August 31, 2007

Gonzales = indifferent to Indians

Undermining trust:  Gonzales' legacy in Indian countryIn a scant two and a half years as the attorney general of the United States, Alberto Gonzales presided over far-reaching attempts to undermine U.S. trust responsibility to Indian nations.

He advocated for a cheap settlement of the Cobell case, which even more outrageously was contingent upon ending U.S. trust responsibility to tribal nations. His Justice Department leaked a litany of nitpicking objections to Congress in an effort to derail health legislation for American Indians. And he undoubtedly participated in the politically motivated firing of eight respected U.S. attorneys, including five who were leaders in prosecuting violence on Indian lands.

Yet Gonzales wasn't a flag-waving anti-Indian of the Slade Gorton, former U.S. senator from Washington, ilk.

No. Former attorneys for the Justice Department, including Kevin Washburn, the visiting Oneida Indian Nation professor at Harvard Law School, say that Indians were simply not on Gonzales' radar.

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