FWD (SK) Scientists Claim Clinton Blocked Kennewick Man Research

From: Terry W. Colvin (fortean1@mindspring.com)
Date: Thu Aug 16 2001 - 14:13:01 MDT

I have been lurking for quite a while, but recently ran across this article
and thought some of you might find it of interest. I apologize in advance if
this topic has already made it's way through this list.

I am not a big believer in "government conspiracies", but I read stories
like this one and have to ask myself "what the heck were they thinking"?

I think that the last paragraph about the Interior Department's actions is
the most interesting and perplexing part of the article.

The below story came from someone's webpage (see URL at end), but I had
previously read this same article online at Excite, Yahoo and ABCnews.com.
So I believe that the sources are somewhat reliable and the article is

- - - - article below - - - -

April 18, 2001
Scientists Claim Clinton Blocked Kennewick Man Research
By William McCall, AP

Scientists who want to study the ancient skeleton known as Kennewick Man
contend the Clinton administration improperly tried to prevent their
research to avoid a messy debate over how the first inhabitants of North
America arrived.

The government allowed "inexcusable" contacts between White House staff and
members of five American Indian tribes who sought to bury the skeleton, said
documents filed in federal court Monday to support the scientists.

The Interior Department decided last year that the nearly complete
9,000-year-old skeleton should be given to the tribes for burial.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Department said the agency will formally
respond in court on May 17, the deadline to file a response. But officials
say they did nothing wrong.

"We believe all contacts were proper and consistent with statute and
administrative practice," said spokeswoman Stephanie Hanna.

A coalition of five Northwest tribes claimed the skeleton after it was found
in 1996 along the shoreline of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Wash. The
tribes say Kennewick Man is their ancestor and the bones should be reburied.

But eight prominent scientists from universities and the Smithsonian
Institution sued for the right to study the skeleton. The scientists say
further study of Kennewick Man could reveal clues about the first humans on
the continent.

Attorneys for the scientists say the Interior Department under President
Clinton and former Secretary Bruce Babbitt violated ethical standards,
alleging officials "coached the coalition on how to plead its case."

The scientists argue that the decision to hand over the bones did not meet
requirements of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
because the government cannot prove the bones belong to an ancestor of any
living tribe.

Attorneys Alan Schneider and Paula Barran also say the government violated
the separation of church and state by using religious tribal beliefs to make
critical decisions.

They contend the government accepted tribes' religious beliefs "as the
'truth' of past events" contrary to scientific information, and started and
ended at least one consultation with prayer, conveying "a message of

Burying the bones would violate the First Amendment, Schneider argues,
because "this skeleton is like a book" that should be made available for

"It is not for the government to determine who can read the book and what
can be done with the information that can be obtained from it," Schneider
said Wednesday.

The scientists have already argued the Interior Department violated the
National Historic Preservation Act when it covered the site where the
skeleton was found with 500 tons of rocks and soil, then planted trees and
shrubs before anthropologists could conduct further excavation

Several more related articles:
< http://www.citizensalliance.org/links/pages/news/Breaking%20News/
Kennewick_Issue.htm >

(you may have to copy and paste the last part of this URL if your email
"wraps" it)

    Gary L. Nunn
    Delaware Ohio

      Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
                        - Mark Twain

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1@mindspring.com >
     Alternate: < terry_colvin@hotmail.com >
Home Page: < http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/8958/index.html >
Sites: Fortean Times * Northwest Mysteries * Mystic's Cyberpage *
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   TLCB Web Site: < http://www.tlc-brotherhood.org >[Vietnam veterans,
Allies, and CIA/NSA are welcome]

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