluded capture secretly helped others. ''On my father's side of the family, they didn't go on this march. But, as supporters from the outside, they brought food in the night and other health supplies.''

Benally is among the Navajos who are resisting forced relocation from her home on Big Mountain. The Navajo descendants of Long Walk survivors at Big Mountain gained strength and fortitude from their ancestors for their 30-year struggle to remain on the land as protectors, she noted.

Benally pointed out that the so-called ''Navajo and Hopi land dispute'' resulted from legal maneuvers, documented by Colorado professor Charles Wilkinson, to remove Navajos from the land to make way for the expansion of coal mining on Black Mesa.

PHOTO White House Tar Sands Gathering Before the Storm

Tar Sands White House: Gathering before the storm, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. As Hurricane Irene hits the east coast, rain begins to fall in DC. Tar Sands Action rallying at the White House today as Hurricane Irene approaches. Due to the state of emergency, there will be a rally, but no sit in with the risk of arrests today. Photo by Tar Sands Action mobile upload.

Wikileaks: Torture in Iraq invokes atrocities against American Indians

Wikileaks reveals that the truth, censored by Indian Country Today, was already known as a fact around the world in Turkey

Navajo and Apache children imprisoned at Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo, N.M.
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- A newly released Wikileaks cable reveals that when Indian Country Today attempted to censor the fact that the war in Iraq was a continuation of the atrocities inflicted on American Indians, the truth was already known around the world in Turkey.

The US Embassy in Turkey quoted Omer Ozturkmen in 2004, in the Wikileaks cable: "The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians."

It is an important fact that Turkey knew this truth at the beginning of the Iraq war, because in the United States, this fact was being censored.

Louise Benally of Big Mountain, Ariz., longtime Navajo resister of relocation, was among the most vocal from the beginning opposing the war in Iraq. When Benally compared the war in Iraq to the forced exile and imprisonment of Navajos on the Long Walk by the US Calvary, the newspaper Indian Country Today, where I served as a staff writer, censored Benally's comments in 2005.

Pressed to publish a correction, the newspaper  refused.

Here are the censored comments:

Navajos at Big Mountain resisting forced relocation view the 19th Century prison camp of Bosque Redondo and the war in Iraq as a continuum of U.S. government sponsored terror.

Louise Benally of Big Mountain remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing the murder, rape and starvation of their family and friends.

“I think these poor children had gone through so much, but, yet they had the will to go on and live their lives. If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be here today.

“It makes me feel very sad and I apply this to the situation in Iraq. I wonder how the Native Americans in the combat zone feel about killing innocent lives.”

Looking at the faces of the Navajo and Apache children in the Bosque Redondo photo, Benally said,
“I think the children in the picture look concerned and maybe confused. It makes me think of what the children in Iraq must be going through right now.

“The U.S. military first murders your people and destroys your way of life while stealing your culture, then forces you to learn their evil ways of lying and cheating,” Benally said.

We know now that not only were Benally's comments censored at the time, but Native Americans and other peace activists were being stalked and spied on by law enforcement throughout the United States. The spy files of the Denver Police Department, made public, revealed that activists at Big Mountain were among those on the police watch list.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, the truth was known that when American Indians viewed torture photos in Iraq, they recalled the atrocities inflicted on Native Americans.

A US diplomatic cable in Turkey, dated May 21, 2004, states:

"The US is in Trouble in Iraq"
 
Omer Ozturkmen observed in the conservative Turkiye (5/21): "The fact is, US diplomacy was mistaken in planning for the post-war scenario in Iraq. The US could never imagine the kinds of problems they were going to face there. The Iraqi people were expecting to watch Saddam's trial on TV while the president of the US focused on his re-election bid. Now, the torture photos from Iraq have recalled for the American people the long forgotten atrocities faced by American Indians. Let us see how the president will explain the loss of American lives in Iraq during his campaign. When put next to the torture the Iraqi people have suffered at the hands of the coalition, Saddam's Halapja massacre looks mild by comparison. Those obscene photos are already being circulated among international terrorist groups to recruit fighters against the United States. The Bush Administration, which at one time put sacks over the heads of allied troops, now buries its own head to hide its shame. The US is paying the price for excluding Turkey in its policies in Eurasia. It looks that that price will continue to be paid."
Reference id: 04ANKARA2881 Origin: Embassy Ankara Time: Fri, 21 May 2004 16:38 UTC
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Finally, here are more of Benally's comments from 2005:
Suffering and strength at Bosque Redondo
By Brenda Norrell
2005

BIG MOUNTAIN, Ariz. - Viewing a photo of Navajo children at Bosque Redondo for the first time, Louise Benally wondered which ones were her great-grandparents who endured the Long Walk to Fort Sumner, N.M. and suffered in the prison camp for four years.

''On my mother's side they went: and my great-grandfather was just 5 years old. He had seen a lot of hard times, where parents and other relatives were killed,'' Benally said.

''My grandma passed on three years ago - she was 116 years old. When she left, she would tell us that they did some healing ceremonies which were called 'Without Songs.' She would sometimes have me perform this one: 'The Blacken Way.''' She remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos who were driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing murders, rapes and starvation.

One-third of the 9,000 Navajo and Mescalero Apache who suffered at the prison camp from 1863 - '68 succumbed to pneumonia, dysentery, starvation and exposure.

She also said that some Navajos who eluded capture secretly helped others. ''On my father's side of the family, they didn't go on this march. But, as supporters from the outside, they brought food in the night and other health supplies.''

Benally is among the Navajos who are resisting forced relocation from her home on Big Mountain. The Navajo descendants of Long Walk survivors at Big Mountain gained strength and fortitude from their ancestors for their 30-year struggle to remain on the land as protectors, she noted.

Benally pointed out that the so-called ''Navajo and Hopi land dispute'' resulted from legal maneuvers, documented by Colorado professor Charles Wilkinson, to remove Navajos from the land to make way for the expansion of coal mining on Black Mesa.