December 13, 2009

Army still threatens Medicine Bluff

Army still threatens sacred site

By Wilhelm MurgThe Comanche Nation and the U.S. Army have been battling over a proposed training/service center for the Fort Sill complex that was to be built on Medicine Bluff, a sacred site of not just the Comanche, but also the Kiowas, the Wichitas and the Apaches.

Last year, the Army changed locations after a federal Judge blocked construction and ruled that all four bluffs had to be visible for the spiritual well-being of the Comanche people. The Army can still appeal the ruling, and the Comanche administration believes they will appeal in an attempt to drag out the litigation until the tribe runs out of money.

“We won the federal injunction last year to stop the construction plan, however, and I don’t know what the strategy is on the part of the U.S. Army, but they are trying to give the Comanche Nation a black eye by claiming that we cost the taxpayer all this money,” said William Volker, director of the Comanche Nation’s Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act program. “In the discovery items presented in federal court it clearly gives the dates of when the first warnings went out, from us and from them, and it clearly predates the signing of the contracts.”

According to Volker, the Army had time to cut its ties with the contractors before they had to pay them, but they ignored the warnings and ultimately cost the American taxpayers $650,000.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Comanches Kick Army's Butts and Fort Sill Backs Off.

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