Wake Round 1
(Nicholas Schmidle, staff writer, “GETTING BIN LADEN: What happened that night in Abbottabad”, The New Yorker, 2011,http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/08/110808fa_fact_schmidle?currentPage=alld)
Shortly after eleven o’clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Inside the aircraft were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, whom I will call Ahmed, and a dog named Cairo—a Belgian Malinois—were also aboard. It was a moonless evening, and the helicopters’ pilots, wearing night-vision goggles, flew without lights over mountains that straddle the border with Pakistan. Radio communications were kept to a minimum, and an eerie calm settled inside the aircraft.¶ Before the mission commenced, the SEALs had created a checklist of code words that had a Native American theme. Each code word represented a different stage of the mission: leaving Jalalabad, entering Pakistan, approaching the compound, and so on. “Geronimo” was to signify that bin Laden had been found.¶ “On the morning of Sunday, May 1st, White House officials cancelled scheduled visits, ordered sandwich platters from Costco, and transformed the Situation Room into a war room…Obama returned to the White House at two o’clock, after playing nine holes of golf at Andrews Air Force Base. The Black Hawks departed from Jalalabad thirty minutes later. Just before four o’clock, Panetta announced to the group in the Situation Room that the helicopters were approaching Abbottabad. Obama stood up. “I need to watch this,” he said…Minutes after hitting the ground…team members began streaming out the side doors of helo one…SEALs rushed forward, ending up in an alley like driveway with their backs to the house’s main entrance…Until this moment, the operation had been monitored by dozens of defense, intelligence, and Administration officials watching the drone’s video feed…After blasting through the gate with C-4 charges, three SEALs marched up the stairs. Midway up, they saw bin Laden’s twenty-three-year-old son, Khalid…and killed him…The final person was bin Laden…Three SEALs shuttled past Khalid’s body and blew open another metal cage…The Americans hurried toward the bedroom door. The first SEAL pushed it open…A second SEAL stepped into the room and trained the infrared laser of his M4 on bin Laden’s chest. The Al Qaeda chief, who was wearing a tan shalwar kameez and a prayer cap on his head, froze; he was unarmed. “There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,” the special-operations officer told me…Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life. The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye. On his radio, he reported, “For God and country—Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo, “After a pause, he added, “Geronimo E.K.I.A.”—“enemy killed in action.” Hearing this at the White House, Obama pursed his lips, and said solemnly, to no one in particular, “We got him.”
The logic behind the assassination of Osama Bin Laden can be traced back to the colonial logic that justified the assassination of Sitting Bull. The U.S. justified this assassination by constructing all Indian Chiefs as the “ultimate enemy” to the American way of life.
[Elizabeth, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn is a Crow Creek Lakota Sioux editor, essayist, poet, novelist, and academic, whose trenchant views on Native American politics, particularly tribal sovereignty, have caused controversy. “The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee,” //wyo-hdm]
Not long ago I made a visit to the Museum of Wounded Knee at Wall, South Dakota, located on I-90 just north of the Badlands of South Dakota and just outside of two of the largest Sioux reservations in the Northern Plains: Pine Ridge and Rosebud. This is a new museum, put together by a well-meaning and affable white man from Colorado by the name of Steve Wyant. Entering the exhibits through a turnstile (Indians don't have to pay the $6.00), I [End Page 199] saw a chart entitled "Political Structure of the Sioux Nation" and noticed that the Isianti and Ihanktowan were not among the Seven Council Fires of the Sioux Nation—the English name of the Oceti Shakowan normally made up of those two large tribes, along with the Oglalas, Hunkpati, Sicangu, Sihasapa, and Minneconjou. I suggested (facetiously) that the museum curator should change it to the Five Council Fires of the Sioux Nation. This is an indication, of course, of how Indian histories are made and told, changed, manipulated, and obscured.¶ Strolling further along the walls of the museum, I noticed another collection of pictures with the explanation: "Custer Enters the Black Hills—1874 and 1876." This "entry," of course, was several years after the Treaty of 1868 was signed by the U.S. Government and the Sioux Nation, in which it is stated that "no white man shall enter the treaty lands without the express permission of the Indians." There is no historical evidence that George A. Custer had the permission of the Sioux. I asked the museum curator to change the explanation to "Custer Invades the Black Hills in 1874 and 1876." He looked pained. But unless one understands the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868, the 1876 invasion of the Black Hills by Custer and nine hundred men of the U.S. military, which brought about the Battle of the Little Big Horn and death, unless one understands the subsequent 1877 theft of the Black Hills by the U.S. Congress and eventual passage of the 1887 Allotment Act, one cannot understand the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.¶ Jeffrey Ostler's The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee chronicles much of the history of that time and place and uses the same kind of apologetic and obfuscating language found in the Museum of Wounded Knee. On page 20, for example, he says: "The death—some would say murder—of yet another of the Lakotas' preeminent leaders deserves careful analysis." This is the way he introduces the assassination of Sitting Bull, the Hunkpapa, without ever using the word assassination. Instead, Ostler suggests that the reader must understand why U.S. officials ordered the Indian police to arrest Sitting Bull in the first place (Buffalo Bill Cody had orders and volunteered to arrest him because he was dangerous), then launches into several explanations: deep animosity between the police and Sitting Bull's people, hatreds and feuds among the Indians themselves, factionalism bound up in colonialism, and, of course, the inevitable Ghost Dance. Blaming the victims and blaming religion have long been the methods by which apologetic historians account for this crime. Ostler is no exception to this rule.¶ An entire chapter is devoted to this kind of internecine rationale for war and death in the Indian camp in 1890. There is no mention of the Allotment Act of 1887, the breaking up of the Sioux Treaty Homelands bitterly contested by Sitting Bull, as the major reason for the political assassination of this important leader. He had to be assassinated if Indian [End Page 200] lands were going to be occupied by whites. There is little reason to believe that religion was the major cause for the assassinations or the massacres of that period if one understands the function of colonial -intentions.¶ As I continue to read about the assassination of Sitting Bull in these kinds of histories, I am reminded of the assassination of Ahmed Yassin in 2004 by Israeli helicopter pilots, which was the deliberate assassination of a leader of a resistance movement called Hamas in the Palestinian Homelands. Both were the acts of aggressive colonists to acquire land and power. American historians and museum curators must not exempt themselves from such acts.¶ The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism is a reasonably comprehensive history, well documented with a useful bibliography, written in a flourishing prose style. It is divided into three parts: "Conquest," "Colonialism," and "Anticolonialism and the State." There is little examination of the use of the term "Conquest" itself, a term that always implies defeat on the battlefield—something that did not happen in the Sioux-U.S. war theater. Consequently, this text says, for the most part, nothing new in this regard. The defeat in the Sioux-U.S. war theater happened at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield. A major criticism of this text is that it does nothing to examine the apologetic language that is always used in such histories. At the conclusion of the narrative, the ethnographic autobiography Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt is trotted out so that the massacre can be called a "traumatic event" in Sioux history rather than a crime against humanity perpetrated by one of the most successful capitalistic democracies in the history of nations. Ostler tells an old and familiar story but does nothing to assist the people of the Sioux Nation in their present struggle toward autonomy and a future of well-being.
Our exploration of the similarities between these murders exposes the ways that colonialism has operated behind US killing policies. Western methods of thought are perpetuated through military operations, the targeted killing operation to kill Osama bin Laden was named operation Geronimo. The choice to frame bin Laden in the same method that indigenous people have been framed for assassination and extermination demonstrates the way that the logic that “Indians are enemies” still operates in our foreign policy today
[Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape) is co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Fulcrum, 2008), and a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network, “Geronimo Again? The Indian Wars Continue Ad Nauseam,” 05.03.2011. //wyo-hdm]
In my book Pagans in the Promised Land(Fulcrum, 2008) I use the theory of the human mind (cognitive theory) to explain the "cognitive unconscious" of the United States. Certain ingrained traditions of thought, both conscious and unconscious, have been used for generations by U.S. government officials. Such thinking has resulted in the development of predominantly anti-Indian U.S. federal Indian laws and policies. The result has been laws and policies that have proven detrimental to Indian nations and peoples.¶ George Washington, in 1784, used the analogy “the savage as the wolf” to refer to our Indian ancestors as less-than-human “beasts.” As Henry Wheaton said in his Elements of International Law, “The heathen nations of the other quarters of the globe were the lawful spoil and prey of their civilized conquerors.” Thus, one of the normative American metaphors throughout the history of the United States has been "Indians Are Enemies." We’re talking about a U.S. tradition of dehumanization and dominance used against our nations and peoples.¶ From the perspective of non-Indian colonizers, our indigenous ancestors were enemies to be uprooted from the vast extent of our traditional lands and territories and con fined to “reservations” in remote areas, under U.S. control. Thus, off the reservation is a common idiom used by television journalists and commentators to refer to someone being a "renegade," with the connotation being an enemy “who chooses to live outside laws or conventions.” However, it is important to keep in mind that U.S. laws and conventions have been imposed on our nations and peoples. Someone who has gone off the reservationis considered to be an "outlaw,” which in our case is outside the bounds of imposed laws and policies of the United States.¶ Geronimo's life story is a direct result of the invasion of the Apache territory and attempts to subdue the free and independent Apache. After his family was massacred by Mexicans in 1851, Geronimo became a Chiricahua Apache leader who fit perfectly into the non-Indian metaphorical frame “Indians Are Enemies.” He and a small group of fellow Apaches brilliantly eluded capture by 5,000 United States Army soldiers, 500 Indian scouts, and 3000 Mexican soldiers. The desert terrain was steep and formidable. The temperatures were extreme: intense cold and blistering heat. Geronimo and his band had very little food or water. What those Apaches accomplished is very likely one of the most amazing physical feats of stamina in the history of the human race. He finally surrendered in 1886.¶ In the reported stories of Osama Bin Laden being killed by U.S. military forces, bin Laden was code-named “Geronimo.” According to a CBS news report, those who came up with that “inappropriate code name” apparently “thought of bin Laden as a 21st-century equivalent” of Geronimo. In other words, the code name was based on an extension of the metaphor “Indians Are Enemies” to “Geronimo was a Terrorist,” thus perpetuating the U.S. tradition of treating Indian nations and peoples as enemies.¶ Geronimo was fighting against the invasion of his country and the oppression of his people. He did not invade the United States. Rather, Spain, Mexico, and then the United States invaded the Apache Territory and the territories of hundreds of other Indigenous nations. Horrific atrocities were committed against the Apache, and men such as Geronimo, whose family was massacred by Mexicans, did not hesitate to retaliate. Geronimo died a “prisoner of war” in 1909.
The use of “Geronimo” by the U.S. military is a act of neocolonialism that continues a tradition of cultural genocide through operations of power, this logic fuels the expansion of militarism and the global war on terror and colonial empire of the United States
[Indiana, Ethnic Studies department at UCSD, “Geronimo and Neocolonial Naming: When Whiteness Never Offends,”10.06.2011. //wyo-hdm]
European colonists brought disease, “advanced” weaponry, and hegemony with them when they encountered Native tribes on this land. The first decimated huge quantities of Indigenous populations, making the process of conquering easier, not making the tribes themselves easier to conquer; the second made considerable power possible for the colonists, as if the possession of certain technologies gives one the right to use them for violence; the third was a justification for genocide, by constructing Indigenous peoples as “uncivilized savages” on the brink of extinction that required elimination, removal, or “education.” Colonial hegemony has long endured into the contemporary moment. This is where the use of Geronimo, in name and legacy, becomes an act of neocolonialism and whiteness by ignoring the continued existence of Indigenous peoples, appropriating certain ancestors at the government’s will, and disregarding the offensive association of a respected historical figure with a man behind organized killings. The US has its own relationship with organized killings, particularly when it involves Indigenous peoples; however, Andrew Jackson, responsible for the Trail of Tears that resulted in over 4,000 American Indian deaths, would never be equated with Osama bin Laden. After finding and assassinating the target of the most expensive manhunt in history, Winona LaDuke, Indigenous author and activist writing from the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota, is right to notice that the military “sees this from its own perspective.” US desires and neocolonial interests were behind both the raid that killed bin Laden and the decision to call the raid “Geronimo.” In a video broadcast from Democracy Now!, hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez interviewed LaDuke on the military appropriation. The use of what she calls “Native nomenclature” in the military not only desecrates the unique and diverse histories of Native peoples, but also the disproportionately high past and present levels of American Indian military service and enlistment.¶ “That is the reality of Native nomenclature, and how the military uses Native people and Native imagery to continue its global war and its global empire practices.”¶ The military continues to defend US sovereignty against Indigenous peoples, as the government continues to be absent in signing the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; both phenomena are crucial to maintaining US empire, lacking in justice and recognition. Naming an assassination raid after Geronimo is an exercise of ownership and power, a violent seizure of a name in the tradition of violent seizure of Indigenous land. As Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee activist Suzan Shown Harjo said while testifying at the same Senate Commission as Harlyn Geronimo, “Our names are not our own.” ¶ When Indigenous names undergo a military transformation into government property, the pattern of cultural genocide continues. This is not only a grave injustice to Indigenous peoples, but also a tremendous disservice to those who have been rendered systemically ignorant of tribal histories, struggles, leaders, and thinkers. While an apology from Obama would be a start, it would doubtfully be enough. Hope and change were useful as campaign platforms, but instances such as these demonstrate how these platforms have sometimes failed to translate into policy. In a letter to President Obama, Chairman Jeff Houser of the Fort Sill Apache tribe made these concluding remarks:
The unlimited nature of presidential war powers, the flexible definition of terrorism and the frame that places Indians as enemies makes the possibility of unending war and violence against indigenous people possible
[Steve, co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Fulcrum, 2008), and a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network //wyo-hdm]
The U.S. government's attempt this past March to analogize al Queda with the Seminole people was a terrible distortion. Worse still is the parallel between Andrew Jackson charging and hanging Arbuthnot and Ambrister for "aiding the enemy" and current U.S. congressional legislation now moving quickly toward passage. Not only have US government attorneys wrongly converted Seminoles into al Qaeda, but the Congress is now about to pass legislation that would treat all humans on the planet as potential detainees for aiding those deemed by the United States to be "enemies."¶ The proposed legislation would make The Authorization for the Use of Military Force of September 2001 a permanent feature of U.S. law. It would make due process protections under the U.S. Constitution unavailable to anyone detained. The scope of the legislation appears to be anybody, anytime, anywhere.¶ A bill authorizing a regime of global war was added to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (H.R. 1540) by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA). The Act passed the House last week and now moves to the U.S. Senate. Another such bill was recently put forward by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ).¶ The new war authorization will allow the United States to wage war "wherever there are terrorism suspects in any country around the world without an expiration date, geographical boundaries or connection to the 9/11 attacks or any other specific harm or threat to the United States," the ACLU said recently.¶ According to a May 9 article by Laura Pitter in "The Hill" newspaper ("Proposed McKeon and McCain legislation won’t make us safer"), the bills put forward by congressman McKeon and Senator McCain "would expand who the U.S. says it is at war with and mandate military detention for broadly defined terrorist suspects based on scant evidence." Hearsay evidence will also be admissible.¶ By means of a permanent war authorization, indigenous peoples, and their allies, who advocate for self-determination and for the protection of Indigenous resources (lands, water, minerals, etc.) against colonial and corporate exploitation could be accused by the United States of "supporting terrorism," and thereby come under attack or be seized by the U.S. military and end up being held as detainees. The legislation would further ratify and intensify the U.S. policy of treating Indigenous peoples’ issues as a matter of national security
Colonial identity production has reduced Natives to a constant state of near-death. The impact is a state of racism and violence that is constantly renewed through forms of linguistic and physical control
[Andrea, “Not an Indian Tradition: The Sexual Colonization of Native Peoples”, Hypatia, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring, pp. 70-85]
Ann Stoler argues that racism, far from being a reaction to crisis in which racial others are scapegoated for social ills, is a permanent part of the social fabric. “[R]acism is not an effect but a tactic in the internal fission of society into binary opposition, a means of creating ‘biologized’ internal enemies, against whom society must defend itself” (1997, 59). She notes that in the modern state, the constant purification and elimination of racialized enemies within that state ensures the growth of the national body. “Racism does not merely arise in moments of crisis, in sporadic cleansings. It is internal to the biopolitical state, woven into the web of the social body, threaded through its fabric” (1997, 59). Similarly, Kate Shanley notes that Native peoples are a permanent “present absence” in the U.S. colonial imagination, an “absence” that reinforces at every turn the conviction that Native peoples are indeed vanishing and that the conquest of Native lands is justified. Ella Shoat and Robert Stam describe this absence as “an ambivalently repressive mechanism [that] dispels the anxiety in the face of the Indian, whose very presence is a reminder of the initially precarious g rounding of the American nation-state itself . . . In a temporal paradox, living Indians were induced to ‘play dead,’ as it were, in order to perform a narrative of manifest destiny in which their role, ultimately, was to disappear” (1994, 118–19). This “absence” is effected through the metaphorical transformation of Native bodies into a pollution of which the colonial body must purify itself. As white Californians described in the 1860s, Native people were “the dirtiest lot of human beings on earth.” They wear filthy rags, with their persons unwashed, hair uncombed and swarming with vermin” (Rawls 1984, 195). The following 1885 Proctor & Gamble ad for Ivory Soap also illustrates this equation between Indian bodies and dirt: We were once factious, fierce and wild, In peaceful arts unreconciled Our blankets smeared with grease and stains From buffalo meat and settlers’ veins. Through summer’s dust and heat content From moon to moon unwashed we went, But IVORY SOAP came like a ray Of light across our darkened way And now we’re civil, kind and good And keep the laws as people should, We wear our linen, lawn and lace As well as folks with paler face And now I take, wherever we go This cake of IVORY SOAP to show What civilized my squaw and me And made us clean and fair to see. (Lopez n.d, 119) In the colonial imagination, Native bodies are also immanently polluted with sexual sin. Alexander Whitaker, a minister in Virginia, wrote in 1613: “They live naked in bodies, as if their shame of their sinne deserved no covering: Their names are as naked as their bodies: They esteem it a virtue to lie, deceive and steale as their master the divell teacheth them” (Berkhofer 1978, 19). Furthermore, according to Bernardino de Minaya: “Their [the Indians’] marriages are not a sacrament but a sacrilege. They are idolatrous, libidinous, and commit sodomy. Their chief desire is to eat, drink, worship heathen idols, and commit bestial obscenities” (cited in Stannard 1992, 211). Stoler’s analysis of racism in which Native peoples are likened to a pollution that threatens U. S. security is indicated in the comments of one doctor in his attempt to rationalize the mass sterilization of Native women in the 1970s: “People pollute, and too many people crowded too close together cause many of our social and economic problems. These in turn are aggravated by involuntary and irresponsible parenthood . . . We also have obligations to the society of which we are part. The welfare mess, as it has been called, cries out for solutions, one of which is fertility control” (Oklahoma 1989, 11). Herbert Aptheker describes the logical consequences of this sterilization movement: “The ultimate logic of this is crematoria; people are themselves constituting the pollution and inferior people in particular, then crematoria become really vast sewerage projects. Only so may one understand those who attend the ovens and concocted and conducted the entire enterprise; those “wasted”—to use U. S. army jargon reserved for colonial hostilities—are not really, not fully people” (1987, 144). Because Indian bodies are “dirty,” they are considered sexually violable and “rapable.” That is, in patriarchal thinking, only a body that is “pure” can be violated. The rape of bodies that are considered inherently impure or dirty simply does not count. For instance, prostitutes have almost an impossible time being believed if they are raped because the dominant society considers the prostitute’s body undeserving of integrity and violable at all times. Similarly, the history of mutilation of Indian bodies, both living and dead, makes it clear to Indian people that they are not entitled to bodily integrity, as these examples suggest: I saw the body of White Antelope with the privates cut off, and I heard a soldier say he was going to make a tobacco-pouch out of them. (cited in Wrone and Nelson 1982, 113) Each of the braves was shot down and scalped by the wild volunteers, who out with their knives and cutting two parallel gashes down their backs, would strip the skin from the quivering [ esh to make razor straps of. (cited in Wrone and Nelson 1982, 90) One more dexterous than the rest, proceeded to [ ay the chief’s [Tecumseh’s] body; then, cutting the skin in narrow strips . . . at once, a supply of razor-straps for the more “ferocious” of his brethren. (cited in Wrone and Nelson 1982, 82) Andrew Jackson . . . supervised the mutilation of 800 or so Creek Indian corpses—the bodies of men, women and children that he and his men massacred—cutting off their noses to count and preserve a record of the dead, slicing long strips of [ esh from their bodies to tan and turn into bridle reins. (Stannard 1992, 121) Echoing this mentality was Governor Thompson, who stated in 1990 that he would not close down an open Indian burial mound in Dickson, Illinois, because of his argument that he was as much Indian as are current Indians, and consequently, he had as much right as they to determine the fate of Indian remains.1 He felt free to appropriate the identity of “Native,” and thus felt justified in claiming ownership over both Native identity and Native bodies. The Chicago press similarly attempted to challenge the identity of the Indian people who protested Thompson’s decision by stating that these protestors were either only “part” Indian or were only claiming to be Indian (Hermann 1990).2 The message conveyed by the Illinois state government is that to be Indian in this society is to be on constant display for white consumers, in life or in death. And in fact, Indian identity itself is under the control of the colonizer, subject to eradication at any time. As Aime Cesaire puts it, “colonization = ‘thingi> cation’” (1972, 21). As Stoler explains this process of racialized colonization: “[T]he more ‘degenerates’ and ‘abnormals’ [in this case Native peoples] are eliminated, the lives of those who speak will be stronger, more vigorous, and improved. The enemies are not political adversaries, but those identified as external and internal threats to the population. Racism is the condition that makes it acceptable to put [certain people] to death in a society of normalization” (1997, 85). Tadiar’s description of colonial relationships as an enactment of the “prevailing mode of heterosexual relations” is useful because it underscores the extent to which U. S. colonizers view the subjugation of women of the Native nations as critical to the success of the economic, cultural, and political colonization (1993, 186). Stoler notes that the imperial discourses on sexuality “cast white women as the bearers of more racist imperial order” (1997, 35). By extension, Native women as bearers of a counter-imperial order pose a supreme threat to the imperial order. Symbolic and literal control over their bodies is important in the war against Native people, as these examples attest: When I was in the boat I captured a beautiful Carib women . . . I conceived desire to take pleasure . . . I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such unheard screams that you would not have believed your ears. Finally we came to an agreement in such a manner that I can tell you that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of harlots. (Sale 1990, 140) Two of the best looking of the squaws were lying in such a position, and from the appearance of the genital organs and of their wounds, there can be no doubt that they were first ravished and then shot dead. Nearly all of the dead were mutilated. (Wrone and Nelson 1982, 123) One woman, big with child, rushed into the church, clasping the alter and crying for mercy for herself and unborn babe. She was followed, and fell pierced with a dozen lances . . . the child was torn alive from the yet palpitating body of its mother, first plunged into the holy water to be baptized, and immediately its brains were dashed out against a wall. (Wrone and Nelson 1982, 97) The Christians attacked them with buffets and beatings . . . Then they behaved with such temerity and shamelessness that the most powerful ruler of the island had to see his own wife raped by a Christian officer. (Las Casas 1992, 33) I heard one man say that he had cut a woman’s private parts out, and had them for exhibition on a stick. I heard another man say that he had cut the fingers off of an Indian, to get the rings off his hand. I also heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of females, and stretched them over their saddle-bows and some of them over their hats. (Sand Creek 1973, 129–30) American Horse said of the massacre at Wounded Knee: The fact of the killing of the women, and more especially the killing of the young boys and girls who are to go to make up the future strength of the Indian people is the saddest part of the whole affair and we feel it very sorely. (Stannard 1992, 127).
Therefore _______ and I affirm a critical interrogation of current targeted killing practices through the lens of indigenous epistemology