Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 5, 2014

Sen. McCain leads planned theft of Apache sacred lands for copper mining

UPDATE: McCain's new mode of genocide: Theft of Apache land for copper mining

McCain is the darling of the coyotes and snakes

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Sen. John McCain's new mode of genocide is no where more obvious than in the slick theft of Apache sacred lands for the benefit of a foreign corporation for copper mining. Of course, McCain's theft of sacred lands in Arizona is nothing new, nor is the complicity by the corrupt media who are in the saddle with fellow politicians and corporate bedfellows.
Apache elders protest Resolution Copper 

With deception and spin, McCain and his team of thieves hid away the theft of Oak Flat, sacred lands of Apache, in the National Defense Authorization Act passed by the Senate on Friday, after being passed by the House. McCain and his fellow thieves in Congress have duped the public once again. And they all came out smiling.

The snakes used similar spin and deception for the so-called Navajo Hopi land dispute, which was actually to clear Navajos off their land at Black Mesa for Peabody Coal. The coal fuels one of the world's dirtiest coal-fired power plants, Navajo Generating Station, on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. 

The stench of this government and media deception is also found in the secret files of the United States internment camps where Aleuts were forced to live, and many died of starvation and disease, during World War II. Even in the mid-Twentieth Century, the US government carried out a secret program of sterilizing American Indian women in Indian Health Service hospitals.

The deceptions are also obvious in the United States destabilization of Mexico by providing assault weapons to the drug cartels. The ATF's gunrunning, including Project Gunrunner, Fast and Furious and Operation Wide Receiver, began under the Bush administration in Texas in 2005, according a US Justice Dept. document.

Around the world, the US military's agenda is to provide weapons and whatever is needed for guerrillas, regardless of whether they are on the side of good or not. This fact is made clear in the US Army manuals. The purpose is to destabilize countries from within, which gives the US the advantage and enriches the US corporate war profiteers. It also creates homelessness for the dispossessed, who become migrants, and can once again be turned into profit by private prisons in the US.

Perhaps America is too busy shopping at Walmart -- which has made slaves of their employees while the owners became billionaires -- to care about the Obama administration killing innocent women and children with drones, as they strike without individuals being charged or given trials.

Perhaps Americans are too busy doing their holiday shopping to care that Indigenous Peoples defending their lands around the world have been assassinated in 2014 by mining companies and others.

Perhaps Americans are all satisfied with the watered-down US torture reports, media cover-ups of police murders of blacks, and dull TV news and national radio programs claiming there is no racism in America.

Perhaps one of the saddest of all of the news items in 2014 was the lack of it. As national reporters for Indian country news continued to stay home and plagiarize, they let the coyotes and snakes run free in Congress.

McCain, once again, is the darling of the coyotes and snakes.

Congress gives Native American lands to foreign mining company with new NDAA
Published time: December 04, 2014 18:00
Edited time: December 05, 2014 10:55

Reuters/Gary Cameron
Reuters/Gary Cameron
Congress is poised to give a foreign mining company 2,400 acres of national forest in Arizona that is cherished ancestral homeland to Apache natives. Controversially, the measure is attached to annual legislation that funds the US Defense Department.
This week, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees quietly attached a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would mandate the handover of a large tract of Tonto National Forest to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of the Australian-English mining company Rio Tinto, which co-owns with Iran a uranium mine in Africa and which is 10-percent-owned by China.
The “Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015” - named after the retiring chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services panels - includes the giveaway of Apache burial, medicinal, and ceremonial grounds currently within the bounds of Tonto. News of the land provision was kept under wraps until late Tuesday, when the bill was finally posted online.
The land proposed to be given to Resolution Copper, in exchange for other lands, includes prime territory Apaches have used for centuries to gather medicinal plants and acorns, and it is near a spot known as Apache Leap, a summit that Apaches jumped from to avoid being killed by settlers in the late 19th century.
Lands included in the plan will stop 1,500 feet short of Apache Leap and will not initially include an area known as Oak Flats, though, when it comes to the oaks, contradictory legal parameters are but a minor hurdle for a company like Resolution Copper to eventually drill there.
The House may vote on the NDAA as soon as this week with rules included that would bar the Senate from amending the legislation. On Wednesday night, a last-minute effort to strip the land provision from the NDAA failed in the House Rules Committee, which voted to give one hour for debate over the NDAA in the House.
Terry Rambler, chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, told The Huffington Post he was saddened by news of the proposal, yet not all that surprised.
Senator John McCain.(Reuters / Joshua Roberts )
Senator John McCain.(Reuters / Joshua Roberts )

“Of all people, Apaches and Indians should understand, because we’ve gone through this so many times in our history,” Rambler said.
“The first thing I thought about was not really today, but 50 years from now, probably after my time, if this land exchange bill goes through, the effects that my children and children’s children will be dealing with,” Rambler added.
“Since time immemorial people have gone there. That’s part of our ancestral homeland," Rambler said. "We’ve had dancers in that area forever - sunrise dancers - and coming-of-age ceremonies for our young girls that become women. They’ll seal that off. They’ll seal us off from the acorn grounds, and the medicinal plants in the area, and our prayer areas.”
Arizona Sen. John McCain was instrumental in adding to the NDAA the land deal that had been pursued by Rio Tinto for a decade, according to HuffPo. Some in Congress were reportedly concerned with the deal, but it ultimately materialized thanks to economic assurances. Rio Tinto claims mining in Tonto will generate $61 billion in economic activity and 3,700 direct and indirect jobs over 40 years.
Rambler said whether Rio Tinto’s economic assertions are true or not, it may not matter.
“It seems like us Apaches and other Indians care more about what this type of action does to the environment and the effects it leaves behind for us, while others tend to think more about today and the promise of jobs, but not necessarily what our creator God gave to us,” he said.
Rambler said he was particularly concerned with long-term ramifications, including the company’s intent to use “block cave” mining, which means digging under the ore, causing it to collapse.
“What those mountains mean to us is that when the rain and the snow comes, it distributes it to us,” Rambler said. “It replenishes our aquifers to give us life.”
Resolution Copper has said its mining plan for the area has been filed with the National Forest Service and that it will comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that supposedly protects federal lands.
AFP Photo / Jeff Topping
AFP Photo / Jeff Topping

But Rambler said NEPA is no match for Resolution Copper’s intent.
“This is what will happen - the law in one area says there will be consultation, but the law in another area of the bill says the land exchange will happen within one year of enactment of this bill,” Rambler said. “So no matter what we’re doing within that one year, the consultation part won’t mean anything after one year. Because then it’s really theirs after that.”
Basically, NEPA will only protect lands that remain in federal hands. The rest is fair game, according to federal law.
“We would only have to do NEPA on any activity that would take place on remaining federal land,” said Arizona Bureau of Land Management official Carrie Templin.
The 2015 NDAA contains other land deals, including one that would subject 70,000 acres of Tongass National Forest in Alaska to logging and another provision that would give 1,600 acres from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State for purposes of industrial development, a plan that has spurred tribal protest.



Also see:

Stop Apache Land Grab

Hidden in recent defense bill was a package granting illegal land swap near Superior, Ariz., for the benefit of a foreign company Rio Tinto PLC who seek to mine copper.
Resolution Copper -- a Rio Tinto venture with BHP Billiton Ltd. -- would be given more than 2,000 acres of federal land in return for more than 5,000 acres of company land.
Conservation advocates and American Indian groups, particularly the San Carlos Apache Tribe, have for years been trying to block the swap, saying the mine would damage natural resources and culturally sensitive areas. A site called Apache Leap in the Tonto National Forest has been of particular concern.


Debra said...

and so even in 2014 the shameful land theft continues ....

Anonymous said...

Senator John McCain should go to jail for stealing!!!

Grandma Betsy said...

One doesn't have to go very far to see the long term effects from mining in Arizona. The EPA just "finished" a clean up near the town of Hayden--now a "ghost" mining town. What a mess. And why keep stealing (limited) land from Native tribes, native people? That behavior can only be described as "savage". There are plenty of lands in Arizona that do not belong to tribes. Pay the purchase price and rape pillage and plunder away.

richard said...

McCain why don't you leave the Apache's alone. They are going to haunt you.

Judykach said...

Almost a decade of trying to lush thus land swap through and to no avail. Now John McCain attaches re land grab to a defense bill. This is NOT what democracy looks like. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

GOING to? I've already started

Anonymous said...

Could someone identify the section number of the NDAA where this land swap is located. Thanks,

Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

Here is the location in the bill;

Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

The link is in the article at Arizona Central:

Unknown said...

What action can we take at this point?

Unknown said...

What action can we take at this point?

Unknown said...

The day will come when every person no matter their color or religion will have to face the consequences of their actions here on earth, the American government says in God we trust, well guess what God is your final judge and jury, you through your greed and blatant deceit are blinded to the fact that God has your criminal record with him when you finally face him, GOOD LUCK.

Unknown said...

dear apaches, sorry to say, not much of a scalp on this one... well, it's mostly scalp, but ver low fiber...

Togen said...

Has he not also in the series of transactionsome robbed the American people as a whole. BY GIVING BILLIONS TO A FOREIGN COMPANY AT TAXPAYERS LOSS?

Anonymous said...

Another candidate for a 'bolt from on high'

Unknown said...

I've lost all respect, lost all admiration for John McCain. I'm now convinced he really has no character, no integrity, no strength,.. and now no respect from me. If these lands were sacred to Jewish, Christian, or any predominant religion this would never ever be even conceived, much less allowed and enacted in such a deceptive manner. Shame shame on McCain. His true legacy will be documented for what it was. Ultimately he being a person of NO lasting principles.