Wednesday, November 16, 2005

For shame!

A federal court has let the BIA off the hook for being unable to account for all the funds it was supposed to be managing for Indians.
A federal appeals court decided Tuesday that it was unreasonable to require a detailed historical accounting of money the government has been managing for American Indians, saying the bookkeeping chore would ''take 200 years.''

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with the government and the American Indians in their effort to block a lower court's order for the tally of money owed them.

The accounting had been ordered by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who is overseeing a class-action lawsuit in which thousands of American Indians claim they were cheated out of more than $100 billion in oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties overseen by the Interior Department since 1887.

In their appeals, the government and the plaintiffs have argued that the massive historical accounting Lamberth ordered would cost up to $13 billion - far more than was reasonable.

On Tuesday, a three-judge appeals panel agreed, overturning the accounting and calling Lamberth's decision ''ill-founded'' and an abuse of discretion that was not favored by either side in the lawsuit
I understand that the plaintiffs would not want all their potential damages dribbled away on a long expensive investigation, and I don't think it's possible to assess punitive damages against a government agency. The very least that should be done is to do away with all such trusts and the BIA and give the management to the tribes themselves.

I think a Special Master could look at matters and come up with a reasonable estimate, but at this point not much more can be done. This is what happens whenever socialism is implemented. It adds insult to injury and will shame our government forever. It sickens me.


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